|Tales from the Crypt - The Complete First Season
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Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 07/12/2005 Run time: 168 minutes Rating: Nr
Here's some grisly good news for fear fans: the first season of HBO's long-running TV horror anthology Tales from the Crypt, based on the notorious '50s-era E.C. comic books, emerges on DVD in a two-disc set that's sure to have 'em shrieking (with joy, of course). Shepherded by a host of top Hollywood producers and directors (including Joel Silver, Richard Donner, Robert Zemeckis, and Walter Hill), the Tales from the Crypt series brought together major talent both in front of and behind the camera to give life to E.C.'s over-the-top stories of gruesome revenge and ghastly terror. Season 1 offers six star-studded spooktaculars, including Donner's "Dig That Cat… He's Real Gone," with The Sopranos' Joe Pantoliano as a carnival performer with a knack for surviving horrible endings; Zemeckis's "And All Through the House," with Larry Drake as a homicidal Santa Claus terrorizing a woman who has just killed her husband (this story was also adapted in the 1972 theatrical version of Crypt); and Hill's "The Man Who Was Death," featuring a topnotch performance by William Sadler as a jailhouse executioner who takes the law into his own hands. Comic purists may decry liberties taken by updating the original stories (and current audiences may find elements in some episodes out of date, most notably Mary Lambert's "Only Sin Deep"), but the blend of gore and black humor should keep most horror heads happy, as should the chattering presence of the animatronic Crypt Keeper (well-voiced by John Kassir), who serves as the show's ghost host.
The two-disc set's chief extra is an interesting documentary about the original comics, featuring interviews with co-editor Al Feldstein and legendary artist Jack Davis, as well as directors and authors inspired by the comics like George Romero, John Carpenter, and R.L. Stine. The Crypt Keeper also weighs in with a new intro for the DVD, as well as his reminiscences of the first-season episodes, complete with plenty of behind-the-scenes production photos. In short, pleasant screams are ensured for all. --Paul Gaita
- "Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who's the FEAREST of them all?"
Welcome to my review, horror freaks! So glad you could join me and read about the 6 eerie episodes of HBO's "Tales from the Crypt," the very ones that helped the series rise from its tomb back in 1989. It's been 9 long years since the show went off the air, and until now, I've been waiting for the Crypt Keeper's putrid puns and awful alliterations to be forever preserved on DVD format. And why not? The show lasted a full 7 seasons and featured many of the biggest actors and directors in Hollywood. Each tale carefully incorporates the grisly black humor William M. Gaines EC comic books, which were almost banned in the 1950's. Did I say 'almost?' Anyway, as other HBO programs like "Dream On," "Deadwood," and "Carnivale" were packaged and displayed on Best Buy shelves, I wondered if "Tales" would ever be among them. Well, the time has finally arrived, creeps! As stated by John Kassir himself, Warner Brothers wisely chose to create these discs so we ourselves can scare the next generation of kiddies to come. Even better is the fact that the second disc of this Season 1 set will contain a sickening array of never-before-seen extras. I don't want to give the surprises away, but I will briefly tell you the stories you are about to see. Enter, if you dare!
"Dig that Cat...He's Real Gone" stars Joe Pantoliano as Ulric, a homeless alcoholic who becomes a rich and famous sideshow performer after a mad doctor (Gustav Vintas) surgically implants a cat's gland into Ulric's brain. This procedure allows him to die and return to life nine times. Morbid hilarity ensues as a carnival barker (Robert Wuhl) presents Ulric the Undying to astounded audiences who watch him get electrocuted, hanged, drowned in a tank, and shot with an arrow (among other things).
In "The Man Who was Death," Bill Sadler (who eventually starred in the 1995 Tales from the Crypt film "Demon Knight") plays Niles Talbot, a state executioner who loses his job after spending 12 years pulling the switch. This resulted because the government unexpectantly repealed the death penalty. However, not wanting to abandon his favorite occupation, Niles drifts to the other side of the law by killing criminals who were acquitted by the courts.
The frightening and festive "And All Through the House" stars Mary Ellen Trainor as a devious housewife named Elizabeth, who brutally bludgeons her husband with a poker to collect on an insurance policy. Just when she is ready to eliminate the corpse, a homicidal maniac donning a Santa Claus costume (Larry Drake) terrorizes her with an axe. Even worse, Elizabeth can't call the police for fear of being convicted of first degree murder and losing custody of her daughter.
Vanity and greed play a central role in "Only Sin Deep," a tale about a street prostitute named Sylvia Vane (Lea Thompson). After killing a pimp and stealing his gold jewelry, she willingly sells her beauty to a strange pawnbroker (Britt Leach) in exchange for $10,000 cash. At first, Sylvia wins over the affections of a suave playboy millionaire. But immediately afterward, as a result of some black magic performed by the pawnbroker, she gets increasingly distraught as her face quickly ages. Desperate to buy back her looks, she shoots her rich lover dead, but is then forced to avoid prison by staying ugly for life.
Prepare for a honeymoon hell in "Lover Come Hack To Me." Here, a cunning bachelor named Charles (Stephen Shellen) marries a naive Peggy (Amanda Plummer) for her inheritance money. On a rainy night, after accidentally getting stuck in an abandoned mansion, the two go up to the bedroom and make perfect love for the very first time. Originally, Charles was going to kill Peggy and stage the crime to look like a burglary. But he soon discovers that her family history is cursed, and that much darker skeletons lie in the bride's closet.
Last but not least is one of my favorite episodes, "Collection Completed." M. Emmet Walsh plays Jonas, a grouchy tool salesman who finally gets to retire after 47 years on the job. His slightly odd wife Anita (Audra Lindley) has developed a fondness for pets...alot of pets. In fact, she keeps a zoo-full of cats, dogs, and birds in the house. On top of that, she talks to squirrels and runs an aquarium in the bathtub. Obviously, such an attachment to animals is enough to drive Jonas up the wall! Inevitably, he gets sick and tired of not having enough attention, and he gleefully takes up taxidermy as a hobby. But those poor animals weren't the only living creatures that ended up getting stuffed.
- Great Series Finds It's Footing In A TV/DVD Obsessed World
Yes, It has finally happened: Warner Bros./HBO Productions has announced that a 2-Disc, First Season set of "Tales from the Crypt" will be released on July 12th. The first season consisted of six episodes that fit quite nicely on this set's first disc. They are: "The Man Who Was Death", Dig That cat...He's Real Gone", "All Through The House", "Only Sin Deep", "Lover Come Hack To Me", and "Collection Completed". The second disc will hold bonus features that are rumored to include 2 Featurettes: One on "Tales From Comic Books To Television" and the other on "The First Season's History." Plus a new introduction by "The CryptKeeper"(John Kassir). Now this has not been confirmed, so it's pretty much a rumor but these are the possibilities. So far, there is no cover art or any other materials but stay tuned to tvshowsondvd.com for more news info which should be coming soon! Tales From The Crypt: Season One, July 12th!...more info
- Surprise! It was good!
I am no fan of the horror genre, but this collection of the first season of 'Tales from the Crypt' is likely to surprise even the horror-genre hater. What makes it likable are the ironic twists that happen to the characters towards the end. It is like 'The Twilight Zone', only with more blood and gore. Also, the odd way the stories are filmed and the strange characters that are created will make it hard for someone not to pay attention. ...more info
- LONG LIVE EC COMICS!
OK, I was too young to remember EC comics before narrow-minded nitwits basically ran William Gaines out of business in the 1950's (But he would start Mad Magazine shortly after)but I loved the reprints that came out in the 80's and 90's and this TV show was a welcome surprise. The reason this set is only $18 or so is because the first season had only 6 episodes while season two would have 18 episodes. You start as the camera whizzes through the haunted house and down the stairs to the crypts where the EC mascot the Cryptkeeper pops up with his hideous cackle, voiced magnificently by John kassir.
"The Man Who Was Death" is directed by Walter Hill and is about an Executioner who finds himself out of work when the death penalty is abolished and how he decides to keep his work going.
"And all through the House" is directed by Robert Zemeckis is a horrific Christmas episode which finds Larry Drake playing a homicidal Santa stalking a woman who just killed her husband.
"Dig that Cat he's Real Gone" was directed by Richard Donner. It stars Joe Pantoliano as a bum who becomes the featured star of a sideshow when a mad doctor ala Boris Karloff, gives him a cat gland which allows him to die and come back to life.
"Only Sin Deep" Directed by Howard Deutch. In one of those classic ironic twist stories of EC comics, a prostitute sells her beauty to a pawn shop but then finds herslef getting older and uglier vary rapidly.
"Lover come Back to Me" Directed by Tom Holland. A man marries a woman (Amanda Plummer) for her money but soon finds himself in for more than he bargained for with her family.
"Collection Complete" directed by mary Lambert. A retired salesman is fed up with living with his wife's house full of pets and takes up taxidermy to deal with the animals.
A solid first season with some of the great directors in film chipping in with their own efforts. The Richard Donner episode was a favorite due to its black humor and fine performances. Great to have these on DVD finally!...more info
- Tales from the Crypt is Freaking Awesome
I didn't watch the shows on HBO, but I did catch them late at night on another channel years later in reruns. I loved the crypt keeper and his annoying laugh and humor at the begining of each show. ...more info
- Back in the day....
I watched and recorded EVERY Tales From The Crypt onto vhs. A few years ago I bought a DVD recorder and transferred every episode to disc. Watching all the shows made me realize what a GREAT series TFTC was. I will buy all the new DVD releases of this classic show. Too bad they don't have all the original HBO promo's on them....more info
- EC Comics, the first point of call for Horror
I guess the point of Tales from the crypt was to give the Amazing EC comics the tribute they deserved and bring it to a modern audience. More important than pretty much any other comics in there genre, before Ec comics came along the idea of printing a mans face doused in acid or a severed head on a stick on the front of a book on a newsagents shelf was unheard of and it was this fearless approach to horror that Gaines was famous for. Obviously the treatments of these stories are lovingly done, almost perfect in fact. Dig that cat and all through the house are excellent tributes to great horror stories, it's a shame that the fans favourite ' poetic justice ' wasn't included in this season, in fact i don't remember it being filmed at all for the tv series, which is strange considering that tales Infamy. However tales season 1 is excellent, fantastically restored and a brilliant dvd layout with an even better documenatary on Ec on disc 2. i always take my hats off to shows who stick close to the original source material after all it's that material that made it great in the first place....more info
- Tales from the Crypt
I have written HBO countless e-mails over the years begging for this dvd set. I never received one e-mail response from HBO. Oh, well. I really did not expect one.
This is one of the best horror shows, period. Some of the top horror/adventure writers and directors wrote and directed these episodes. I believe this series ran for seven seasons. This can be intense stuff, not for children because of the nudity, sex, graphic violence, superb gore effects, language, and more. Some of these stories are truly the stuff of nightmares. They will haunt you.
If you have never seen Tales from the Crypt you are in for a treat, if you are a fan of horror. Go to your local book store and pick-up a trade paperback of the old EC comics these stories are based upon to get a feel for the translation from comic book to television show. Wait until you meet the Cryptkeeper, who introduces each episode, for a meeting of the surreal and insane and just plain weird. And, you will see some big name stars come to fantastic demises. Just wait, you'll see.
Now, where are Tales from the Darkside and Friday the 13th the series. These are two more violent horror series from the pre-politically correct present day....more info
- Should Have Been More
Finally, the seasons of Tales From The Crypt are finally on DVD. It's what every fan has been waiting for, the only disappointment I have is that there are only six episodes in this season. They should have combined seasons one and two together like Ren and Stimpy among others have done. The first three "The Man Who Was Death", "And all through the House" and "Dig that Cat he's Real Gone" come on the Scifi Channel all of the time which leaves really only three episode that I haven't seen a thousand times.
Overall, I still recommend getting these, especially if you are a fan of this series, and I am big time. I also plan to get this, these are great episodes. But being a fan, it leaves me wishing there was more, especially since we've been waiting forever for the seasons to finally come out on DVD. At least we get the uncensored version and a few extras. That alone will make it worth the buy. I just hope Season 2 comes out sometime this year, to quench my thirst for this great series, because six episodes is just a glass half full, I want more! I wonder if they will ever release the "Tales from the Cryptkeeper" cartoon series, that was good too. ...more info
- Lights...Camera...Hack-tion! Season 1 of CRYPT Comes to DVD!
Based on stories from the deliciously depraved E.C. horror comics (TALES FROM THE CRYPT, VAULT OF HORROR, HAUNT OF FEAR, etc.) of the 1950s, TALES FROM THE CRYPT was a TV horror anthology that, like most TV anthologies, had a lot of both hits and misses. Originally airing on HBO and then later in syndication, some of the episodes fell short, but when a story was a hit, it was usually dead on (excuse the pun). This DVD features the complete first season of TALES FROM THE CRYPT. The season was sort of a trial run, so it was abbreviated and offered only 6 episodes, but all six are offered here in their original uncut form in syndication, episodes were edited to remove non-cable no-nos like nudity, severe profanity, and sometimes a certain amount of gore).
All 6 episodes from this first season are pretty good, but two of them stand out above the rest:
"And All Through the House," directed by renowned and Oscar-winning (1994's FORREST GUMP) Robert Zemeckis, is definitely the scariest of the six. It's a tense morality play about a disgruntled wife who murders her husband on Christmas Eve, only to then have a madman dressed in Santa garb show up to deliver her just deserts. But not only does it warn that "what goes around, comes around," it also makes a multi-faceted statement about innocence and youth, as it is the murderous woman's little daughter who ultimately lets "Santa" into the house. Larry Drake delivers a delectably deranged performance as the insane Saint Nick. (This has proven to be one of the most enduring stories from the original E.C. Comics series, as it was also previously dramatized in 1972 as one portion of an excellent five-part British flick entitled TALES FROM THE CRYPT. In that version, Joan Collins--DYNASTY's Alexis Carrington Colby--played the part of the homicidal wife.)
"The Man Who Was Death" stars William Sadler--who would later star in the TALES FROM THE CRYPT feature film DEMON KNIGHT (1995)--as an old-fashioned country boy who moved to the big city and ended up being employed as the state's executioner. However, when the death penalty is repealed, he suddenly finds himself without a job, so he decides to go freelance and bring his own "shocking" brand of justice to the murderers who fall through the cracks of the system. His zeal makes him a bit careless, though, and he eventually finds himself in the "hot seat" when the cops are able to trace him down just after the death penalty gets reinstated.
The DVD from Warner Home Video not only offers fairly clean digital transfers of these delightful episodes of this popular show, and it also features a couple of pretty cool extras, the best of which is a featurette that discusses what it took to get TALES FROM THE CRYPT off of the comic pages and onto the small screen.
In short, TALES FROM THE CRYPT--THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON is a must-own for all serious horror fans....more info
- Good Collection
Excellent DVD release; excellent quality, the fact that the introduction theme is skipped in all episodes does not bother me at all. The bonus material is more than great, 56 min documetary about not only how the comics became a TV series, but also about the history of making the comics in the 50's.
I strongly recommend buying this set....more info
- Worth the purchase!
Tales from the Crypt is the ultimate guilty pleasure! The acting and plots are very entertaining...as well as the effects!...more info
- The Best From The Grave
Having enjoyed the original comics from the 50's, it is a real pleasure to see them as short stories. The acting is supurb an truly scary....more info
- Tales from the Crypt!!!
I used to watch this show when I was around 9 years old huddled with my older brother and parents in the middle of the night. It seemed like the middle of the night but in reality it wasn't late at all. Anyway, Tales from the Crypt seemed like a distant memory in my childhood - something that I really really enjoyed watching and missed. I saw a cartoon version on a kids station one day and it was the most horrible thing ever. So, it is about time this DVD has been released! When I watched the old episodes, sure, some parts seemed a little funny (such as the outdated cryptkeeper) but this series was definitely very strong and very good and includes many famous actors of the time. It's about time this was released!...more info
- The First of Many
At first I was a bit hesitant to buy this season first just because there are only 6 episodes in this set. I wanted a set with a whole bunch of episodes to re-introduce myself to Tales, but I bought the first season first anyway, I figured I'd start from the beginning.
Season One offers some really cool "short films" from some of Hollywood's biggest producers (Zemeckis, Hill, and Donner), and their style is felt throughout each episode. My personal favorite in this set is "The Man Who Was Death" which features William Sadler (of Demon Knight). Other highlights include: "And All Through the House," and "Dig That Cat...He's Real Gone."
Not only are most of the episodes really cool, but the packaging is really rad too. My only complaint here is that the Crypt Keeper hadn't found his trademark voice yet...but oh well, there are still some fun episodes in this set....more info
- Good, old, HBO horror series
They really should bring this series back. To those of you who have been living under a rock for the last 16 years, this is basically a very good, revamped-gory version of the twilight zone. Some great short horror stories!
Side note: I still have the old Crypt keeper dolls (still in their boxes) in my closet. I bought them at Spencer's gifts ages ago, maybe someday they will be worth something. ...more info
- Awesome show!
Finally on DVD at long last!!! the long awaited DVD of the first season of the legendary HBO series "Tales from The Crypt" which is inspired by the popular controversial 50's horror comic books "Tales from The Crypt" and "The Vault of Horror" with the "Crypt Keeper" ( voiced by John Kassir) who hosts every episode's literally ghoulish stories of horror, murder, lust, monsters and somethings that aren't meant to be secrets, the show is produced by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale ( Of "Back to the Future" and "Forrest Gump" fame and the director of "Superman" and "Lethal Weapon" Richard Donner.
This 2-Disc set contains the first season that had only 6 episodes which include " The Man who was Death" about a former prison executioner who gets a big job in the city as a electrician but then goes insane as he begins to execute people as he originally did back in prison, then with "All through the House" has a woman that murdered her husband on Christmas Eve is being stalked by a psychopath in a Santa Claus outfit ( ala, Silent Night Deadly Night), next is "Dig that Cat...he's really gone" has a man that has gone under a special experiment with a feline gland to live through 9 lives without dying as he becomes a main attraction for a carnival, next " Only Sin Deep" has a callgirl who is need money sells her beauty but her face suddenly changes old, " Lover come hack to me" is about newlyweds to have a honeymoon in a abanoned house as he is really after her money until he finally sees a dark secret about her family's past and last but not least, "Collection Complete" has a retired tool saleman living at home with his wife who takes in animals but he suddenly gets jealous as he makes a new hobby of taxidermy.
There is great performances and direction in this first season with directors like Tom Holland ("Child's Play" and "Fright Night"), Richard Donner, and Walter Hill ("The Warriors") with an all star cast like William Sadler, Larry Drake ( "Dr.Giggles"), Robert Wuhl ( "Arliss" and "Batman 1989"), Lea Thompson, Richard Eden, Amanda Plummer, and M. Emmet Walsh ( "Blade Runner", "Critters") shine in the terrific first season.
This DVD has quality remastering on each episode with good sound and a nice extras disc that has two featurettes on the history of the show and one on the history of the infamous EC comic books that made them famous.
Most recommended!...more info
- Very funny,but highly entertaining
I thought it was an interesting and entertaining tv show. However,The Crpytkeeper did a music video which was very funny.
- macabre humor at its finest..
if you like your humor dark (or your horror light)..then this show is specially made for you. Produced by several Hollywood A-list filmmakers and starring well-known actors this series was a real treat when it aired during the early to mid '90's....more info
- Worth buying for the E.C. history lesson.
The second disc of season one has a very well done piece on the historTales from the Crypt - The Complete First Seasony of E.C. If I taught high school or college history this is something I would show the class. Very educational and entertaining.
It's hard to believe that in today's anything goes world of entertainment that the U.S. government went after and destroyed certain comic book titles in the early 50s. This changed the course of comic book history and led to decades of some really silly comic book covers, characters and stories. ...more info
- Bad Security Sticker Placement, Incomplete Episodes
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I've been eagerly waiting for this series to come to DVD in season sets. Unfortunately, there were a few bad decisions that kinda ruins this set for me.
(1) Who's brilliant idea was it to put the security sticker BEHIND the plastic disc holder and right on top of a photo printed on paperboard? Not only was it hard to get off without breaking the case, but the sticker glue ripped off part of the photo.
(2) Each episode is INCOMPLETE, as each episode does not have it's own series intro/title sequence (which featured the journey through the house accompanied by the Danny Elfman theme). They had only one intro/title sequence for all six episodes (at the start of the disc), and they even ruined that with a "Kill Intro" graphic overlay and having it go right into the menu (technically that intro is part of the menu). There is plenty of room for each episode to have it's own intro/title, as they didn't have to cram all six episodes onto Disc 1. They could have put episodes 1-4 on Disc 1, and episodes 4 & 5 on Disc 2, along with the two Disc 2 bonus features (which only total an hour or so).
If you're curious as to why the episodes on Seasons 1 and 2 are missing the title sequence, read this TVShowsOnDVD-DOT-com article.
Tales from the Crypt - Missing intro - Studio Explains
Posted by Gord Lacey (8/27/2005)
Some fans were upset with the first season release of Tales from the Crypt because the episodes didn't feature the standard intro to the series; a journey into the creepy house, down the stairs and then an encounter with the Crypt Keeper.
I called Warner Bros to ask about season 2, and whether we'll see the intro returned to the episodes. The second season will not have the intro, so I asked why. The removal of the intro was a specific request from the producers of the series for the season 1 set. Warner went back and asked about season 2, and the producers still wish to have it removed; no further explanation could be obtained.
The intro isn't missing from the set completely; it's featured in the menu for the disc. The intro is the same for each episode as well.
What the hell were the producers thinking! Why on Earth would they make such an odd request? What benefit could they have from not having the intro at the start of each episode? The same theme and almost all of the same footage appears under the end credits, so it can't be because they don't want to pay Danny Elfman for his theme music.
The series of videotapes released by HBO Home Video and Time-Life in the mid-1990s, featured an intro/title sequence on EACH of the three episodes contained on each tape. If it was done before, there's no reason it can't be done now.
Thankfully, enough fans complained to Warner Bros. to make the producers see the error of their ways. These two problems are now only resigned to Season 1 and Season 2. For Season 3 and onward the crappy Digipak packaging was replaced with slim cases in an outer sleeve, and each episode has its own series intro/title sequence - though it's missing the first two seconds showing the text "Home Box Office Presents" (white text on a black screen) over the low whisperings of the theme song....more info
- An Awesome Season!!!
This is an awesome season with some great episodes! I was too young to see this show when I was little. (There was an episode that I saw as a kid that was in my head for years, and I finally found it 2 years ago in a later season, so we'll cross that bridge when we come to it) During this season an executioner carries out his job after being fired, Santa Claus tries to kill a woman, a man has the 9 lives of a cat, smokin' hot Lea Thompson sells her beauty and becomes ugly and much more! My 2 favorite episodes are And All Through the House, and Only Sin Deep! Join the Crypt Keeper for some classic horror tales! I highly recommend TALES FROM THE CRYPT: THE COMPLETE 1ST SEASON!!!...more info
- I pray that this is well received.
If your looking at this then you probably already know about Tales From the Crypt, so I don't really need to explain the show or why it's great. This is so awesome that they are releasing it on DVD and LONG overdue. I hope that it is well received by the public so that other seasons will also see DVD status....more info
- NOW WE GOT IT!
We've been waiting for it for so many years and now it's out on DVD. One of the best tv-shows ever and I mean not just among horror films. Every story is unique and brilliant. It's scary and funny at the same time but funny to the exact extent when it doesn't look like parody. I guess every gorehound on our planet has already ordered the first season, pre-ordered the second and anxiously awaits the third one. Even if you've never heard of "Tales from the Crypt" (which is dubious) and you don't like horror movies very much, just buy it no matter what - I guarantee you'll get lots of fun and pleasure watching this.
The only negative aspect about the first season - it's so short... ...more info
- The Crypt Keeper's Back....
All 6 episodes of the rather short first season of HBO's popular horror anthology series are presented here in what looks to be a pretty solid 2-disc set. The zany and wickedly entertaining horror show ran for seven ghoulishly frightening seasons on HBO and received much acclaim for its originality and great production values. The stories included in this collection are definitely among the series best, and include: The Man Who Was Death(4/5),And All Through The House(5/5;probably my favorite of the season!), Dig that Cat...He's Real Gone(4/5), Only Sin Deep(4/5), Lover Come Hack to Me(5/5), Collection Completed(4.5/5). Over the course of the series' seven-year run, it featured high-profile guest stars and big-shot directors. The bonus features announced for this set include 2 featurettes and an all-new introduction by the Crypt Keeper himself! It looks like Warner Bros. has put together a nice release for the chilling first season of Tales From the Crypt. Look out for the DVD release of the second season, it has been announced for an October 25th release date.. just in time for Halloween!...more info