Tales from the Crypt (1996)

Season 1 Episode 3

Dig That Cat...He's Real Gone

3
Aired Unknown Jun 10, 1989 on HBO
8.5
out of 10
User Rating
138 votes
9

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
A cat's gland is inplanted into the brain of a homeless man giving him nine lives but he gets a little greedy when he uses his new found gift for profit by becoming a top carnival act.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Joe Pantoliano stars as a scientist's guiena pig.

    10
    Ulrich (Joe Pantoliano), a homeless man, gets a chance to make a lot of money by allowing a scientist to implant the gland of a cat on his brain, giving him nine lives. He becomes a circus performer who dies only to come back again. He only has a limited number of shows though, and this power over life and death goes to his head in this third episode from the first season.

    This is my favorite episode of the series. The story is classic 'Crypt' style of humor, horror, and great twist. It was directed by co-executive producer Richard Donner, and I like Robert Wuhl as the mc of the sideshow as well as Joe Pantoliano as Ulrich. I like the nine lives of a cat myth used here and the way he dies each time a different way make it interesting. The ending is shot with nice style by Donner.moreless
  • Buen episodio

    7.5
    Este fue mi segundo episodio favorito de la primera temporada de tales from the crypt, la historia es algo inusual y no esta muy bien explicada, la encuentro algo ilogica pero igual es muy disfrutable el episodio, las actuaciones estan bastante bien.

    Lo que mas impacta es el gran final de este episodio, el modo en que antes de hacer su ultimo acto, habla como cambio su vida al encontrarse a ese misterioso hombre en una calle, me gusto bastante, hace que encerio te este hablando a ti, repito una historia que no termina de convencer y parece hasta un poco ridicula. Si te saltas la introduccion y pasas a la segunda parte se pone un poco mas interesante lo que no puedo entender es ese ambiente cirquero que siempre esta, si supuestamente gano mucho dinero, como rayos sigue haciendo actos en esas ferias feas?

    Bueno nunca lo voy a entender jaja pero en fin, es un episodio algo flojo, pero a la ves es disfrutable osea esta mal explicado pero las actuaciones y las escenas estan tan bien echas que le tenes que poner una buena nota.

    Les va a gustar a cualquier fanatico que no busque historias bien elavoradas, y que les guste la buenas escenas y actuacionesmoreless
  • ~Realjads Season Award-Best Episode of Season1~ Awesome episode! Very memorable. This episode hopefully sparked the direction this show is headed. I thought he would forget about the bullet shot death, I didn't even think of the first death being tmoreless

    9.0
    Appeal:

    Not believable but very very cool, nine lives. What would you do with nine lives?



    Story:

    Not possible but very very cool. I thought the story was awesome. Carnival themes always work with horror and this was a different twist too it. Almost a psychological horror.



    Sound:

    Decent enough



    Acting:

    Decent enough



    Camera/lighting/film:

    Pretty good



    Extra:

    Nothing



    This had a really cool story and I really liked how it was told. This episode hopefully sparked the direction this show is headed. I thought he would forget about the bullet shot death, I didn't even think of the first death being the cat. Great story and episode through and through.



    This episode was awesome and memorable.moreless
  • Joe Pantoliano is the highlight of this episode.

    8.0
    Pantoliano, one of Hollywood's leading character,his performance as Ulrich dosen't just add to the quirkiness of this episode directed by Richard Donner(The Goonies, Superman, The Omen,and Lethal Weapon), it adds to the creepiness of it, which is saying a lot about Joey Pants's acting abilities, which really shine here,as did most actors talents, no matter if the story they were bringing to life was dramatic, cheesy, humourous, or completely gory and scary, and while this episode lacked in the gore department, it made up for it with creeps and chills.moreless
  • A deadly episode if I do say so my self. (giggles)

    9.7
    This episode was super cool and I loved it. Great acting. Great plot an impressive episode to say the least. The plot twist at the end is classic! I really loved this show. One of the best episodes ever. My favorite scene was when he was killing himself and coming back to life. Awesome episode!

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (10)

    • Goof: At the end, when Ulric is in the coffin, he says that he used up all of his lives, but he hasn't: Vivisection(cat), Gunshot, Drowning, Hanging, Electrocution, Shot with Arrow, Stabbing, and Buried Alive. He would've still had his 9th life left when they dug him up and he resurrected.

    • Steve Kahan is credited as Stephen Kahan and Michael Bower is credited as Michael Ray Bower.

    • Sight gag: Besides the candle, Ulric was also buried with a brochure for Acapulco, Mexico (it's seen next to the candle as it goes out at the end). One assumes it was where he was planning to retire when he got out.

    • Goof: When Coralee asks Ulric out to dinner by writing in lipstick on the glass drowning tank, not only does she write on the outside (it'd show up backwards on the inside), but she also writes "Diner Later?" instead of "Dinner Later?".

      Possibly on purpose to show how dumb Coralee really is.

    • Running Time: [excluding opening title sequence] 28 minutes.

    • Cameo: Director Richard Donner cameos as an audience member during Ulric's burial death and can be seen chanting "Ulric, Ulric, Ulric"! along with the crowd.

    • Music: Composed by Nicholas Pike.

      Nicholas Pike also composed the episodes, "Collection Completed", "Only Skin Deep","Til Death" and "Whirlpool"..

    • Crypt Keeper Wardrobe: In the opening wraparound segment, the Crypt Keeper is wearing his traditional robe with the hood up and is lighting a candle.

      In the closing wraparound segment, the Crypt Keeper is wearing his traditional robe with the hood up and is petting a black cat and later holding a skull, Hamlet style.

    • In the opening wraparound segment, the Crypt Keeper does not say the title of the story.

    • Cast relation: Character actor, Steve Kahan, who appears in this episode briefly as the father with the son during Ulric's archery death scene is the cousin of director Richard Donner and has appeared in several of his films.

  • QUOTES (21)

    • [Opening wraparound segment with the Crypt Keeper lighting a candle].
      The Crypt Keeper: Good evening, fiend fans, and welcome to my crawly crypt. This little drama is about one of life's unexpected pleasures: dying, that is. Most of us only get to do it once, and it's all over before you can really enjoy it. But one man did get to die again. And he liked it so much, he started doing it for a living. [drops Crypt storybook on table, blows dust off it] This is the story of "Ulric the Undying". A sideshow performer who found death not only fun, but profitable. In fact, he's dying to put on a show for you. Right now!

      [Closing wraparound segment with the Crypt Keeper petting a black cat]
      The Crypt Keeper: [petting a black cat] There, there, nice kitty. Get! [laughs] Hope you enjoyed our little bedtime story, kids. [picks up a skull] Alas, poor Ulric, missed a bet. Though Dying for Dollars could have been a popular game show. They could have put it in between Wheel of Misfortune and The Newlydead Game. [laughs] Unless they buried it in the wrong time slot. [laughs]

    • [Spoiler Warning]
      Ulric: Wait a minute... the cat... it was dead. [realizing] Oh, my God... I don't have nine lives!

    • Ulric: Wait a minuuuute....how do I know I've got nine lives?
      Dr. Manfred: [turns around, clicking sound] This ought to kill you. [raises and points gun]
      Ulric: NO, DOC, NOOO! [Manfred shoots him in the head.]

    • Barker: Man, I don't know how you can live with yourself.
      Ulric: I don't.

    • Ulric: Hey, did I tell you? Polanski wants to film my life story. All of them.

    • Ulric: Baby, this dying sh*t's taking years off my life.

    • Coralee: I need someone to help me move the body.
      Policeman: I'm sorry but you can't move him.
      Coralee: [reading from a piece of paper] I have a special arrangement with the deceased.
      Policeman: Doesn't make any difference.
      Coralee: He told me to give you this if there was any objection. [hands over wad of cash]
      Policeman: [flips through] Holy sh*t....this is more money than I make in a year!
      Coralee: You're welcome.
      Policeman: Can I help you move the body?
      Coralee: Yeah.

    • Father: Junior's gonna give it a try!
      Barker: A father and son team!
      Father: Come on, I know you can do it. What do we got, $1,000?
      Barker: $1,000 please.
      Father: Well worth it for my son. Come on....Junior, don't be a sissy now.
      Junior: I don't want to!
      Barker: Listen to your father, son, listen to your father.
      Father: Come on, I'm gonna get you a junior membership in the NRA. Some kids kill rabbits, you can kill people. Put your hand up.
      Junior: I don't wanna kill anybody...
      Father: I've been killing people for years. Now its your turn, you can line it up. Steady...now!
      [fires, hits bear in the loincloth and Ulric in the groin, audience boos, Barker winces]
      Father: You did that on purpose Junior....
      Junior: I didn't do it dad! I didn't mean to hit him in the balls!
      Barker: [under breath] You little fat f*cker.....

    • Barker: Ahhhh, so near and yet so far. As the French say, "C'est tough sh*t!."

    • Coralee: CONGRATULATIONS! You get to fry my boyfriend!

    • Barker: Coralee, will you draw the lucky number?
      Coralee: [reaches into large bowl] Umm...And the lucky number is....um...ohh......five....two...
      Barker: That's a one, doll.
      Coralee: It's a five! Five....
      Barker: [grabs ticket] 1-0-5-9-0!

    • Coralee: I wanna see Mr. Friendly!!! [giggles]

    • Barker: Ladies, gentlemen, Texans, and other faint-hearted may want to turn your eyes away from this horrible example of what happens when you do the dirty in the dirty town of Dastardly.
      Ulric: Pull the lever.
      Coralee: I said, I don't wanna do it.
      Ulric: Pull it!.....Coralee, p-pull the lever.
      Coralee: YOU do it!
      Ulric: PULL IT!
      Barker: There's not much riding upstairs but downstairs is what counts!

      Ulric: Coralee, pull the...pull the lever.
      Coralee: [laughs loudly, then whispers] I don't WANNA do it.
      [Ulric reaches over and does it himself.]

    • Ulric: That's one thing I'll say for Old Doc Manfred....He wasted no time getting me killed again.

    • Barker: [Ulric is slowly running out of air in the tank and thrashing] Oh...oh...speed it up, speed it up!

    • Coralee: [to a drowning Ulric] You want to have dinner with me later? [writes "Diner Later?" on the glass] Din...ner. [knocks on glass] Dinner with me later? Dinner? Eat? YOU WANNA EAT WITH ME LATER? [Ulric nods, underwater] After you're dead?? I'll wait here, okay?

    • Barker: Ladies and gentlemen, as the water engulfs Ulric, I beg you to control your emotions! Make no move to save him! [audience is shown to be both skeptical and bored.]

    • Barker: [to Dr. Manfred] No, I'm not interested. I've seen escape acts. The only thing that disappears is the audience.

    • Dr. Manfred: Welcome back to life, friend.
      Ulric: [grabs him by the collar] You b*st*rd! You tried to kill me!
      Dr. Manfred: I didn't try to kill you, I did kill you.Deader than Kelsey's nuts! And you can still die eight more times!

    • Barker: Come, gather round, gather round! Come from far, come from near, gather round folks, right over here...Come see the show! 100% natural, nothing artificial, guaranteed no pesticides, aaaahhh but perhaps a homicide. Tonight, a special show, two shows in one. The tragedy of death...and the miracle of RESURRECTION!
      [audience cheers]

    • Barker: Drain the tank! This may seem like Ulric's last performance, but don't go away yet folks! For Ulric is a man who lives only to die again! I give you...resurrection!
      [tank drains; Ulric, still dead, slides down the glass]
      Barker: Resurrection!
      Coralee: Is he gonna come back for dinner?
      Barker: Of course he's gonna come back, resurrection!....DOOOOOOC!....Resurrect! Resurrection!
      Coralee: You better come back! Come back!
      [audience begins to boo, leaves]
      Barker: Folks, don't go away! Doc! Doc, you can get in trouble in some states for this. Resurrection! Folks, folks don't go away.
      Coralee: Resurrection!
      Barker: [to leaving crowd] I'd be happy to give you a raincheck perhaps.
      Coralee:: RESURRECTIOOOOOOOOOOOON!
      Barker: SHUT THE F*CK UP!

  • NOTES (9)

  • ALLUSIONS (10)

    • Popeye

      During Ulric's archery death scene, the Barker allows audience participants to be able to shoot Ulric with an arrow for a thousand bucks, when a Naval officer finds out the price he refuses to pay, so the Barker says to him, "No? Well, anchors away, Popeye". This refers to the Naval officer's typical sailor uniform and the fact that his job is at sea, like the famous cartoon character.

    • Roman Polanski

      In this episode, after Ulric tells Coralee that they should take a trip to Vegas, he says "Polanski wants to film my life story". This is a nod to the famous director known for his superb arthouse films.

    • HBO

      HBO or Home Box Office is a commercial free 24 hour a day pay-tv service that began telecasting in 1972. HBO grew to prominence in the late 70's when it began broadcasting live NHL hockey games, comedy events, documentaries, entertainment specials and major boxing events along with it's first run uncut movies. In the early 80's the network began making original films and by the end of the decade had won many awards for their original progamming. HBO has since become largely well known for their quality original TV series such as Dream On, The Larry Sanders Show, The Sopranos, Oz, Deadwood, Entourage, Sex And The City and of course Tales From The Crypt and are also well known for their major live sporting events such as boxing and NFL weekly Hi-lite shows.

      In this episode, when the Barker goes to Ulric's trailer and gives him his 80% take of the box-office, he also hands him a set of bills and says, "Payola from HBO", this possibly states that Ulric's act was shown as an HBO special and also a sly in-joke due to the fact that Tales From The Crypt airs on HBO.

    • Wayne Newton

      Iconic musician, actor and entertainer most known for his 1963 hit song, Danke Schoen and as "Mr. Las Vegas" due to having performed over 30, 000 Vegas shows over a 40 year duration.

      In this episode, Ulric tells Coralee "What do you say we take a vacation? Go to Vegas, catch Wayne Newton's act". This refers to the fact that a trip to Vegas and Wayne Newton go hand in hand.
      Wayne Newton himself, would later appear in the season six episode, "The Pit".

    • Hamlet

      Famous and beloved tragic play by William Shakespeare, which tells the story of Prince Hamlet and his revenge against his Uncle Claudius. The play features the scene of Hamlet holding the skull of Yorick and saying the famous but often misquoted line of "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio".

      In the closing wraparound segment, the Crypt Keeper gives his take on the famous Hamlet scene when he holds a skull and says, "Alas poor Ulric, missed a bet."

    • Arnold Schwarzenegger

      Famous Austrian bodybuilder turned actor, noted for his mega-popular early 80's to early 90's reign as one of the top box-office attractions in the world. Among his many string of hits were, Conan The Barbarian, The Terminator, The Running Man, Total Recall and True Lies. He became as well known for his action films as he did for his dry sense of pun type humor which he used a lot in his movies. It should be noted, this pun type humor is a lot like the Crypt Keeper's and his first directorial effort came with the season two episode of Tales From The Crypt, "The Switch". At the time of this episode's airing in 1989, Schwarzenegger was still one of the top box-office stars in the world, it would be a few years later, in 1993 after the poor box-office performance of The Last Action Hero that his box-office star power would begin to cool off. He went on to become Governor of California in 2003.

      During the archery death sequence, a nerdy kid purchases a chance to kill Ulric with a credit card and when he hands it to the Barker, he looks at the name and says with a mocking laugh in reference to the kid's lack of body build, "Arnold Schwarzenegger".

    • Breaking The Fourth Wall

      A theatrical and filming technique in which a character is aware of and speaks directly to the audience/camera and in other instances when someone breaks character or interacts with an object or person outside of the environment of the scene such as being handed a gun in the middle of a scene by a crew member, for example. This technique has been used notably in the feature film, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, the TV series, Saved By The Bell and The Sensational She-Hulk comic book, and of course, this series, as the Crypt Keeper uses this technique to address the audience in every episode.

      In this episode, during the scenes inside the casket, Ulric breaks the fourth wall when he talks directly to the audience.

    • Dialing For Dollars

      Unique live game show popular from the 50's to the 70's in which a viewer's name and number would be picked from a drum and be phoned by the host. If the viewer named the password seen earlier in the show they would win the show's prize money, if no one answered they would draw again and the prize money would increase. The show died out in the late 70's when more advanced and complex game shows began being developed.

      In the closing segment, the Crypt Keeper rewords the show's title as Dying For Dollars.

    • The Newlywed Game

      Popular and unique game show created in 1966, produced by Chuck Barris. The show featured recently married couples answering questions to compare how well they know each other. Although the show would go on to have several incarnations throughout four decades and many different hosts, the most popular and well known was Bob Eubanks. The catchprase 'Making Whoopee' became a popular slang term due to this show.

      In the closing segment, the Crypt Keeper rewords the show's title as The Newlydead Game.

    • Wheel Of Fortune

      Hugely popular syndicated primetime gameshow created by Merv Griffin featuring a huge wheel with dollar amounts and prizes and three contestants each trying to solve a word puzzle using letters of the alphabet like the basic wordgame, Hangman. Since 1983 the show has been hosted by Pat Sajak with hostess Vanna White. Due to it's simplicity, the show is still as popular as it was since it's conception.

      In the closing wraparound segment, the Crypt Keeper rewords the show's title as Wheel Of Misfortune.

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