Tales from the Crypt (1989) s01e01 Episode Script

The Man Who Was Death

Poor little fellas.
When I think of their childhood all those cute little maggots.
Our story is about a man with nobler ambitions.
He likes to kill human pests and he does it in front of an audience.
Now, that's entertainment.
So hang on to your hats, kiddies.
This one's a real shocker.
This here is Charlie Ledbetter sitting in his cell out at the state penitentiary.
It's long about midnight.
Charlie's going to die in a few minutes.
One thing Mr.
Ledbetter ain't thinking about is Joe Saylor, his old boss.
One day, Charlie had a half pint of vodka for lunch he got to thinking about how they turned him down for that raise.
He felt real bad about that, old Charlie did.
He'd been working there for seven years, and didn't have much to show for it.
So he went down and got his cold blue.
44 out of the glove box of his Chevy and took it up to Mr.
Saylor's office.
Two slugs went into Saylor three went wild last one went through a glass wall into a secretary who was passing by.
Got her right behind the ear.
Killed her big as hell.
Kind of a lucky shot, really.
About the only kind of luck Charlie Ledbetter ever had.
I guess right now Charlie Ledbetter's starting to think pretty serious about that Valley of Death.
He's thinking about that rubber diaper they gave him to wear.
Wondering if he'll crap all over himself when I juice him in a couple of minutes.
It ain't right.
He will.
It ain't right.
First thing you got to understand is when it's their time, all these big tough guys go yellow.
Crying, hollering, screaming and blubbering, "The Governor is gonna call,"and all that.
I been here 12 years, and the Governor ain't called yet.
People say the damnedest things about electrocutions.
They say your eyeballs pop out and black blood comes out your mouth.
They say you get all foamy like a rabid dog.
All that's bullshit.
It ain't true at all.
Nice thing about electricity is it's clean.
Of course, I have seen a few heads smoke after it's all over.
A smoking head ain't very pretty.
Just wait a minute! He's going to call! The Governor's going to call! He's going to give me a stay! Yes, he will.
No! He's got to! Knock it off, Charlie.
Quit being so damn chickenshit.
You killed somebody.
Now you're going to do the hot squat.
It all evens out, don't it, baby? Why are you doing this? People tell me most executioners never look the prisoners in the eye afraid they're gonna get spooked or something.
Not me.
I always look.
Okay, Mr.
You're all ready for your regulation two jolts the state requires.
I think we should proceed now.
There's been no word from the Governor.
Yes, sir.
We're all set.
Let us pray.
"As I enter here "with a sense of my own unworthiness, O Lord Jesus Christ "of my own ugliness "may the blessings of God in unmixed joy " No! It's not right! "Unworthy though I be, may my entry be blessed by you who are holy "you who are merciful, you who abide " They say the electric current's so fast that the brain gets cooked just as soon as the switch is thrown the prisoner never feels a thing.
I'd hate to think that was true.
I'm a country boy, but I like the city.
It's big.
It's dirty.
Lets you know what it really is.
But at night, there's all those lights.
It's real pretty, isn't it? My name is Niles Talbot.
I've been the executioner in this state for the last 12 years.
When I got here from Oklahoma, I caught on as an electrician then after a while I got a job out to the prison taking care of the generators.
I like electricity.
It's dependable.
You can trust it.
A lot of states do it with gas or with some lethal injection.
I don't take to that.
That's how you kill a dog or cat or something, not a man.
It's got to be the old electric chair for me.
special agents called Coyote Busters.
The effort, which often includes agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI and other Yeah? Cheese sandwich and a cup of coffee, black.
Elsewhere today, the legislature's prepared to vote whether or not to rescind the death penalty in this state only a few hours after the execution of Charles Ledbetter.
Opponents claim the death penalty is an effective deterrent against violent crime and its abolition will only push the crime rate higher and produce more overcrowding in our prisons.
Many also claim that execution is still murder in the eyes of God.
I'm terribly sorry, Niles.
It wasn't your fault.
Nothing you could do.
I've got to admit, the damn thing caught me by surprise.
If you like, I can write you a letter of recommendation.
I was hoping I'd get my old job back.
You still need somebody to look after the generators at the powerhouse.
We already have someone for that, Niles.
You remember, you trained them.
I've been working here a lot of years.
Two in the electric shop, another 12 throwing the switch for the state.
Don't seniority count for something? It's not that, Niles.
It's just that we thought it wouldn't be good to have you around the prisoners.
They all know what you did.
They all know you were the man who - It could get pretty ugly.
- It's nothing I can't handle.
Somebody gets out of line, I can take care of myself.
I can't let it come to that, Niles.
I'm sure if you think about it, you'll understand.
Yeah, I understand.
I guess this ain't the kind of work they give you a gold watch for, is it? One thing a man needs is a friend someone to talk to when you're feeling down and out.
I suppose that's why they invented bars.
You can nurse a drink, think things over have a little chat.
All of a sudden, things ain't as bad as they seem.
Most barroom conversations is either about baseball, football, boxing, or pussy.
But with me, it's different.
People usually want to talk to me about my job.
I guess I ought to say my ex-job.
This one's on me, Mr.
It's goddamn criminal.
I can't believe those chickenshit politicians really did it.
After all those years of service they canned you like you were some fucking guinea off the boat.
I hate to see talent go to waste.
It's a fucking shame.
Thank you, Vic.
You're a real buddy.
They're doing lots of shows on TV about the whole thing.
TV people don't know nothing.
They want to do something good, what they really ought to do is put a lot of little TVs in all the cells of all the prisons, you know, closed circuit so that all the guys who are locked up can watch their buddy when he gets cooked.
- That might be a real education.
- I'd watch it.
There was this editorial on TV and the commentator was saying how if they televised executions the whole county would just stop the death penalty.
They'd be too sick and wouldn't let it happen again.
Fucking guys on TV, what do they know? Let me tell you something.
If they put executions on TV it would be the fucking highest-rated show of all time.
It'd be Neilsens through the roof.
The other networks would start killing people just to compete.
Pretty soon, Geraldo Rivera would be pulling that switch.
It's all a big food chain.
We eat shit, and shit eats us.
They canned me from my job because they're afraid of me.
They're afraid of death.
They don't see it's all around them.
It's a disease.
You eat it, you drink it, you breathe it, you fuck it.
We're all pregnant with it.
It's growing inside all of us like them over there.
You see those two junkies? Pitiful bastards, ain't they? I'll tell you something, though.
In a way, I respect them.
They're honest.
They spend all their money just to shoot a little death into their arms.
Just for a thrill.
Just to get a little taste of the grave.
See, they know death is coming.
They tease it.
I like that.
Of course, at the same time, junkies are shit.
Two-bit criminals.
Upon examination of sworn testimony it would appear that the state has a strong case for the prosecution of James Flood for the crime of murder.
However, having reviewed the District Attorney's case I find that the warrant for arrest has been improperly worded.
I'm afraid I must rule that there are no grounds on which to prosecute James Flood.
Flood, you are free to leave.
Yeah! Your honor, I object.
This is a travesty of justice.
Because of a simple clerical error, you're letting this man go free.
Order in the court.
This case is dismissed.
I would like to petition immediately to the Appellate Court for a review.
Order in this court! You son of a bitch, you killed my brother! Get off my back, will you? - Your brother was a fag! - And you're a murderer! You're a murderer! Murderer! I got nothing special against bikers.
Hell, I used to own a hog myself once upon a time.
Bikers believe in freedom.
They don't want nobody to lean on them and they don't give a good goddamn what polite society thinks of them.
They figure they're throwbacks to real Americans.
You know, what the country was about before it all went to hell with big-city lawyers and computers corporations and time clocks and what all.
There's a lot to be said for that.
Those ain't bad ideas.
But this biker, Jimmy Flood now he went way out of line and he ought to pay.
Authorities believe a short circuit may have been responsible for the freak accident which claimed the life of alleged murderer Jimmy Flood.
Flood, often characterized in the press as a motorcycle hoodlum based on his lifestyle and Can you believe that? And some people say there's no God.
Sure, there's a God.
No doubt about it.
Problem is he spends too much time making assholes like that biker.
I know what you mean, he looks like a real creep to me.
You know how on TV they get these experts? You know, the ACLU types? They're always saying: "It's only the minorities that get the chair.
" Did you ever notice that? They're all pretty dark when I get done with them, Vic.
Will the defendants please rise? Will the jury foreman please read the verdict? In the charge of first-degree murder we find the defendants Cynthia Baldwin and Theodore Carne not guilty.
The defendants have been found innocent of all charges and are free to resume their private lives.
This court is adjourned.
- No.
- I am very happy for you.
- It's over.
- Thank God.
This fellow Carne decides to unload his wife in favor of this little hotski that he had on the side but his old lady had all the loot in her name, so he figured that divorce wasn't quite good enough.
I know where his head is at.
We all do.
Right down between his legs.
You know, I got to say this for old Carne.
If you're gonna do it, make sure she's worth doing it for.
And this girl of his is awful pretty.
Of course, everybody knows that beauty is only skin deep.
Looks just don't last.
My God.
- Who are you? - Look I have $200 in my wallet.
It's in my pants in the other room.
I have some money in my purse.
Please, take it, just don't hurt us.
Keep it.
I ain't here for your money.
I don't get it.
What do you want? I find you both guilty of the murder of your former wife, Mr.
Were you a friend of hers? Who are you? And I sentence you to death.
That sentence to be carried out immediately.
- Wait a minute.
- Yeah.
It was all Ted's idea.
- I didn't know he'd really go - Shut up! You've got to believe me.
No, wait! I never had no problem with women.
If I wanted one, I just went out and got her.
Easy, peasy, Japanese.
All right! Give me a beer, honey.
They just want you to love them, is all.
That's all they ever want.
They get that from their mamas.
From all the trashy magazines they read.
It's easy to be successful with dames.
Just don't fall in love and you're okay.
You give them what they want, you fall in love they will kill you.
They can't stand you no more they either dump you and move on or if they let you hang around, they'll cut your balls off.
Weird, ain't it? Now, as far as strategies for getting into their panties that's easy, too.
The old rule you treat whores like queens and queens like whores then you got no problem.
They're on their back faster than you can say "Son of Sam.
" Look at those honeys.
Look there, you got the queen bitch herself.
Yes, sir.
I got just what the doctor ordered for you.
You might have fooled that jury, but you didn't fool me none.
I wonder how you're going to dance when I put 10,000 volts through your ass.
Oh, man! Couple of minutes, we'll have ourselves one dead little go-go dancer.
Well, honey, it's your time.
What the goddamn hell is going on here? Mr.
Talbot, you are under arrest.
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
I've got some good news for you, Mr.
Since you are a staunch supporter of capital punishment you'll be glad that the state legislature has just reinstated the death penalty and guess who's not pulling the switch this time? Yeah! Did he call? Did the Governor call yet? Listen, if you just delay this thing a couple of minutes That's all I'm asking for, just a few damn minutes.
Come on, I'm not like the other ones.
You know me.
You all know me! I used to work here, for Christ's sake.
Come on, I am telling you, the Governor's going to call.
He knows what I've done for him.
He knows about all the rats and crumbs that I took care of.
All the shit they want me to get rid of! You've gotta let me go, you sons of bitches! That phone is going to ring! I'm telling you, he's going to call.
He's gonna call.
He knows.
When he does, if you juice me before he fucking calls you're all going to get canned! You hear me? You shitheels! I didn't do nothing that you didn't want! I didn't do nothing you didn't go along with! All I did was something you were too chickenshit to do yourselves! You miserable chickenshit bastards! Chickenshit fuckers! You can't do this to me! Let me out of here! Niles, I'm terribly sorry it's come to this.
It's my job.
That's why I did it, because it's my job.
If a man ain't good at his job then what the hell's he good for? What's anything good for? I didn't want no haircut.
They said that was a mistake 'cause my head might catch on fire from the electricity when they juice me.
I told them, don't worry, the Governor's going to call.
God! What a revolting development.
And what a switch for poor Talbot.
It just goes to show you what happens when you get too caught up in your work.
Don't worry, though.
I'm sure he never knew "watt" hit him.
So remember, boys and girls safety first.
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