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