Synopsis by Cavett Binion
Horror virtuoso John Carpenter hosts this goofy horror anthology, originally produced for Showtime as a gory stepchild of HBO's Tales from the Crypt series. Playing an emaciated, eye-rolling "coroner," John introduces the audience to a triptych of creepy vignettes in the EC horror-comics mode while paddling about in the guts of assorted cadavers and cracking jokes more gag-inducing than anything oozing on the slab. Two of the stories are directed by Carpenter himself: "The Gas Station" is a retread (pun intended) of Halloween-style scare tactics as a pretty gas-station attendant watches various oddballs pass by her window after hearing that an escaped killer is on the loose; "Hair" is a morbid, hilarious look at man's obsession with his own virility in which Stacy Keach turns to a bizarre hair-growth clinic (run by David Warner & Debbie Harry) which promises instant results, but at a horrific price. The third segment, directed by Tobe Hooper, involves a baseball player (Mark Hamill) who receives an eye transplant after a car accident and soon begins having optical flashbacks revealing (you guessed it) the identity and tendencies of the eye's former owner -- a serial killer. The second segment is by far the most entertaining, featuring a wonderfully neurotic performance by Keach, but the first and last chapters are too derivative to offer much for the discriminating horror buff, although the same fans will enjoy several cute cameos from other genre directors, including Wes Craven, Sam Raimi and Roger Corman.
coroner, eye, gas-station-attendant, hair, transplant, accident, baseball, blindness [physical], clinic, escape, optometry, serial-killer, sociopath, investigation, machismo, murder, obsession, killing