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| Classic Lines | The Crypt Keeper | Formats | Interviews | Notes | Pictures | Quotes | Summary - Official | My Summary | My Review


Character Actor
Donald Longtooth Malcolm McDowell
Manager George Wendt
Van Helsing Michael Berryman
Stacey Sandra Searles Dickinson
Old Lady Gloria Dawson
Leopold Himself
Crypt Keeper John Kassir

Directed by Elliot Silverstein
Written by Terry Black

Classic Lines

"Have you had any dental work in the last 72 hours?"
"In the mouth, over the fangs, away with the hunger pangs!"

The Crypt Keeper

Intro - reading from "Vampirism Made Easy"

"I want to suck your blood...I want to suck YOUR blood. I want to suck...Hello kiddies! You caught me in the middle of my homework. Your old pal the Crypt Keeper is a real believer in continuing deaducation. Which brings us to tonight's murderous morsel. Its a juicy little tale about a real blood sucker who never learned to go for the jugular. I call it this plasma play "The Reluctant Vampire."


Ah, it's good to see two lovers so batty about each other. Now there's a relationship you can sink your teeth in. As for me I have to get back to work. Exams you know. I hear the finals are a real pain in the neck. Not that I'm worried or anything. So far all my marks have been perfect.


Features three episodes - Death of Some Salesman, The Reluctant Vampire + Loved to Death
HBO Video - Hi Fi Dolby Stereo, not rated


I met Michael Berryman in NJ on 10/27/02 and he was one of the nicest people I've ever met and very generous with his time.

Q: How was the experience for you working on the show and with Malcolm?

A: Tales from the Crypt was a great show to work on, I had a blast. Malcolm is incredible. I was incredibly impressed with his presence, the guy is just awesome. 

Q: The only story he has ever told was he had a 104 fever the whole time and he doesn't really remember much about it.

A: Oh, wow. Well, his performance was wonderful....I'm playing it in my head right now. He was a reluctant vampire and I remember when he goes to kill George Wendt he's jumping on the guys chest gleefully and I mean George is really hurting him. There was a scene where we had the butler bed come out of the wall and the director was complaining because he was kind of rushing it. They were checking the hydraulics and it was coming down kind of herky jerky because parts of the ramp were touching the wall. The director was really getting miffed and said, "Just throw the lever all the way!" The carpenter is trying to explain, "Look I have to do this, I need a little more time." "Look, I'm the director, do as I say." He goes "all right" and he threw the lever all the way and the door went WHAM and it missed the directors' foot by about an inch - it would've removed his foot. The director goes, "I'm gonna let you do your job" and he walked away. It was an interesting shoot. I had a lot of fun with it.

Q: It was a great role for you because you got to play the good guy.

A: Yeah, exactly. I had a nice opportunity like that when I got to do the X-Files and I played a guardian angel instead of a bad guy. I was very pleased with the way everything came together.

Q: Any other stories from the set?

A: Yeah, the director asked me to say a line like 21 times and finally he said, "I did the best I could. I tried every trick in the book to get you to say it the way I wanted." I looked at George Wendt who was laying in the coffin and he just mouth behind the director's back (what a fucking asshole). I go to George, "Am I a moron or was I just not doing it the way he wanted it?" He goes, "No, no. It was just his day to pick on you. You did it fine (laughs)."

Q: How long was the shoot?

A: I worked only two days on it.

Q: That's really fast.

A: Oh, yeah. Television usually goes fast.

Q: Everything was scripted out and straight forward?

A: Yeah, it was pretty easy and it moved right along.

Q: The big line was "Have you had any dental work in the last 72 hours?"

A: I thought that was kind of cute. It was actually very cute (laughs). I remember that scene.

Q: Was that an ad lib?

A: I don't recall, but I think it was in there. It is usually pretty letter perfect scripted wise as far as Malcolm lines. I liked the love interest, the girl, when she asks him at the end if it is okay if he would bite her. He seemed kind of intrigued like, "This gal is OK". It was very good, I was very impressed.



All links open to a new page, then open from there.

VHS Cover - Front
VHS Cover - Back
Reluctant Vampire Comic
Longtooth going to bite the manager
Longtooth has his evening breakfast


"It was charming in its own little way and I'm pleased to hear that it's popular with people. But I'll tell you my memories of it. I was in Italy, and they called me to do it, I said I didn't really want to leave Italy, where I was living at that time. My agent said, 'It's a real hip thing to do.' So, I flew back, went from the airport right into it, so they could do the makeup special FX, and I got the flu. I had a temperature of 104 for practically the whole time, and I barely remember shooting it. I would walk to the set shivering, get it together for each take, then trudge back to my trailer, just dying." - Starlog 4/95

Summary - Official

In this anthology series, the legendary 1950's comic book rises from the dead as one of the most innovative, terrifying and frightfully funny horror shows on television. Each bone chilling adventure features a star-studded cast and is hosted by its slightly decaying master of ceremonies, the Crypt Keeper. Donald (Malcolm McDowell) is living the vampire dream - as night watchman in a blood bank. But he really shouldn't drink on the job. Now the company needs a massive transfusion. Good thing Donald knows how to suck up to the "donors." As he finds out, sometimes you have to bite a few necks to save your own. Also starring George Wendt.

My Summary

    The alarm clock goes off and a hand appears from the retractable coffin and turns it off. He wakes up exclaiming, "I hate Mondays." As he goes to his refrigerator for the first glass of blood for the day,  he hears Van Helsing on the radio talking about vampires. He is Donald Longtooth and he lives alone in his basement with a rat named Leopold, his only companion. 
     Later at the Sunnyside Memorial Blood Bank" where Donald works as the night watchman, Stacey the secretary is told by the manager that she will be fired because of the blood shortage. She vows to get to the bottom of it, which is exactly what he wants, to get to her bottom. Longtooth steps in to stop him and he warns him that his job is also on the line since he's just the night watchman. Stacey tells him that he was brave to step in. 
     "Nobody ever called me that before," he tells her. 
     She tells him she finds brave men sexy and starts to come on to him. He begins to get excited which means his fangs start to show. He is forced to turn away and hide his teeth. He claims it's a toothache and he has to get to his guarding and blows her off. He wants to stay, but doesn't, instead heading right for the blood vault. "In the mouth, over the fangs, away with the hunger pangs!", he excited sings as he helps himself to a fresh batch of blood with Leopold.
     The next night the manager tells everyone that they are going to be let go at the end of the month because of the shortages. Stacey needs the job and she can't live without it, so Donald comes up with a plan. He goes out and find a mugger and drains him of his blood into a water cooler jar. But first he asks him about his health, if he has any blood transmittable diseases and if he's had any dental work in the last 72 hours. Soon after he is killing every night and the bank is back in business. 
     The police are baffled by the murders and it's Van Helsing's turn to step in. He tells the police lieutenant that because the victims were drained completely of blood that the vampire must be over 300 pounds. He also tells them that the one hole in the neck means the vampire has a chipped tooth. Longtooth goes home to celebrate a job well done, but the manager has followed him home. He set a trap up with the shortages to bring Longtooth into the open. Armed with two holy water filled water guns, he convinces Longtooth to kill for him. Stacey has also followed him and steps in between and agrees to go with the manager if he doesn't hurt Longtooth. Longtooth goes to show him his coffin by dropping it on his head, knocking him out. He is about to drink his blood when Van Helsing and the police show up because he found out that a large amount of Transylvanian dirt has been moved to this address. Longtooth puts the manager into the coffin and puts it back in the wall as they hide. Van Helsing lowers the coffin from the wall and stabs the manager through the heart with his cane before the police can stop him. Since they believe there is no more vampire, they all leave. 
     Stacey tells Longtooth she has known he was a vampire for years and finds that sexy. "I have always wanted to be a creature of the night," she tells him. "Really? Have you had any dental work in the last 72 hours?", he asks before he bites her and they live immortally ever after.

My Review

    Malcolm as a vampire, what more do you want? Actually this episode of HBO's "Tales from the Crypt" is a mini-classic. Malcolm is great as the cowardly vampire. To look young for the role he wears a black wig with a little ponytail. He plays the role crazily and has fun with it. It is also fun to Michael Berryman in a rare good guy role. Half hour anthology TV at it's finest.

Rating: 9.5/10

This page 1998-08 Alex D. Thrawn for www.MalcolmMcDowell.net