Tales from the Crypt (1989–1996)
7 user 2 critic

The Trap 

Indebted unhappy married couple, Lou and Irene, commit a life insurance fraud. Lou's brother Billy helps him fake his death and leave for Mexico. But Irene and Billy fall in love and when Lou returns, they claim they don't know him.


Michael J. Fox


Scott Alexander, Steven Dodd (creator)




Episode cast overview:
Teri Garr ... Irene Paloma
Bruno Kirby ... Billy Paloma
Bruce McGill ... Luigi "Lou" Paloma
James Tolkan ... Sgt. McClaine
Carroll Baker ... Mother Paloma
John Kassir ... Crypt Keeper (voice)
Carlos Lacamara ... Paolo
Michael J. Fox ... Prosecutor
Yvette Freeman ... Jury Forewoman
Ben Hartigan Ben Hartigan ... Chaplain


An abrasive husband comes home to tell his wife that he has lost his job again. She reminds him that they are behind on their bills and suggests she get a job. He refuses. Instead, he comes up with a scheme to make a lot of money quick. Calling his coroner brother over, he tells them his plan to fake his own death and collect his half a million dollar life insurance policy. Making it look like a burglar has murdered him, all he has left to do is fly to Brazil, have plastic surgery to change his appearance, and wait for his wife to meet him. How could anything go wrong? Written by grrlpunk

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Michael J. Fox, who directed this episode and appears as the prosecutor, previously appeared alongside James Tolkan (Sergeant McClaine) in the Back to the Future (1985) trilogy. See more »


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.80 (2005) See more »


Tales from the Crypt Theme
Composed by Danny Elfman
See more »

User Reviews

The perfect crime! ...TWICE!
10 April 2006 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Pocket the big fat bonus of your life insurance without necessarily having to die first! Haven't we all secretly thought about committing this fraudulent crime? Well, it also is a popular storyline in second-class comedies and TV-thrillers and, naturally, there's a "Tales from the Crypt"-episode revolving on this topic as well. The aggressive and foulmouthed Lou Paloma has just been fired from his millionth job and, instead of looking for a new one, he wants to escape his debt collectors by reaping the money from his life insurance and flee to Brazil. He requires the help from his wife and mortician brother, but the two of them plot an even more ingenious crime that'll only result in more problems for Lou. This first episode of the third season doesn't contain any gore or nudity but, instead, it has a well-written screenplay and quite a lot of effective black humor. First time director Michael J. Fox, who also briefly appears as the prosecutor in court, disposed of some great actors & actresses to work with, like Bruno Kirby, Bruce McGill and even classic film-star Caroll Baker as Lou's senile old mother. In case you ever plan to fake your own dead (for whatever reason, no questions asked…) this tale is required viewing, as it will supply you tips and advice on how to make it look realistic.

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Canada | USA



Release Date:

15 June 1991 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Mono



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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