Category Archives: Spring-Loaded Cat

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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Halloween II (1981)

Halloween II poster

Universal Pictures
Starring:
 Jamie Lee Curtis, Cliff Emmich
Directed by: Rick Rosenthal

Synopsis: Picking up from where the first movie left off, Michael Meyers continues his killing spree while searching for Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis).

Purr Blur: Michael’s search takes him to the hospital where Laurie has been admitted. In one scene a security guard named Mr. Garrett (Cliff Emmich) is searching around back and sees some blood in a dumpster. A second later a gray cat leaps from the bin in true spring-loaded cat fashion and jumps on the man, knocking him backwards into some garbage cans.

Halloween II - gray cat jumping out of garbage dumpster

Halloween II - gray cat jumping onto security guard Mr. Garrett Cliff Emmich

Halloween II - gray cat and security guard Mr. Garrett Cliff Emmich falling backwards into garbage cans

Halloween II - gray cat jumping out of dumpster at security guard Mr. Garrett Cliff Emmich animated gif

Final Mewsings: And you thought Michael Meyers was scary!

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


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Once Upon a Crime (1992)

Once Upon a Crime poster

Dino De Laurentiis Company
Starring:
 Richard Lewis, John Candy
Directed by: Eugene Levy

Synopsis: An odd ensemble of American tourists get caught up in an apparent murder in Monte Carlo.

Purr Blur: While looking around Madame Van Dougen’s estate, Julian Peters (Richard Lewis) takes a few steps backwards. A cat suddenly runs past and screeches in true spring-loaded cat fashion, startling him.

Once Upon a Crime - cat running behind legs

Later Augie Morosco (John Candy) is showing the police how he managed to sneak out of his wife’s room. Crossing over a precarious bridge between the hotel and a home he manages to get across and throws himself over the balcony. A cat cries out but is not seen.

Final Mewsings: Real life cats do so much more than just scare people!


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