Recap / Tales From The Crypt S 1 E 3 Dig That Cat Hes Real Gone

Inspiration: The Haunt of Fear #21

At a carnival sideshow, a barker presents Ulric the Undying, a performer who will be Buried Alive for several hours and then dug up. He will be dead, but will come back to life. After he is buried, Ulric speaks to the viewer, saying he will be dead, but he won't stay that way.

The scene switches to a flashback where Ulric is living in an alleyway, broke and alone. A Mad Scientist, Dr. Emil Manfred, offers him a large sum of money if he will agree to a little experiment. Desperate, he agrees. Manfred explains that he has found the gland in a cat's brain that gives it nine lives. He now intends to graft that gland into a human subject's brain. Ulric wakes from the operation to find it was successful, at the expense of a kitten's life. Manfred shoots and kills him as a final test, and Ulric revives almost instantly.

Needing more money to continue his experiments, Manfred persuades Ulric to join the sideshow and turn over a portion of his earnings. During his first show, he is submerged in a Drowning Pit for a full hour, then revives after sitting motionless for a few minutes once the tank is drained. The spectacle draws the attention of a showgirl named Carly, and the two begin to date, with Carly assisting in his next show - death by hanging.

Deciding that he no longer wants to split the take with Manfred, Ulric crashes his car while driving Manfred across town, killing both of them. Ulric comes back to life and avoids suspicion, but his next show (an electrocution) is a close call, as he remains dead for some time and revives only as a mortician is about to embalm him. In the show after this, Ulric sets himself up as a target for customers to shoot with a crossbow, at a thousand dollars per shot. He gets an arrow through the heart and dies, but he has arranged for Carly to bribe the police so she can keep his body long enough for him to revive.

When Carly stabs Ulric to death and steals all his money, Ulric blackmails the sideshow barker into letting him have all the profits from his last show, the live burial shown at the start of the episode. Once in the coffin, he reflects on his career as the Undying, thinking that this show will set him up for life and wishing that Manfred's cat hadn't had to die in order to make it possible.

Then, in a horrible Fridge Logic realization, he remembers that the cat's death used up one of its nine lives - leaving him with only eight after the gland transplant. Having died seven times (shooting, drowning, hanging, car crash, electrocution, crossbow, stabbing), he is down to his last life and will not revive. He frantically pounds on the coffin lid and screams to be let out, but no one can hear him. The last two workers to leave the tent hear only the meowing of a stray cat as Ulric suffocates to death.
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