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'Tales from the Crypt' nostalgia recap: He was really ax-ing for it

Season 1 | Episode 5 | “Lover Come Hack to Me” | Aired June 21, 1989

Tales from the Crypt shows a little skin—and bones and blood—this week, as one couple’s wedding night takes an unexpected turn. Tom Holland (Child’s Play and Fright Night ’85, a personal fave) directs, telling a story involving everyone’s favorite topics: sex, money, and girl power.

Tales from the Crypt - Lover Come Hack to Me

Newlyweds Peggy (Amanda Plummer, Pulp Fiction) and Charles (Stephen Shellen, La Femme Nikita) are ready to jump-start their moneymoon—er, I mean, honeymoon. But timid Peggy just recently inherited a crazy amount of money, so her Aunt Edith (Lisa Figus) is suspect about Charles’s intentions (rightfully so).

After driving in the rain à la Brad and Janet, our couple hits a roadblock in a fallen tree. Fumbling around, Peggy finds a gun in the car’s glove compartment. Charles plays it off as being a gift from her dear Auntie, then proceeds to get out of the car to examine the tree situation.

While Peggy and Charles appear to be stuck for the night, beyond the road is a mansion—again, just like Brad and Janet! Their car key goes missing—and the couple quips back and forth before heading out to inspect the vacant house.

Luckily, Peggy does find a house key and the two head into their abode for the night—but not before Peggy insists that Charles carry her over the threshold.

To no one’s surprise, the home’s phone lines are dead—so the newlyweds go off exploring. Peggy gasps as she sees a large, not-your-typical-lumberjacking ax hanging above a fireplace. And speaking of the fireplace, it appears as though someone prearranged some firewood for them. Things are beginning to look a little suspicious. Okay, they were always a little questionable.

Charles lights the fire and tells Peggy to take off her wet clothes. “After all, we’re married now,” he urges. She’s physically nervous and leaves the room to get their overnight bags. From a distance, Peggy watches Charles undress, baring all. And let’s be frank: He’s the embodiment of a late-’80s/early-’90s D-bag.

Tales from the Crypt - Lover Come Hack to Me

Peggy reenters the room and begins to uncomfortably get naked. She confesses her fears: He’s not really attracted to her, he only married her for the money, etc. Yes and yes—but Charles denies the accusations and continues to prime her for their impending hookup.

The time has come, and Charles carries Peggy to the couch, but she insists the night be perfect. This girl needs a bed.

They find a nice room with dozens of unlit candles—it screams romance and fire hazard, but whatever. Charles is to light candles while Peggy slips off to get into something more comfortable.

By this time, Charles is ready to just get it over with. And we’re not only talking about the consummation, but also his real objective: to kill his new wife. Ahem, he holds the gun.

At this moment, Peggy reveals herself … a lot of herself. What was once a shy, mousey girl is now a red-lipped, thigh-high-adorned woman. Charles is baffled—and totally turned on by Peggy’s new, sexified look.

And the lovemaking ensues. The sounds of moaning and a clock ticking take over and climax in a bell-tolling, glass-shattering moment. Literally, the clock’s glass face breaks.

While lying in bed, Peggy tells Charles what any man would want to hear post-coitus: They made a child, a baby girl. Alrighty.

Later that night, Charles wakes from sleep to people talking. Outside, he witnesses a rather off-looking Peggy leading another man into the house. Charles heads downstairs and spies on this curious scene—a totally aggressive Peggy ripping the clothes off of this other man while scratching at his skin.

The clock strikes midnight and Charles is beyond befuddled. But it’s all good—he’ll still kill Peggy and get all of her money. No big deal.

At this point, it’s post-sex for Peggy and the other man. While he sleeps, she tells him they’ve made a baby—a little girl. And then she proceeds to grab the ax from the wall and chop the guy into bloody bits.

Aha! Charles realizes it’s not real. He’s witnessing some sort of paranormal scene involving Peggy’s parents … the night she was conceived! Whoa.

Charles awakes in bed thinking it all was just a highly detailed nightmare. Wrong. The real Peggy admits to everything. He grabs his gun and shoots to kill, but alas, no bullets. It’s Peggy’s turn—she wields the ax and swings to kill! And does.

Tales from the Crypt - Lover Come Hack to Me

Presumably the next day, Aunt Edith arrives to a joyful Peggy—who immediately tells her dear auntie the baby news. Edith is delighted and reminds Peggy, “no more men.” The torch is passed, and this family’s women live on to birth more ax-grinding girls.

Tales from the Crypt - Lover Come Hack to Me

Crypt Keeper Final Thought: “All you bouncing bachelors out there, a word of warning before you take that matrimonial plunge: Check out the bride’s background. Open her closet door and see if any family secrets fall out. Beware of skeletons … unless they’re yours truly!”

Fun Fact: Michael McDowell penned the script for this story—plus 10 more Tales from the Crypt episodes. Something else he co-wrote: Beetlejuice. And a not-so-fun fact—McDowell died in 1999 from an AIDS-related illness. He had an unfinished novel that was later completed by Tabitha King (you know, Stephen’s wife).

Notable Quote: “We’re going to take a little ride to honeymoon hell!” —The Crypt Keeper