Category Archives: Featured Feline

Deliria (1987)

Stagefright poster

English Title:  StageFright (aka Aquarius and Bloody Bird)
DMV Distribuzione
Starring:
 Barbara Cupisti, Clain Parker
Directed by: Michael Soavi

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

Synopsis: A theater troupe finds themselves locked in a soundstage with a crazed killer.

Featured Feline: The film opens with a cat yowling under the opening credits. A black cat is featured prominently in many scenes of the film (actually the cat, whose name is Lucifer, appears to be a tabby cat which has been tinted black). The cat first crosses the stage as the actors are rehearsing a play.

Deliria - black tabby cat Lucifer walking across stage

The director, Peter (David Brandon) later grabs Lucifer roughly and hands him to a stage hand named Mark (Martin Philips), directing him to “Get this damn cat out of here.”

Deliria - director reaching for black tabby cat Lucifer on stage

Deliria - Mark Martin Philips carrying away black tabby cat Lucifer

Lucifer belongs to the building’s caretaker Willy (James Sampson), who reaches for him when he crosses the path of actress Alicia (Barbara Cupisti) and seamstress Betty (Ulrike Schwerk) as they head out for medical help for Alicia’s sore ankle. Alicia is nervous and Betty asks if she is superstitious.

Deliria - black tabby cat Lucifer running in front of women

The girls go to a psychiatric hospital for help and unwittingly bring back a crazed psycho killer named Irving Wallace (Clain Parker) in their car. As Betty later sits in the car, she is startled by Lucifer who jumps at her in true spring-loaded cat fashion from the back seat. After Betty is killed, Alicia hears Lucifer meowing around the car and looks for him. Lucifer is not seen but Alicia finds Betty’s body next to the car.

Deliria - black tabby cat Lucifer jumps up on back of front seat in car

Lucifer is not seen again until later in the film when the majority of the theater troupe has been killed, leaving only Alicia to witness the gruesome scene of Wallace, wearing an owl’s head that was a prop from the play, arranging the mutilated bodies around the stage. Lucifer emerges from beneath a chair and starts to gnaw on part of one of the bodies.

Deliria - black tabby cat Lucifer coming out from beneath chair on bloody stage covered with bodies

Deliria - black tabby cat Lucifer coming out from beneath chair on bloody stage covered with bodies

Deliria - black tabby cat Lucifer gnawing at body on bloody stage

Deliria - black tabby cat Lucifer on bloody stage covered with bodies and killer

The cat then hits an electrical cable on the stage, turning on a fan which blows feathers everywhere.

Deliria - black tabby cat Lucifer bumping into wire

Lucifer then becomes Wallace’s lap cat, enjoying pets as the crazy man sits in the chair in the middle of the stage, surrounded by his carnage.

Deliria - black tabby cat Lucifer sitting on lap of owl headed killer Wallace on bloody stage

Deliria - close of black tabby cat Lucifer sitting on lap of owl headed killer Wallace on bloody stage

Deliria - close of black tabby cat Lucifer sitting on lap of owl headed killer Wallace on bloody stage

Deliria - close of black tabby cat Lucifer sitting on lap of owl headed killer Wallace on bloody stage

Alicia spots the key to the door stuck in the stage and crawls beneath the floor to try to pry it loose. Lucifer notices the nail she is using coming up through the boards and investigates, tipping Wallace off to Alicia’s location.

Deliria - close of black tabby cat Lucifer sitting on lap of owl headed killer Wallace on bloody stage with key in foreground

Deliria - close of black tabby cat Lucifer sitting on lap of owl headed killer Wallace on bloody stage with key in foreground

Deliria - close of black tabby cat Lucifer at feet of owl headed killer Wallace on bloody stage with key in foreground

Deliria - close of black tabby cat Lucifer at feet of owl headed killer Wallace on bloody stage with key in foreground

Lucifer is only seen one more time following Alicia down the steps of the stage as she runs to the door.

Deliria - close of black tabby cat Lucifer coming off bloody stage with Alicia Barbara Cupisti ahead

Final Mewsings: If you are stupid enough to go to a psychiatric hospital for a sore ankle, don’t blame the cat for your bad luck!

Many thanks to Dr. Jimmy and Bob for letting us know about the cat in this movie.


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Unforgettable (1996)

Unforgettable poster

Dino De Laurentiis Company
Starring:
 Ray Liotta, Linda Fiorentino
Directed by: John Dahl

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

Synopsis: Medical examiner Dr. David Crane (Ray Liotta) uses an experimental drug that tranfers memories from one person to another to try to find out who killed his wife, a murder he was almost convicted of himself.

Featured Feline: The creator of the experimental drug is medical student Martha Briggs (Linda Fiorentino). Dr. Crane visits her university laboratory to find out more about her tests on animals. She demonstrates by pulling a tabby cat named Zelda from a carrier.

Unforgettable - tabby cat Zelda held up by Martha Linda Fiorentino

Zelda is placed behind a door inside a maze and a lab rat which does not know the maze is placed beside the cat.

Unforgettable - tabby cat Zelda behind door in maze with rat

The doors are open in sequence and Zelda chases the rat through the maze. Since the rat doesn’t know where to go for safety, Zelda soon corners it. Martha pulls the rat to safety before Zelda can touch it.

Unforgettable - tabby cat Zelda held up by Martha Linda Fiorentino

Unforgettable - tabby cat Zelda running through maze

Unforgettable - tabby cat Zelda closing in on rat in maze

Unforgettable - Martha pulling rat away from tabby cat Zelda in maze

Unforgettable - tabby cat Zelda looking up in maze

Martha then injects the necessary chemical from another rat who knows the maze and mixes it with her formula, injecting it into the same rat which just unsuccessfully ran the maze. Dr. Crane watches as the experiment is repeated and the rat runs away from Zelda through the maze as if having done it before, reaching the safe area this time.

Unforgettable - tabby cat Zelda held by Martha Linda Fiorentino

Unforgettable - tabby cat Zelda behind door in maze

Unforgettable - tabby cat Zelda running after rat in maze

Unforgettable - tabby cat Zelda running after rat in maze animated gif

Zelda is then put back into her carrier. Later in the film the lab is blown up by a bad guy. No mention is made of what happened to Zelda and the rats but it probably wasn’t good news.

Unforgettable - tabby cat Zelda held by Martha Linda Fiorentino

Final Mewsings: Does anything good ever happen to a cat in a laboratory?


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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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Runaway Bride (1999)

Runaway Bride poster

Paramount Pictures
Starring:
 Richard Gere, Julia Roberts
Directed by: Garry Marshall

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

Synopsis: Maggie Carpenter (Julia Roberts) is an independent woman with a habit of ditching men at the altar, which brings her to the attention of reporter Ike Graham (Richard Gere).

Featured Feline: Ike owns a multi-colored long-haired cat named Italics. Italics is first seen sitting next to his food bowl waiting to be fed in Ike’s apartment.

Runaway Bride - long-haired cat Italics sitting by food bowl

Runaway Bride - long-haired cat Italics begging by food bowl

Runaway Bride - long-haired cat Italics sitting by food bowl as Ike Richard Gere passes animated gif

There is also a photo of Italics in the newspaper office where Ike works.

Runaway Bride - photo of long-haired cat in frame

Much of the film takes place in Maggie’s hometown, so Italics is not seen again until Ike returns to New York.

Runaway Bride - long-haired cat Italics looking out window

Ike comes home one evening and is surprised to find Maggie there, sitting on a couch and petting Italics.

Runaway Bride - long-haired cat Italics sitting beside Maggie Julia Roberts on couch with Ike Richard Gere

Runaway Bride - long-haired cat Italics sitting beside Maggie Julia Roberts on couch with Ike Richard Gere

Runaway Bride - long-haired cat Italics sitting beside Maggie Julia Roberts on couch with Ike Richard Gere

Runaway Bride - long-haired cat Italics sitting beside Maggie Julia Roberts on couch with Ike Richard Gere

Runaway Bride - long-haired cat Italics sitting on couch

Ike gets some dry food and feeds the cat before sitting down to a serious discussion with Maggie.

Runaway Bride - Ike Richard Gere feeding long-haired cat Italics

As the couple feel chemistry, Ike gets up and puts on some music. Italics is sitting by the stereo.

Runaway Bride - long-haired cat Italics sitting beside stereo

Runaway Bride - long-haired cat Italics sitting beside stereo

Italics is sitting by the window as Ike and Maggie start to dance, then gets up and has a better look right before they kiss.

Runaway Bride - long-haired cat Italics lying by window as Ike Richard Gere and Maggie Julia Roberts dance

Runaway Bride - long-haired cat Italics looking out of window

Runaway Bride - long-haired cat Italics looking out of window as Ike Richard Gere and Maggie Julia Roberts kiss animated gif

The cat actors playing Italics appear to be the Pearl or Elvis team of cats which appeared in many films around this time and were trained by Dawn Barkan. Director Garry Marshall explained on the DVD’s commentary track that shots of the cat were inserted as cutaways, a common editing practice (perhaps we can dub this a Cutaway Cat). For instance, the shot of italics looking out the window as Ike and Maggie kiss was included because there was one shot where the pair “wasn’t beautiful as they went into the kiss.”

Runaway Bride - long-haired cat Italics sitting on couch

Final Mewsings: Cats distract movie-goers from bad shots.


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Book Club (2018)

Book Club poster

Apartment Story
Starring:
 Candice Bergen, Diane Keaton
Directed by: Bill Holderman

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

Synopsis: A group of woman in their late 60’s decide to spice up their monthly book club meetings by reading the 50 Shades of Gray Trilogy.

Featured Feline: One member of the club is Federal Judge Sharon Myers (Candice Bergen) who is also a divorcee. As the introductory segment explains, when her marriage ended she bought a cat. A photo of the white Persian cat as a kitten is shown.

Book Club - photo of white Persian kitten Ginsburg

The cat, whose name is Ginsburg (presumably named for Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg) is seen several times throughout the film, including when Sharon starts reading the first book.

Book Club - white Persian cat Ginsburg sitting on Sharon's lap while she reads 50 Shades of Gray

In one scene Sharon takes Ginsburg to the vet (Ravi Kapoor). There is some confusion when Sharon starts talking about her own maladies instead of the cat’s.

Book Club - white Persian cat Ginsburg being lifted by vet

Book Club - white Persian cat Ginsburg being petted by vet

Book Club - white Persian cat Ginsburg on veterinarian Ravi Kapoor table with Sharon Candice Bergen

Later Sharon tries to entice Ginsburg to go outside but the cat stays put. This corresponds with Sharon’s lack of recent dating, which she changes when she signs up at a singles website.

Book Club - white Persian cat Ginsburg lying next to doorway

Book Club - white Persian cat Ginsburg lying next to doorway with Sharon Candice Bergen

Book Club - white Persian cat Ginsburg lying next to doorway

As Sharon starts dating again, Ginsburg seems more willing to go outside.

Book Club - white Persian cat Ginsburg jumping down from shelf

Book Club - white Persian cat Ginsburg scurrying to door

Late in the film Sharon is seen picking up a lethargic Ginsburg and holding her. There’s really no explanation given for the cat’s behavior, except for the fact that Sharon has pulled away from the dating scene again.

Book Club - white Persian cat Ginsburg lying on pillow

Book Club - white Persian cat Ginsburg being picked up by Sharon Candice Bergen

Book Club - white Persian cat Ginsburg held by Sharon

In the end Sharon decides to reconnect with one of her computer dates and Ginsburg seems more perky.

Book Club - white Persian cat Ginsburg sitting on chair

Final Mewsings: Cats can sense our moods!


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