Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Roadhouse Murder (1932)

The Roadhouse Murder poster

RKO Radio Pictures
Starring:
 Dorothy Jordan, Eric Linden, Gustav von Seyffertitz
Directed by: J. Walter Ruben

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

Synopsis: Chick Brian (Eric Linden) is an ambitious reporter looking for a break and hopes to impress the father of his girlfriend, Mary Agnew (Dorothy Jordan).  When the pair happen upon a murder at a remote inn Chick comes up with the idea of framing himself for the murder to write an exclusive series of articles for his newspaper about his life on the run.  What could possible go wrong?

Kitty Cameo: Chick and Mary are stranded in a rainstorm and seek shelter at a roadhouse inn called the Lame Dog.  The porter who answers the door is carrying a black cat.

The Roadhouse Murder - black cat Susan in porter's arms

The porter shows the couple to a room, insisting they pay whether they stay the night or not.

The Roadhouse Murder - black cat Susan and porter show Chick and Mary to a room

The creepy porter says he lives there alone with Susan, his cat.  As he picks up Susan she grabs at Chick’s coat (looking for all the world as if she is saying “Help me!”)

The Roadhouse Murder - black cat Susan grabs for Chick animated gif

Shortly after this we see Susan arching her back and then a gun which goes off.

The Roadhouse Murder - black cat Susan arches back

The porter falls to the ground and Susan runs to his side.  Chick and Mary exit their room and see the dead porter on the floor with Susan beside him.

The Roadhouse Murder - black cat Susan runs to dead porter's side

After finding another dead man and seeing the murderers before they escape, Chick devises his cockamamie plot to get famous.  The next morning the police arrive and Chick is waiting for them.  Susan is still sitting by the porter’s side.  No one refers to the poor cat again or offers to get her any food or water.  The cat is not seen or mentioned again.

The Roadhouse Murder - black cat Susan lying next to dead porter

Final Mewsings: No one could save poor Susan from the terrible plot of this film.


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El espíritu de la colmena (1973)

The Spirit of the Beehive poster

English Title: The Spirit of the Beehive
Bocaccio Distribución S.A.
Starring:
 Ana Torrent, Isabel Tellería, Fernando Fernán Gómez
Directed by: Víctor Erice

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

Synopsis: A quiet but haunting tale about two sisters living in a small Spanish village who see the film Frankenstein, causing the younger sister Ana (Ana Torrent) to seek the Frankenstein monster.

Kitty Cameo: Halfway through the film a black cat is seen living in the home with the two sisters, Ana and Isabel (Isabel Telleria).

The Spirit of the Beehive - black cat closeup

A short time later the cat enters the girls’ bedroom where Isabel is lying on her bed.

The Spirit of the Beehive - black cat enters room

Isabel calls to the cat and then pulls it up onto the bed with her.

The Spirit of the Beehive - Isabel with black cat on her lap

She begins petting the cat and listening to it purr.

The Spirit of the Beehive - Isabel listens to black cat purring

Kitty Carnage Warning! For some reason (undoubtedly symbolism which would be too complicated to delve into here) Isabel wraps her hands around the cat’s throat and starts to choke it.

The Spirit of the Beehive - black cat being strangled by little girl Isabel

Eventually the poor cat fights back and manages to free itself, giving Isabel a good scratch in the process.

The Spirit of the Beehive - black cat pulls away from Isabel strangling

Final Mewsings: Little girls who strangle cats deserve worse than just a scratch!


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Bachelor in Paradise (1961)

Bachelor in Paradise DVD

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Starring:
 Bob Hope, Lana Turner, Janis Paige
Directed by: Jack Arnold

Synopsis: A.J. Niles (Bob Hope) is a jetsetting author who is known for his series of books about love in other countries told from a bachelor’s point of view.  He is grounded when he owes a large sum to the IRS and ends up moving to a new tract development named Paradise where he hopes to explore the topic of love in the U.S., particularly with the development’s beautiful secretary Rosemary Howard (Lana Turner).

Purr Blur: As A.J. is dictating his observations about the frenetic life of suburban Americans, we see the residents of Paradise in fast motion as they hurry off to work and school in the morning.  In one shot a crowd of children climb aboard a school bus on one of the neighborhood streets.  In the background a black cat emerges from one of the houses and makes its way across the lawn, then into the street.  As the bus starts and turns the corner, driving towards the cat, the animal turns and runs away.

Bachelor in Paradise - black cat runs into and out of street

Final Mewsings: Cats don’t need to catch the bus.


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$ (1971)

$ (Dollars) poster

Alternative Title: Dollars
Columbia Pictures Corporation
Starring:
 Warren Beatty, Goldie Hawn, Arthur Brauss
Directed by: Richard Brooks

Synopsis: A bank security expert (Warren Beatty) and his prostitute accomplice (Goldie Hawn) scheme to steal a large amount of money from three separate safe deposit boxes which are owned by men with criminal ties.

Kitty Cameo: At the beginning of the film we see a shady character wearing dark glasses.  He is known as the Candy Man (Arthur Brass) and is a high-priced drug smuggler.  He is seen in his loft apartment where he pauses a moment to pour some milk into a bowl for a black cat, which he then pets.

$ (Dollars) - black cat on table being petted by Candy Man

Later in the film Candy Man is preparing some highly concentrated liquid LSD which he is to smuggle.  The black cat jumps up onto the table where he is working to eat some food from a bowl.

$ (Dollars) - black cat jumps on table where Candy Man is working

Kitty Carnage Warning! The Candy Man gets an eyedropper and drops some of the lethal mixture into the cat’s food.

$ (Dollars) - Candy Man drips concentrated LSD into black cat's food

The poor cat starts to freak out and run around the apartment.

$ (Dollars) - black cat freaks out and runs around room

Later Candy Man is seen shoving a bedraggled black thing into a stove.  This is apparently supposed to be the cat (although it looks more like a deceased Muppet).

$ (Dollars) - Candy Man shoves what is supposed to be the black cat's body into a stove

Final Mewsings: Cats should just say no to drugs and drug smugglers.


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Melissa & Joey – “Witch Came First”

Melissa and Joey poster

Original Air Date: October 22, 2014
Starring: Melissa Joan Hart, Joey Lawrence, Taylor Spreitler
Directed by: Melissa Joan Hart

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

Synopsis: Melissa (Melissa Joan Hart) and her new husband Joey (Joey Lawrence) are preparing for a night of Halloween fun when Mel’s gynecologist (Beth Broderick) shows up to explain that Mel is actually a witch and needs to defeat the Dark Lord.

Featured Feline: This episode is a playful nod to Melissa’s long-running series Sabrina, the Teenage Witch with Beth Broderick, who played Sabrina’s aunt Zelda, making a guest appearance.  Melissa doesn’t believe she is actually a witch until she manages to accidentally turn her niece, Lennox (Taylor Spreitler) into a black cat.

Melissa and Joey - Witch Came First - Melissa with black cat on stool

Lennox is startled by her transformation.  She talks via CGI effects to make the cat actor’s eyes and mouth move.

Melissa and Joey - Witch Came First - black cat on stool

Melissa promises to change her back but Lennox needs to use the restroom first and asks to be let outside.  Melissa isn’t sure but allows her outside.

Melissa and Joey - Witch Came First - black cat at door

Later Lennox meows to come back inside.

Melissa and Joey - Witch Came First - Melissa carries black cat

Melissa places her on the kitchen counter.  “You don’t even know where I’ve been!” Lennox points out.

Melissa and Joey - Witch Came First - black cat on counter

Unable to use the proper spell, Melissa makes do with “Bippity Boppity Boo” and manages to change Lennox back into a person . . . well, almost.

Melissa and Joey - Witch Came First - Melissa tries spell on black cat

The cat actor from this episode was one of the team from Performing Animal Troupe that worked on the original Sabrina show.

Melissa and Joey - Witch Came First - black cat close on stool

Final Mewsings: Sadly it can be dangerous to be a black cat on Halloween.


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