31 Days of Tales From the Crypt – The Man Who Was Death (S01 E01)

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Hello, kiddies.

So, it looks like I’m starting off the first full week of the 31 Days of Tales From the Crypt blog-a-thon at Channel: Superhero, your source for the scrutiny of Small Screen comic-book-based properties.  In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last 25 years or so, Tales From the Crypt is an anthology horror series that ran on HBO from 1989 to 1996.  It also spun off two feature length films and an animated series called, Tales From the Cryptkeeper.

Today’s story–the Tales From the Crypt series premiere episode “The Man Who Was Death”–is taken directly from the pages of The Crypt of Terror #17. Thanks to some penny saving publishers and Post Office permit loopholes, The Crypt of Terror #17 is considered to be the very first issue of the Tales From the Crypt comic book.  That’s why it’s fitting that today on day 5, in true Tales From the Crypt fashion, we’ll begin at the beginning… somewhere in the middle.

#17 is the new #1.

#17 is the new #1.

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Dolph Double Dip

Bubbawheat, over at Flights, Tights and Movie Nights is running a little something called “The Comic Strip Double Dip Blogathon“.  The idea is to get all us writey types to focus our creative energies on one specific topic.  In this case, it’s exploring the performances of actors who have taken on more than one Comic Book inspired movie role.  He put together a big list, making it easy to pick out a topic, and right around the middle of it, staring back at me was the perfect excuse to re-watch two movies I’ve been dying to revisit for years.

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That’s right…  Dolph Lundgren:  Frank Castle/He-Man.  Dolph plays Frank Castle in 1989’s The Punisher, and he plays He-Man in 1987’s Masters of the Universe.  I’ve got a few thoughts about these movies in general before we delve deep into Dolph dichotomy discussion.

Both of these films are widely viewed as completely awful movies that don’t do any justice to their source material. Oddly, in both cases, I remember thinking that they were, in fact, widely underrated.  On a more personal note, since I’m not a big Rocky fan (I like Rocky III, and acknowledge Rocky is something special), these two roles, for me, are Dolph’s defining roles.  I mean, I can name at least two other non-Expendables titles he’s been in, but these two movies I remember as Dolph Lundgren movies.

So, without further ado… let us determine the answer to the age old question that no one has ever bothered to ask…  “Who does Dolph Lundgren play better, He-man or Frank Castle?”

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