"The holiday chopping season runs late when an axe-toting maniac dressed as Santa makes a Christmas Eve visit to a philandering wife who murdered her husband."
- -- DVD description for the episode
"And All Through The House" is the second episode of the first season of Tales from the Crypt and the second episode overall. It aired on June 10th, 1989, along with series premiere "The Man Who Was Death".
On Christmas Eve, a mother controls the anxiety of her little daughter Carrie-Ann for Santa Claus and puts her to bed. Then she comes to the living room and kills her husband, hitting his head with a fireplace poker, expecting to receive his life insurance and stay with her lover. While she is dumping his body on the yard, the dangerous patient of a mental institution dressed like Santa Claus attacks her but she succeeds to escape and lock the door. However, she is unable to call the police since the body of her husband is in the front yard. Out of the blue, Carrie calls her mother with an unexpected guest.
It is Christmas Eve in Pleasantville. ”Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire” plays as Joseph Kamen reads A Christmas Carol in the comfort of his home. He comments to his wife Elizabeth that something must be done about the fire. He asks for the fire poker, which she has grabbed. She stands behind him and suddenly buries the poker deep in her husband’s head — his dead body falls forward. The loud thud wakes up their daughter Carrie-Ann, who was sleeping upstairs and thinks Santa Claus is here. She comes downstairs right after Elizabeth pulls the fire poker out of her former husband’s head. Elizabeth quickly brings Carrie-Ann back upstairs and cracks open a window. When her daughter asks what she wants for Christmas, she says with a smile “I already got it sweetheart.”
Elizabeth later calls her lover to tell him what she did and that she will soon be inheriting lots of money. She wraps Joseph’s head in plastic and drags his body outside -- neglecting a news break on the radio reporting a maniac dressed as Santa has escaped a mental institution and has already killed 4 people. Families are warned to stay inside and lock their doors.
As Elizabeth prepares to throw Joseph”s body into a well, he suddenly wakes up and grabs her throat. She attempts to grab an ax planted in a stump nearby, but he eventually succumbs to his wounds and dies. Her attention is drawn to a sleigh bell ringing somewhere in the woods. She’s suddenly attacked by Santa Claus who wields the ax. She escapes by slashing his face with an icicle and kicking him in the privates. She steals the ax back from him and retreats inside, striking his arm when he tries to reach in. She calls the operator looking for the police, then anxiously hangs up after realizing Joseph’s body is still out there. Santa attacks her again by coming through the window but she smacks him over the head with the ax, knocking him out.
The police call Elizabeth to inform her about the maniac and to send a deputy over for precautionary reasons. While nervous at first, Elizabeth concocts the idea to pin Joseph’s murder on Santa. She goes outside and plants the ax deep in Joseph’s face, then calls the police to tell them the maniac is here. While on the phone, she looks outside and realizes Santa is awake and got the ax out of Joseph’s head. She frantically tells them her address then goes to retrieve a gun in the closet; she accidentally locks herself inside however. Through the window, she sees Santa climbing a ladder up the house.
Carrie-Ann opens her window and sees Santa outside. She cheers and encourages him to come up, even reaching her hands out to pull him up. Meanwhile, a panicked Elizabeth screams and eventually breaks down the closet door. She runs upstairs but finds her daughter missing. Carrie-Ann calls out for her mommy downstairs; Elizabeth finds her in the living room and is briefly relieved. However, her daughter reveals she did indeed let Santa in through the front door. A horrified Elizabeth is left hysterically screaming as Santa asks, “Naughty or nice?”
John E. Coates - Police Officer (voice) (uncredited)
Opening Segment EditThe Crypt Keeper is wearing a complete santa suit. He is hardly recognizable as he has a mask over his face. He walks in carrying a bag of something and slams it on the table.
"Ho, ho, ho, kiddies! Just your old pal the Crypt Keeper having a little holiday fun. Why else would I be in this getup...unless there was a Claus in my contract? In fact, I've got some Christmas goose for you...goose bumps, that is. Yes, indeedy. A little terror tale, chock-full of holiday fear...I mean cheer, of course. So get a gander of a Yuletide yelp-yarn that goes a little something like this 'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house."
Closing Segment Edit"Well, how was that for a scream boys and ghouls? Oh, don't worry about little Carrie. This particular Santa preferred older women... in pieces, that is. Well, it just goes to show you be very careful of what you ax for for Christmas. You might just get it.
- This episode is available on the Tales from the Crypt: The Complete First Season DVD.
- This story has previously been adapted in a segment in the 1972 film version of the comic.
- In the season one episode "And All Through the House", the radio announcer warns the "Gaines County Area" of the escaped maniac in a Santa suit. This is a reference to William Gaines, publisher of the comic books in the 1950s. Also, when the police officer calls the wife, he says his name is "Feldstien", a reference to Al Feldstien, one of Gaines' top EC Comics employees.
- The title is the first line from "A Visit from St. Nicholas" first published anonymously in 1823 by Clement Clarke Moore.
- This is the first time where the Cryptkeeper says the title of the story.