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Tales from the Crypt Recap #3 ”Dig That Cat…He’s Real Gone”

Tales from the Crypt: Season 1 – Episode 3
”Dig That Cat…He’s Real Gone” (First aired: June 10 1989)

Ulric the Undying is about to die again. Thanks to an experiment conducted by a doctor he met in a back alley (because, as we all know, everyone you meet in a back alley is someone to trust with your life), Ulric has nine lives to spare and decides to use them to maximize his profits. Ulric is here to tell us all about his story.

Before I talk about the episode, I just have to say that it has the coolest title I’ve ever seen: “Dig That Cat…He’s Real Gone.” Just saying it out loud makes your cool factor increase. It’s a good thing the episode itself is also fantastic. It’s probably my favorite episode in the entire season (Granted, it’s only six episodes, but still).

Where to begin? How about the performances? There isn’t a bad one to be seen in this one, but the two that really stand out are, of course, Ulric himself (played brilliantly by the immensely talented Joe Pantoliano, whose name I can never pronounce properly) and the Ringmaster (played by Arliss himself, Robert Wuhl). The combination of these two will have you laughing and smiling all the way through the episode. They both brought their A-games, and it shows.

The rest of the cast is also well played, from the crazy girlfriend (Kathleen York) to the crazy doctor (Gustav Vintas). The Doctor, in particular, is so convincing that you even start to believe that this plan he came up with might actually work. It’s the most asinine plan I’ve ever heard of, but he’s so convincing that if he came up to me with a wad of cash, I might be willing to take him up on his offer, as well (Then again, I’m a whore). The whole concept, as ridiculous as it is, works. Basically, the doctor puts the gland that gives a cat nine lives into Ulric. He is successful in the operation and proceeds to sell him to the carnival where Ulric kills himself and resurrects before your very eyes. It’s absurd and crazy, but it’s Tales from the Crypt. They make it work, and it is surprisingly believable.

I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention Richard Donner’s incredible direction in this episode. He really delivers in this episode with the quick cuts and camera angles, and I’d hate to see what this episode would be like if he wasn’t at the helm. Do I have any gripes with the episode? Aside from it being a tad predictable (Any fan can see the outcome a mile away), not really. It’s a very fun episode and a great comeback from the bland and annoying previous episode. It’s definitely deserving of its classic status, and it’s a must see for anyone into horror comedies.

Cryptkeeper Segment
Quite bland when compared to others. He is just sitting there talking about how great death is and how unfortunate it is that people can’t live to experience it twice. He doesn’t even say as many puns as he’s known for in these segments. The one pun he does do is painful, though…

Punny Goodness
“Dying for Dollars would be a popular game show. They can put it between Wheel of Misfortune and the Newly Dead Game (unless they buried it in the wrong time slot).”

Blood and Gore
We get a gunshot to the head, an arrow through the chest, and a dead kitty ( D-: ) on a surgical table. We also get some more creative ways to die that I won’t spoil here. This one is lighter on the blood than the previous episode, but it still delivers the goods.

Obligatory Nudity
Kathleen York keeps her Yorks concealed. The most we get is cleavage shots and her talking to Mr. Friendly.

Scare Factor
Not too bad, but I have a major fear of being buried alive, and that situation scares me even to this day. I definitely felt uneasy during that part.

Other Interesting Tidbits
The director, Richard Donner, can be seen in one of the death scenes chanting Ulric’s name. See if you can spot him. The fat child who attempts to shoot Ulric is none other than Michael Bower. Yes, ol’ “Donkeylips” from Salute Your Shorts. While I’ve never seen it, it is rumored he beat out Jack Black to star in the movie Evolution. Anybody who keeps that talentless Farley knock-off out of more movies moves up a peg or two on my respect ladder. The Father of Bower’s character is Richard Donner’s cousin, Steven Kahan. He also appears as Captain Ed Murphy in the Lethal Weapon series, yet another Donner project. The police officer in the episode was played by Paul Tuerpe, who also plays a police officer in all four Lethal Weapon movies. Man, Donner loves using the same actors over and over.

Last Words
What a great episode! Seriously, this is one no one should miss, especially fans of the show. Even if you are not a fan of the show, I guarantee this one won’t disappoint. I showed it to some coworkers of mine who never really watched the show, and this one really impressed them. Now, they are asking to see more. I work at a fun place.
Next Writing: Only Sin Deep

8 Responses to “Tales from the Crypt Recap #3 ”Dig That Cat…He’s Real Gone””

  • Keith:

    Here is this episode on youtube for those that want to watch it, I highly recommend it.

  • Cristiona:

    Wow, that title really is awesome. About the only way it could be better was if they made it “Dig That Cat… He Real Gone.”

    And I really love Joey Pants. He’s one of the better character actors out there.

  • Josh:

    Thanks for the link. I thought this was AMAZING. Seriously Joey Pants made this episode great.

    • Keith:

      You are most certainly welcome. A side note, Cecil told me this episode was one of his favorites as well and was stunned it was this early into the series. So we are both in very good company lol

  • Iren:

    Oh, I remember that episode, It was the one of the first episodes I saw of that show 🙂
    It was very impressive and scary – I completely agree that the fear of being buried alive is strongest here. Much later I was reading about Poe and imagined some of this episode when this topic was introduced.

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