Monthly Archives: March 2016

Midnight Shadow (1939)

Midnight Shadow poster

Sack Amusement Enterprises
Starring:
 Buck Woods, Richard Bates
Directed by: George Randol

Synopsis: The father of beautiful Margaret Wilson (Frances Redd) is murdered and there are several suspects.  Can amateur detective Junior Lingley (Richard Bates) solve the crime?

Purr Blur: In one scene Junior Lingley and his partner Lightfoot (Buck Woods) are looking for clues at the scene of the crime, the Wilsons’ bedroom.  Junior climbs under the bed while Lightfoot starts to take a nap on the bed above him.  Suddenly Junior cries out in alarm.  We see a tabby cat run from beneath Mr. Wilson’s bed to beneath Mrs. Wilson’s bed.  The cat is not seen again.

Midnight Shadow - tabby cat by bed

Midnight Shadow - tabby cat running from beneath one bed to another animated gif

Final Mewsings: Cats are more scared of amateur detectives than amateur detectives are of them!


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Zotz! (1962)

Zotz! DVD

Columbia Pictures Corporation
Starring:
 Tom Poston, Margaret Dumont, Jim Backus
Directed by: William Castle

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

Synopsis: Prof. Jonathan Jones (Tom Poston), a soft-spoken professor of ancient language, has a mysterious coin come into his possession which endows him with supernatural powers, bringing chaos into his ordered life.

Cat Credits:  A cat appears twice in the theme song in cartoon form, even though the cat in the film is only in one scene.

Zotz! - cartoon cat with dog in credits

Zotz! - cartoon cat with mouse in credits

Kitty Cameo: In one scene Prof. Jones goes to a party held at the house of the University’s Dean Updike (Cecil Kellaway).  The Dean’s wife Persephone (Margaret Dumont) greets Professor Jones while holding a beautiful Siamese cat.

Zotz! - Siamese cat Hercules held by Margaret Dumont

The cat appears in part of the scene, being passed between Persephone and her husband, who asks the other to “Hold Hercules.”

Zotz! - Siamese cat Hercules held by Cecil Kallaway

Zotz! - Siamese cat Hercules handed by Margaret Dumont to Cecil Kellaway

Persephone also scolds her husband, saying his pipe smoke makes Hercules sick.

Zotz! - Siamese cat Hercules held by Cecil Kellaway with pipe

When Professor Kellgore (Jim Backus) comments about the cat, Dean Updike takes the opportunity to give him Hercules to hold.

Zotz! - Siamese cat Hercules held by Jim Backus

The cat is missing for most of the following moments when Professor Jones tells the Dean about the strange coin and its powers, hoping to prove his story by bringing out a cage of white mice on which he plans to demonstrate.  Unfortunately Professor Jones doesn’t realize he no longer has the coin in his possession and the white mice run amok, causing panic amongst the party-goers.  One man loses his toupee, which falls on a mouse and is dragged across the floor.  The toupee then chases Hercules into the cage which originally held the mice.

Zotz! - Siamese cat being chased into cage by wig animated gif

Final Mewsings: Cats gets frightened by wigged-out mice.


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U.F.O. – “The Cat With Ten Lives”

U.F.O. Season One DVD

Original Air Date: September 30, 1970
Starring: Alexis Kanner, Geraldine Moffat, Ayshea Brough
Directed by: David Tomblin

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

Synopsis: SHADO pilot Jim Reagan (Alexis Kanner) and his wife Jean (Geraldine Moffat) stop their car on a country road to avoid hitting a Siamese cat, only to have a terrifying encounter with the aliens.

Bad Kitty: The beautiful Siamese Cat is a featured feline in this episode.  Reagan’s wife immediately want to adopt it but never really gets the chance when the aliens intercede.  Reagan calling the cat Jonah might have been an accurate call.

U.F.O. - The Cat with Ten Lives Siamese cat Jonah with Reagan and Jean

Reagan awakens in the car with Jonah the cat and realizes his wife is missing.

U.F.O. - The Cat with Ten Lives Siamese cat Jonah with Reagan when he awakens in car

Reagan returns to S.H.A.D.O. headquarters and Jonah tags along, spending much of the episode slinking around the secret buildings.  The cat actor’s nervous walking lends itself well to the cat character supposedly sneaking around and spying.

U.F.O. - The Cat with Ten Lives Siamese cat Jonah sneaking through S.H.A.D.O. headquarters

U.F.O. - The Cat with Ten Lives Siamese cat Jonah close up

There are some interesting angles used to film the cat in this episode.

U.F.O. - The Cat with Ten Lives Siamese cat Jonah filmed from beneath animated gif

It turns out Jonah is actually an alien and the team realizes that the aliens have the ability to take over the minds of earth creatures.

U.F.O. - The Cat with Ten Lives Siamese cat Jonah on couch

Somehow the cat alien is able to also control Reagan’s mind, which leads to some tense moments and a suspenseful ending in which a pack of dogs are set loose on the cat alien.  No violence is actually shown on screen, just some weird shots of Jonah through a fish eyed lens as the dogs rush towards him.

U.F.O. - The Cat with Ten Lives Siamese cat Jonah with dogs running animated gif

Final Mewsings: Apparently alien cats don’t know how to run.


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Express Yourself (1989)

Music Artist: Madonna

Synopsis: Madonna’s take on the Fritz Lang classic film Metropolis with her own sexual twist.

Featured Feline: At the beginning of the video Madonna is seen in a tall skyscraper holding a black cat against her breast.

Express Yourself - Madonna holding black cat to her breast

She releases the cat which runs off.

Express Yourself - Madonna - black cat running

Express Yourself - Madonna - black cat with eyes glowing

Madonna is singing to the slave workers below, in particular one worker (Cameron Alborzian).  The cat finds this worker, who holds the animal in the rain.

Express Yourself - Madonna - black cat shadow against wall

Express Yourself - Madonna - worker holding black cat in rain

Eventually the worker makes his way to an elevator which takes him to the top of the tall tower where Madonna has been chained and was seen drinking milk from a bowl like a cat.

Express Yourself - Madonna - worker with black cat on his shoulder

Express Yourself - Madonna - close up of black cat

The worker drops the cat and he and Madonna get it on.  The cat we don’t see again.  Maybe it got some of the milk from the saucer?  Oh no wait, that’s right, Madonna poured it over her shoulder.  Sorry kitty!

Express Yourself - Madonna worker holding black cat

Express Yourself - Madonna - worker drops black cat to the floor

Final Mewsings: This cat actor appreciated the fact that Madonna did not wear her cone bra for this video.

Many thanks to Stevie H. for recommending this video to us!


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Cat and Duck Issue Title is Good Grounds (1943)

British Pathé

Synopsis: Newsreel footage shows a cat and a duck in a miniature boxing ring with a kookaburra as referee, plus more kookaburras and a cockatoo for an audience.

Reality Cat: The narrator introduces this match as Don the Demon vs. Tom the Terror, but what is actually going on here is never quite explained.  Why are these two fighting?  Who set up this match?  And what are the odds?

Cat and Duck Issue Title is Good Grounds - tabby cat and duck in boxing ring

Obviously this happened in Australia where watching cats playfully wrestling with ducks might make for great entertainment.  Less amusing is the Clarence Nash impersonator speaking for the duck.

Cat and Duck Issue Title is Good Grounds - tabby cat wrestling with duck in boxing ring

It looks to us as if the cat would like to have the duck for dinner, if he would only stop moving.

Cat and Duck Issue Title is Good Grounds - tabby cat and duck playing rough in boxing ring

Final Mewsings: Tom likes his duck on the very rare side.


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