Season 2 | Episode 8 | Originally Aired May 22, 1990
Written & Directed by Jeffrey Price; co-written by Peter S. Seaman
Man, I love a weird episode that goes deep into Bonker Town. And “For Cryin’ Out Loud” does not disappoint as it combines shock, rock, and morality into one colorful, LOUD story.
Let’s have at it.
Our dearly deceased Crypt Keeper introduces us to tonight’s tale wearing the finest “shock star” duds, complete with a blonde hair metal wig and a Marty Slash t-shirt—more on this in a moment…
…And that moment is now! The story actually opens on a man—Marty Slash (Lee Arenberg, Pirates of the Caribbean, Seinfeld)—walking death row, approaching the execution room. He excitedly pleads to “hurry it up” and straps himself into the hot seat, all while happily rambling on and on. To who exactly? More on this in a moment… (for real this time).
Once the guard finally flips the electric switch, Marty fries and dies, leaving a smile on his strung out face. We close in on his ear.
But that’s where our story ends. Let’s skip back two years to Marty alive and well and visiting his doctor. Marty complains about a noise he’s hearing—it’s like a muffled voice or scream. While the doc can’t find anything specifically wrong, he does lecture Marty on the damage he’s done to his ears—from being in the music business.
The doctor gives Marty some salve and ear plugs, and casually tells him to get out of the business.
Later, at a “Save the Amazon” benefit concert, Iggy Pop amazingly rants about “fucking trees” and “fucking air.” Marty then takes the stage and thanks the audience for their support before bringing a dude dressed as an Amazon native out to accept the big faux check for one million dollars.
As Marty assures that the money will go where it belongs, a woman (Katey Sagal) watches from the crowd.
Marty leaves and pays off the fake Amazon chief backstage. Yep, you guessed it—the charity dough is all going to Marty’s own “retirement fund.”
Back in his office, as he preps for his getaway, Marty hears a clear voice—the shrill sounds of Sam Kinison—say “don’t touch that money.” It’s Marty’s conscience.
Marty tries to shrug it off as some sort of weird auditory joke, but those thoughts melt away as the voice persists. It’s taken 38 years to reach Marty, so now it’s loud, proud, and not afraid to scream into Marty’s mushy brain.
Ignoring it, Marty begins to pack the money away into a suitcase. “But this is a felony…” the voice continues.
In an attempt to reason with the voice and his own feelings of light guilt, Marty tries to argue that he’s never had anything to show for his miserable little life. It’s a pity party and Marty’s the only attending guest.
Meanwhile, outside the club, a cop shows up looking for our man Marty.
There’s a knock on Marty’s office door, but it’s not the cop (yet). Instead, it’s a sexy Miss Sagal looking for “the man who saved the Amazon.” You buying this?
While she tries to seduce Marty, his conscience is unrelenting and warns Marty about the lady’s intentions. With that, Marty slaps his own ear in an attempt to shush the voice.
Sagal’s temptress doesn’t flinch and suggests they skip the foreplay. But first, there’s a small matter to negotiate. Ah, there it is. It seems the woman is actually Marty’s bank teller, Ms. Kilbasser.
While Marty’s overlooked her all this time, she’s certainly kept her nose in his books—and knows exactly what he’s up to with the Amazon fundraising money.
Before Marty skips town, Kilbasser wants half of the loot. He tries to laugh it off, but the woman is dead serious. She could blow the whistle at any minute, sending him straight to jail. So, in the end, Marty kinda-sorta agrees to the deal and tells her to count her share out of the stack. All to the dismay of his newfound conscience.
While Ms. Kilbasser divvies up the cash, Marty steps back, pulls the office curtains closed, picks up a guitar—that Pete Townshend gave him—and bashes the lady over the head with it.
While the voice in his head gets angrier, Marty stuffs Kilbasser’s dead body into a drum cajón. And then there’s another knock on the office door.
This time it is the cop. He tells Marty that the neighbors are complaining about the club noise—which is weird because concerts, are, well.. loud.. and why would you move next door to a concert and not expect a ruckus? But I digress…. As Freudian slips go, Marty doesn’t hold back and blurts out “I killed my banker.”
Thankfully for Marty, he recovers from the accidental confession and calls the stage manager to turn down the volume.
At this time, an ear plug forcefully shoots out of Marty’s ear and hits the police officer. There’s a brief moment of tension when the cop eyes the cajón suspiciously, but the moment passes and the cop leaves.
When he’s alone again, Marty makes a few gag-inducing attempts at muffling his conscience’s screams, including: pouring an excessive amount of the salve into his ear; sticking (and breaking) extra-long Q-tips down the hole; and then (only) eyeing a sharpened pencil. EEK!
But Marty remembers he has a plane to catch and he needs to hustle and bustle his way out of the club. Like a crazy man, Marty pushes his way through the crowds talking to himself—or, you know, his conscience. Kinison’s shrill voice warns Marty that the concertgoers are starting to hear the voice, too.
Marty spots the cop lingering around and heads to the bathroom. Just as quickly as Marty enters, everyone else leaves – horrified at something. “Why is everyone looking at you?!” the voice screams.
At this point, Marty is freaking the hell out and starts to believe the voice in his ear. Can everyone actually hear what he hears? In a last ditch effort, Marty orders the concert volume to be pumped up in order to drown out his loudmouth conscience.
Of course, this does nothing.
Reaching his breaking point, Marty heads backstage and literally starts banging his head against the wall. But with the music louder, the cop takes notice and pulls the plug on the noise altogether. What’s left is Marty’s lone voice, shouting “I KILLED MY BANKER!”
Yep, Marty just confessed to the whole shebang in front of the entire crowd of concertgoers—and the police officer. And Marty’s conscience is pleased. “Doesn’t it feel good to get it off your chest?”
But wait a minute… why was everyone gawking at Marty during his trek through the club? At this moment, the camera angles itself nicely to reveal a full frontal view of Marty’s head, and—BOOM—there’s a broken, bloody Q-tip swab sticking out of his ear. Whoops.
Flash-forward to the beginning of the episode where an imprisoned Marty gleefully preps for death by electrocution, and his conscience keeps pestering, “What’s the hurry, Marty?”
Crypt Keeper Sign Off
“As for Marty, he was right about that noise in his head. He probably wished he was deaf, but he got death instead. Well, until next time, fright fans, ears looking at you!”
“For Cryin’ Out Loud” is good, ghoulish fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it allows the antics to flow freely. This is how a Tales from the Crypt episode should be, you know? It’s high energy, LOUD, and sports a fun bit with Iggy Pop in some awesomely unbuttoned jeans. Really, what more can one ask for?
Fun fact: While this is the one and only director credit for Jeffrey Price, the man wrote the screenplay for Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. And for some reason, this makes total sense. After all, “For Cryin’ Out Loud” is also one big twisted cartoon.
“It’s the fucking trees that make the fucking air.” – Iggy Pop
“Donny Osmond. Now him I like.” – Cop
To check out all of my Tales from the Crypt recaps, go here!
Just watched this episode for the first in 25 years. A real standout for this season!