"Her stocks, bonds, house: Charles loves everything about Peggy and wants to make sure their honeymoon is a night of (murderous) passions. But there's a family secret Peggy never told him..."
- -- DVD description for the episode
Lover Come Hack To Me is the fifth episode of the first season of Tales from the Crypt and the fifth episode overall. The episode aired on June 21st, 1989.
Peggy, a mousy but wealthy young woman, marries her handsome fiancé Charles in a small ceremony. Her Aunt Edith highly disapproves of this and believes the gold-digging Charles only married her niece to get a part of her family fortune. He denies this, then accuses Edith for ”sponging” off Peggy herself the past twenty years. He reveals they will be kicking Edith out of the family’s house once they return from their honeymoon. An oblivious Peggy waves goodbye as the newlyweds drive off. Edith’s worry creepily turns to a smirk.
While driving through a rainstorm that night, a fallen tree trunk strands the two on the road. Peggy looks for a flashlight in the glove compartment but instead finds a handgun; Charles claims it‘s a ”wedding present from Aunt Edith”. When the car keys mysteriously go missing, the two seek help from a nearby mansion. Nobody answers, but Peggy finds a key to the front door hidden under a planter. They go in, with Peggy having Charles romantically carry her over the threshold. They find the downstairs mostly deserted except for a grandfather clock (still ticking) and a large battle axe framed on the wall.
Peggy notices the fireplace has recently been prepared; Charles lights a fire, takes off his wet clothes, and sits naked on the couch. Peggy gets turned on but relents — her timidity leads to a talk about how the two have never had sex, let alone seen each other naked. When Peggy starts to believe Charles isn’t attracted to her and only married for the money, Charles reminds her of all the times they tried to make love before she stopped them. She reveals she has been saving herself for her wedding night and how important it is for her first time to be ”perfect”. Charles assures Peggy he loves her and they passionately kiss; as Charles takes control, Peggy stops him and requests they find a bed to have sex in. They go upstairs and find a bedroom in bizarrely perfect condition. Charles lights candles around the bed while Peggy changes into sexy lingerie. It becomes clear Charles did marry her for money, but her newfound sex appeal makes him very attracted to her. He takes her virginity, and they spend the night having passionate sex so loud that the grandfather clock downstairs cracks. They stop at midnight and cuddle; a confident Peggy tells Charles they made a child and that the night is as ”perfect as it will ever get.”
Later that night, Charles awakens to a car pulling up. He looks outside to see Peggy bringing another man into the mansion. The man, Alan, also carries her across the threshold; he wants to have sex in the bedroom, but she coaxes him into staying downstairs. An astonished Charles stands by the clock (which is working again and strikes midnight) and hears his wife’s desire to have things “perfect” with the stranger. She and Alan make love, with Peggy even telling him that they made a child as well. When Alan dozes off, Peggy rambles how love never stays pure as “time sours it”. Wanting to keep their love as perfect as their first time, she grabs the axe off the wall and tells Alan to wake up; when he does, she says ”Good, now go back to sleep”, then brutally murders him. Charles tries to stop her, but passes right through her. He realizes they’re the ghosts of Peggy’s parents, and that Peggy was conceived their wedding night after her mother killed her father. Peggy’s mother gives Alan’s corpse a bloody kiss as Charles begs for the bloody nightmare to be over.
Charles wakes up to find out it actually was a dream. He tells Peggy about it, who confirms that actually did happen. She pulls out the axe and reveals the same motivation to have a “perfect love” is also driving her. He insists their love was never perfect and reveals his original plan to kill her with the handgun (the one found in his car) and blame it on a burglar. She confidently protests he fell in love with her after they had sex and won’t kill her. He grabs the gun and tries to shoot her, but he forgot to put bullets in the chamber. Peggy sees this as proof that he really does love her, then swings the axe down. After murdering Charles, she tells him to ”sleep tight” while covered in his blood.
The next morning, Aunt Edith visits the mansion. A cleaned up Peggy comes out and confirms Charles did get her pregnant. Edith makes Peggy swear off men for life, which she’s ok with as she’ll be busy taking care of her daughter. She does however say that Peggy’s daughter will need a man once she grows up.
Opening Segment Edit
"It's good to have you back you horror-hungry humans. You know by now who's here to feed your fear. It's me, the Crypt Keeper with another flesh-creeping scream story for your shivering pleasure. I'm calling this bite of bitter bile: 'Lover Come Hack to Me.' So plump up that coffin pillow and settle back your bones. We're going to take a little ride to honeymoon hell."
Closing Segment Edit
"Talk about family traditions. 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."
- The title is based on "Lover, Come Back to Me" by Sigmund Romberg with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and published in 1928.
- This is the only episode written by Michael McDowell, who cowrote Beetlejuice as well as many episodes from the earlier horror anthology show Tales From the Darkside — many of his episodes were critically acclaimed and included surreal atmospheres as well as ambiguous endings.