If you were into horror in the late ’80s and early ’90s, you definitely remember Tales From the Crypt, HBO’s seminal horror anthology that boasted 93 episodes over seven years of pulp comics-inspired sordid tales, loosely tied together by a maniacal puppet Crypt Keeper emcee. But while many of those episodes may have come and gone, there’s likely at least one that stands out in the ol’ memory banks: “Four-Sided Triangle.”
Calling it a “perfect horror short,” SYFY WIRE’S FANGRRLS recently delved into why everyone remembers the Patricia Arquette-starring episode, but while making a sound argument that it managed to raise the creep factor of scarecrows while also giving agency to the female lead, they didn’t do it quite as succinctly as writer/director Tom Holland (Fright Night, Child’s Play), who got right down to the bottom of its memorability when we spoke to him recently on the occasion of Fright Night’s 35 anniversary.
Though Holland thinks the episode is the “best” of the bunch, it wasn’t the only time he got lucky while directing a TFTC segment, although on “King of the Road” it was Brad Pitt doing the heavenly grinning.
“It’s not as effective as ‘Four-Sided Triangle’ is, but you could see a movie star booming. You could see the beginning of it. It’s in the smile,” Holland says.
The 1992 episode features young Pitt as bad boy Billy, a ulteriorly motivated hot-rodder with an affinity for blinking skulls, who comes to Sheriff Garrett’s (Raymond J. Barry) small town to ostensibly date his daughter (Michelle Bronson), stir up the lawman’s unlawful drag racing past, and then race him to the death.
Though Pitt had nabbed a few parts by then, Holland immediately saw much more potential.
“Here’s a story for you … I thought Brad Pitt was so terrific in that, and this is before he was Brad Pitt, and I went out and tried to get him an agent, and I couldn’t get him an agent!” Holland says. “It’s true. It’s true! Well, he smiled, [it’s] all he had to do … and when he smiled, I said, ‘Well that’s a movie star.’ And I said, ‘Light him as well as the girl.’ I mean, he was as beautiful as she was.”