Category Archives: Kitty Carnage Warning

Konga (1961)

Konga poster

Merton Park Studios
Starring:
 Michael Gough, Margo Johns
Directed by: John Lemont

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Dr. Charles Decker (Michael Gough) is a mad scientist determined to combine plants and animals to make a gigantic ape out of a tiny chimp named Konga.

Featured Feline: Decker lives with his assistant and secretary Margaret (Margo Johns) and they have a ginger tabby cat named, of course, Tabby. Tabby is first seen on the couch beside Margaret when Decker first returns home after having been lost in a jungle for a year.

Konga - ginger cat Tabby sitting on couch with Margaret Margo Johns with Dr. Decker Michael Gough

Konga - ginger cat Tabby sitting on couch with Margaret Margo Johns with Dr. Decker Michael Gough

Konga - ginger cat Tabby sitting on couch with Margaret Margo Johns with Dr. Decker Michael Gough

Later the pair are working in the lab on Decker’s new experiment. His chemical boils over onto the floor. Margaret observes that even Tabby is fascinated by the experiment as the cat is seen lapping the formula up from the floor. Decker is furious that the cat was allowed into the lab.

Konga - ginger cat Tabby licking up spilled formula from floor

Kitty Carnage Warning!  Decker quickly runs to a drawer, pulls out a revolver and walks over and shoots Tabby twice. This is not seen on camera and only a brief shot of Tabby’s bloody body is seen (obviously a fake dead cat). Decker explains that they are not ready for a super-sized cat running around and that Konga is to be the subject of his experiment.

Final Mewsings: Cats should learn to stay out of labs.

Many thanks to Nick Wale for letting us know about the cat in this film.


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Proof (1991)

Proof poster

House & Moorhouse Films
Starring:
 Russell Crowe, Hugo Weaving
Directed by: Jocelyn Moorhouse

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Martin (Hugo Weaving) is a blind photographer with trust issues who befriends restaurant worker Andy (Russell Crowe) causing jealousy for Martin’s possessive housekeeper (Geneviève Picot).

Featured Feline: As Andy is taking out trash behind the restaurant, a Bengal tabby cat he calls Ugly is eating from some trash.

Proof - Bengal tabby cat Ugly eating bits of meat in crate

Proof - Bengal tabby cat Ugly in crate

Kitty Carnage Warning!  Andy throws Ugly some tidbits of meat. At this moment, Martin is walking down the alley, feeling his way with a cane. The cane accidentally knocks over some bottles which causes Martin to tumble into the crates and boxes where Ugly is eating.

Proof - Bengal tabby cat Ugly eating meat in alley as Martin Hugo Weaving approaches

Proof - Bengal tabby cat Ugly eating meat in alley as Martin Hugo Weaving approaches

Martin gathers himself and walks away. Andy moves to gather the fallen items and sees that Ugly is now lying motionless beneath the debris. It should be noted that from this moment on the cat appears to be a fake cat.

Proof - Bengal tabby cat Ugly lying motionless beneath trash being moved by Andy Russell Crowe

Some time later, Martin is leaving the restaurant through the back when Andy stops him and says he killed Ugly. Andy shows Martin the cat lying in a garbage can and Martin realizes Ugly is not dead. Martin gathers up the cat and starts to carry him away, saying he knows someone who can help. Andy offers to drive.

Proof - limp Bengal tabby cat Ugly being held by Martin Hugo Weaving

They arrive at a veterinary clinic and sit in the waiting room. Martin hands Ugly to Andy and asks him to pose for a picture.

Proof - limp Bengal tabby cat Ugly lying in lap

Proof - limp Bengal tabby cat Ugly being held by Martin Hugo Weaving in veterinary waiting room with Andy Russell Crowe

Martin takes a series of photos with Ugly, Andy and some of the other people in the waiting room with their pets. This includes a woman who has a cream-colored Persian.

Proof - cream colored Persian cat in lap

Proof - photo of cream colored Persian cat held up by woman

Proof - photo of limp Bengal tabby cat Ugly being held up by Andy Russell Crowe with woman holding cream colored Persian cat

Proof - photo of limp Bengal tabby cat Ugly being held by Andy Russell Crowe with other people and pets

The photos then show how Ugly is taken in to see the vet and makes an apparently miraculous recovery (a real cat is brought back for the last of these). What happens to Ugly after this is now known.

Proof - photo of Bengal tabby cat Ugly in veterinary office with Andy Russell Crowe

Proof - photo of Bengal tabby cat Ugly in veterinary office with Andy Russell Crowe

Proof - photo of Bengal tabby cat Ugly in veterinary office with Andy Russell Crowe

Proof - photo of Bengal tabby cat Ugly

Final Mewsings: Cats would prefer not to have their photos taken when they are injured and unconscious.

Many thanks to Nick Wale for letting us know about the cat in this film!


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The Hand (1981)

The Hand poster

Warner Bros.
Starring:
 Michael Caine, Mara Hobel
Directed by: Oliver Stone

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Jonathan Lansdale (Michael Caine) is a cartoonist who loses his hand in a freak accident and then thinks he’s losing his mind when his disembodied hand haunts his life.

Kitty Cameo: At the beginning of the film Jonathan is at his country home with his wife Anne (Andrea Marcovicci) and daughter Lizzie (Mara Hobel). He notices Lizzie poking at something with a stick. A black cat is in the background.

The Hand - black cat Amanda in background behind Lizzie Mara Hobel

Lizzie is poking at a lizard’s tail which is moving each time she pushes the stick closer. The black cat is eating the rest of the lizard by a tree.

The Hand - black cat Amanda eating lizard by tree

As they contemplate the wriggling appendage, the black cat suddenly pounces on the tail and devours it, then runs away. Lizzie calls after the cat, “Amanda!”

The Hand - black cat Amanda eating lizard's tail

The Hand - black cat Amanda running away

The Hand - black cat Amanda jumping on lizard's tail and eating it then running away Lizzie Mara Hobel Jonathan Michael Caine animated gif

After the accident, Jonathan is in his studio attempting to draw with his left hand. He hears a noise behind him and looks but nothing is there. Suddenly Amanda leaps out of nowhere onto the drawing board and hisses violently.

The Hand - black cat Amanda hissing

Kitty Carnage Warning!  Amanda then inexplicably turns and dashes through the glass window with a crash.

The Hand - black cat Amanda going through window with Jonathan Michael Caine

The Hand - black cat Amanda going through window with Jonathan Michael Caine animated gif

This scene is repeated later in the film as a memory in black and white. It is never explains exactly what happened to Amanda or if she survived the crash through the window, although in the context of the film her fate could be deduced. But we won’t give spoilers here.

The Hand - black cat Amanda hissing in black and white

In the DVD commentary track, director Oliver Stone explained that the shot of the cat leaping through the window was difficult to achieve using a mechanical spring cat matched to the real cat actor who had to jump on the table and then turn and run in the right direction. “Working with animals and getting the stunt right is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do in the films. So to get a cat to jump in the correct manner and scare somebody is not easy.”

Final Mewsings: Oliver Stone wasn’t content with just one spring-loaded cat!


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Marmaduke (2010)

Marmaduke DVD

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring:
 Owen Wilson, George Lopez, Emma Stone, Lee Pace, Judy Greer, William H. Macy
Also starring: George, Mai Tai
Directed by: Tom Dey

Synopsis: Based on the long-running comic strip by Brad Anderson, Marmaduke is a gigantic Great Dane (played by George and voiced by Owen Wilson) who lives with the Winslow family. When Phil Winslow (Lee Pace) gets an opportunity to move his family to Orange County, California, to work on an ad campaign for an organic dog food company, he jumps at the chance. It’s now up to his family and Marmaduke to adjust by making new friends and finding their place in their new surroundings.

Featured Feline: Marmaduke’s best friend is the family cat named Carlos, who is played by a Balinese or Rag Doll Blue (can’t confirm which breed exactly) named Mai Tai and voiced by comedian George Lopez. I don’t remember there being a cat character in the original comic strip and I can’t confirm this beyond him being listed as such on Wikipedia. Whether or not the cat is in the original strip he certainly plays a more prominent role in this film, essentially being Marmaduke’s sidekick. There is also a Kitty Cameo by an orange tabby who is being taunted at the cool dogs’ party under the pier.

Marmaduke

Kitty Carnage Warning! While the violence in this film is strictly of the cartoonish nature, there are still some disconcerting scenes of Marmaduke treating Carlos roughly. We assume in those instances an animatronic puppet and / or CGI was utilized.

Final Mewsings: When an oriental breed of cat can play a Hispanic comic sidekick, it’s clear that racial barriers are finally being broken.


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