A former potential surgeon sets out to wreak revenge on the brother whose cruel practical joke prevented him from realizing his dream.




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Episode cast overview:
Crypt Keeper (voice)
Lucinda Weist ...
Peter Schuck ...
Al (as Hugh Holub)
Tina Bockrath ...
Paula / Cadaver


Martin Fairbanks would have been a successful surgeon if not for a cruel prank his brother Carl played on him years ago. Now merely a research assistant he resents his sibling who has become a successful surgeon. Martin however wants revenge as well as the opportunity to prove the success of his research involving the human brain. Carl learns this all too well as his twisted brother combines both these personal goals with chilling results. Written by Robert McElwaine

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 June 1991 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


| (opening sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title is a parody on the word used by stage magicians Abracadabra that goes back to an Aramaic phrase that means appropriately "I will create, as I say". See more »


Carl "says" near the end that Martin had been wrong, touch is the last sense to fail not the first, however Martin said that as part of the ruse. He may not have known that at all, or he may have known the exact opposite. But he had to tell Carl that touch failed first, to cover up the fact that Carl would not feel things that were not actually happening. Such as, the harness rather than an actual hook. And the saw. See more »


References Lost in Space (1965) See more »


Tales from the Crypt Theme
Composed by Danny Elfman
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User Reviews

A nice neat and clever feel good dead treat a twist and turn of fair play!
20 December 2009 | by (Petersburg, Virginia) – See all my reviews

This "TFTC" episode from 1991 titled "Abra Cadaver" is comical and brilliant with a neat and clever twist that was so fitting as revenge was meant! It centers around two brothers who are doctors one the elder and more serious and sharper one Martin(the legendary Beau Bridges)tries to proves by experiments with dead bodies that even though their dead heart wise still, if the brain is not clinically dead and they haven't lost their senses they are not really dead! Younger brother the more carefree and joker Carl(Tony Goldwyn)does not believe so much and he plays a cruel and mean prank on Martin! And this really derails Martin's medical experiments! Only as with so many crypt episodes turnabout is fair play as it twist with so called rightful revenge. Proving that one can still feel pain and hurt when dead! It's neat clever and comically a wicked good tale!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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