Tales from the Crypt – Abra Cadaver (S3E4)

tftcabracadaver03.client.1419385520.conflictIt might seem trivial, but minor kudos on the title.  Finally someone at TFTC learned how puns work — I’m looking at you, Lower Berth and Carrion Death.  The title would have been perfect if the episode had featured a magician, but it’s progress.

In a black & white flashback, the Fairbanks brothers are in the morgue.  Both are doctors, but Marty is the brains in the family.  Fortunately, Beau Bridges pulls off the brainiac role better here than in Sandkings.  He is helping his less-gifted party-boy brother Carl gain a little more experience.  Carl is clearly not serious about being a surgeon, devoting most of his time to maintaining that massive 1980’s mullet.

Carl blows off the first stiff as being too difficult, the second stiff as being too smelly, and the third stiff — well he is pretty interested in the third stiff, as am I.  It is a beautiful blonde naked on the gurney.

tftcabracadaver07As they are examining her, she suddenly jumps up and begins strangling Marty.  Other stiffs in the morgue also come to life.  Turns out they are friends just throwing a surprise party for Marty.  He surprises, them by having a heart attack.  What a scamp!

BTW, the naked girl is Carl’s girlfriend acting out the standard horror trope where a guy is perfectly OK with his nekkid girlfriend participating in a prank, and the girl seems OK with it also.

In the present day, Carl has become a successful surgeon while Marty has toiled away as a researcher.  This is due to paralysis of one hand resulting from the heart attack.

Marty slips Carl a drug that induces a heart attack, and leaves him completely paralyzed.  Marty wheels him into the morgue where Marty had his heart attack.  They put him in the freezer, hanging on a meat hook.  Luckily, he has lost the sense of feeling so it’s not so bad.

tftcabracadaver12The next day, we discover that Marty is teaching a class.  He shows the class how to take a saw to the skull and remove the top of his head.  Unable to speak or move, Carl is forced to endure this fully conscious.  Of course, it was all a ruse, payback.

These Fairbanks boys are just alike — this time Carl has a heart attack.

As Carl’s autopsy begins, he is conscious and screams silently to himself, “The sense of pain isn’t the first thing to go, it’s the LAAAAAST!”


  • Title Analysis:  See above.
  • This is Jim Birge’s only writing credit.

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