Home > Tales from the Crypt: SE 1 EP 3: "Dig That Cat... He's Real Gone" - 8, Tales from the Crypt: Season 1 > Tales from the Crypt: SE 1 EP 3: “Dig That Cat… He’s Real Gone” – 8

Tales from the Crypt: SE 1 EP 3: “Dig That Cat… He’s Real Gone” – 8

Director – Richard Donner

Cast – Joe Pantoliano, Robert Wuhl, Kathleen York, Gustav Vintas, John Kassir

Release Year – 1989

Reviewed by John of the Dead

“Dig That Cat…He’s Real Gone” is an episode that once again appeals to horror fans with its writer and director. Written by Terry Black, who had just blessed us with the cheesy and highly enjoyable Dead Heat one year prior, and directed by Richard Donner (The Omen), of Lethal Weapon and Superman fame, there is plenty of talent behind the episode’s filmmakers and they managed to give viewers a solid effort.

Joe Pantoliano stars as Ulric, a bum who accepts the deal of a lifetime when he agrees to be a lab rat for a lowly scientist trying to discovery immortality. The scientist grafts a gland from a common cat onto Ulric’s brain and WHOALA, Ulric now has nine lives. With pseudo immortality now at his disposal Ulric takes on the starring act on a traveling circus show where he is literally killed onstage in various ways…only to resurrect from the dead in front of the live audience. His newfound ability is amassing him a fortune, but as with all fortunes and blessings…he takes it for granted.

The episode begins quickly and immediately envelops the viewer into Ulric’s life by starting in the present and then having Ulric give us a long rundown of how he got to where he is now. We see his filthy habits provide him an opportunity to do a little something with his life, potentially, and when the surgery proves to be a success he is born a new man and immediately seeks financial gain. It was fun to watch him be killed in various fashion during his circus acts, but throughout the entire film you have one thought in the back of your mind, “He can’t keep doing this forever…”, and it becomes very more obvious when every time he dies his resurrections become more and more complicated.

Black’s story is great and it moves at just the right pace to keep the viewer engaged and still develop Ulric’s story in a short amount of time. There are several other prominent characters in the story, but none of them stood out like Ulric did. Donner does his thing in giving us great execution of every aspect involved, from the horror, to the sets/locations, and to the actors. I really dug Pantoliano’s performance as Ulric, and it came with much emotion as we watch him come from a somewhat rags-to-riches story, lose himself in his fame, and eventually lose more than he ever “bargained” for; well…not really.

Overall, this is a great episode that gives us an engaging story and excellent execution – one of the better episodes of the series.

Rating: 8/10

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