Monthly Archives: March 2018

Spirit Lost (1997)

Spirit Lost DVD

The Black Entertainment Network
Starring:
 Leon, Regina Taylor
Directed by: Neema Barnette

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

Synopsis: John (Leon), an artist, and his wife Willy (Regina Taylor) move into a dilapidated home on an island, not realizing that a vengeful spirit named Arabella (Cynda Williams) has her eye on John.

Featured Feline: At the beginning of the film we see a long-haired calico cat running through a steamy scene.

Spirit Lost - long haired calico cat Spider walking through steamy scene

The cat is then seen in a carrier in a car.

Spirit Lost - long haired calico cat Spider in carrier

The cat, whose name is Spider, belongs to John and Willy and moves into the new house with them. Spider is seen both indoors and outdoors on several occasions.

Spirit Lost - long haired calico cat Spider standing on front lawn

Spirit Lost - long haired calico cat Spider walking past hallway behind Willy Regina Taylor

Spider, whose sex is never clarified although one would assume she is female because of her calico coloring and red / pink collar, seems to sense the malevolent spirit in the house.

Spirit Lost - long haired calico cat Spider standing in hallway

Willy is seen holding, carrying and petting the cat throughout the film.

Spirit Lost - long haired calico cat Spider being held by Willy Regina Taylor

Spirit Lost - long haired calico cat Spider being held by Willy Regina Taylor

Spirit Lost - long haired calico cat Spider on bed with Willy Regina Taylor

Spirit Lost - long haired calico cat Spider on bed with Willy Regina Taylor and John Leon

Spirit Lost - long haired calico cat Spider on bed with Willy Regina Taylor

At one point Spider senses something is wrong and sees the ghost Arabella put out the fire on the gas heater.

Spirit Lost - long haired calico cat Spider on bed

Spider runs out of the room and the door closes behind her. Willy wakes up to the smell of gas and Spider scratches at the door from the outside, sensing something is wrong.

Spirit Lost - long haired calico cat Spider outside closed door

Spirit Lost - long haired calico cat Spider pawing at closed door

Spider is seen a couple more times after this but her presence decreases as the film goes on.

Spirit Lost - long haired calico cat Spider being held by Willy Regina Taylor

Spirit Lost - long haired calico cat Spider in doorway with Willy Regina Taylor

Eventually Spider is seen again in the carrier in the car when Willy returns to the home. As Willy enters the home, she is holding the carrier. Just in case it is not clear that the cat is in the carrier (which it probably isn’t in this shot), Spider’s name is prominently displayed on the side.

Spirit Lost - long haired calico cat Spider in cat carrier

Spirit Lost - Willy Regina Taylor holding cat carrier marked Spider

Kitty Carnage Warning!  Unfortunately during the final showdown when the ghost is at its worst, Willy finds Spider the cat dead on her bed with his or her throat slashed. According to the Animal Humane Association the film production obtained a formerly euthanised cat to use in the scene, smearing fake blood on its neck. It’s a sore disappointment for a cat character who was seen so much throughout the film to be taken out so needlessly for shock value. The fact that a real deceased cat was used, while not an unknown practice, only makes the moment more deplorable.

Final Mewsings: Dead cats deserve more respect.

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


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Dumb and Dumber To (2014)

Dumb and Dumber To poster

Universal Pictures
Starring:
 Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels
Directed by: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly

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

Synopsis: Lloyd (Jim Carrey) and Harry (Jeff Daniels) go on a road trip in search of a kidney donor for Harry.

Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): Harry owns a gray and white cat named Butthole who Lloyd meets when he enters the apartment.

Dumb and Dumber To - Lloyd Jim Carrey and Harry Jeff Daniels with grey and white cat Butthole

Dumb and Dumber To - Lloyd Jim Carrey and Harry Jeff Daniels with grey and white cat Butthole

Dumb and Dumber To - Lloyd Jim Carrey holding grey and white cat Butthole

When Lloyd asks why Harry named the cat Butthole, Harry picks up the cat and lifts its tail to show Lloyd its butthole. “Oh yeah, good name. Totally fits,” Lloyd comments.

Dumb and Dumber To - Harry Jeff Daniels with grey and white cat Butthole

Dumb and Dumber To - Harry Jeff Daniels with grey and white cat Butthole showing butt animated gif

Harry then introduces Lloyd to his new roomate who has a sophisticated meth lab taking up one half of the apartment. During the following scene we see a shot of Butthole jumping up on the tray and licking some of the crystalized meth.

Dumb and Dumber To - grey and white cat Butthole licking crystal meth on tray

Moments later the cat is seen jumping on and swinging from the chandelier behind Lloyd. The cat then drops off.

Dumb and Dumber To - grey and white cat Butthole swinging on lamp behind Lloyd Jim Carrey

Dumb and Dumber To - grey and white cat Butthole swinging on lamp behind Lloyd Jim Carrey

Dumb and Dumber To - Lloyd Jim Carrey with grey and white cat Butthole swinging on lamp animated gif

Butthole only appears one more time when Harry remembers partway through their road trip that he forgot to ask anyone to feed him. Lloyd explains that he threw the cat into neighbor Billy’s (Brady Bluhm) apartment with a note. Harry then remembers that Billy has dozens of rare birds in his apartment but Lloyd says not to worry, that they won’t mess with a thirty pound alley cat. We then see the inside of Billy’s apartment which is strewn with dead birds. Billy (who is blind) enters and wonders what has happened. Butthole is seeing farting with feathers coming out of his butt.

Dumb and Dumber To - grey and white cat Butthole on chair

Dumb and Dumber To - grey and white cat Butthole on chair after farting feathers

Dumb and Dumber To - grey and white cat Butthole farting feathers animated gif

The animal wranglers on the film were Greg and Carol Tresan of Animal Casting Atlanta.

Dumb and Dumber To - Lloyd Jim Carrey holding grey and white cat Butthole

Final Mewsings: Cats should just say no to drugs.


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Toto le héros (1991)

Toto the Hero poster

English Title: Toto the Hero
Iblis Films
Starring:
 Michel Bouquet, Thomas Godet
Directed by: Jaco Van Dormael

Synopsis: Thomas (Michel Bouquet) is an old man bitter about his life which he feels was stolen by Alfred (Peter Böhlke), the neighbor boy who was born on the same day.

Purr Blur: Near the beginning of the film Thomas is remembering his life as a very young boy. In one scene he is observing that if you pull a cat’s tail it will scream as he is seen pulling on a cat’s tail. It does not appear that the boy is actually pulling very hard on the cat’s tail.

Toto the Hero - little boy pulling on tabby cat's tail

Toto the Hero - little boy pulling on tabby cat's tail

Kitty Carnage Warning!  Another observation during this sequence shows a dead cat which has been hit by a car (presumably the family’s cat whose tail was pulled). We’ll spare you the screen grab but it is quite graphic.

Purr Blur:  Late in the movie when Thomas is heading to Alfred’s smaller house a tuxedo cat can just barely be seen walking behind a white fence.

Toto the Hero - tuxedo cat walking behind fence in distance

Final Mewsings: Cats would rather have their tails pulled than get hit by cars (but would actually prefer neither!)


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Novecento (1976)

Novecento poster

English Title:  1900
Produzioni Europee Associate (PEA)
Starring:
 Donald Sutherland, Robert De Niro, Gerard Depardieu
Directed by: Bernardo Bertolucci

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

Synopsis: Bertolucci’s sprawling epic about the lives of the owners and workers on an Italian farm from the turn of the century through World War II.

Kitty Carnage Warning! Let’s clarify up front that this movie is NOT cat friendly. Nor child or pig or frog or just about anything else-friendly. So reader be warned!

Near the end of Act One, Attlia (Donald Sutherland),the nasty and evil foreman of the farm who is also a ruthless fascist, is getting fitted with a black suit. As he is trying on the clothes a man is sitting to one side holding a tuxedo cat.

Novecento - 1900 - man holding tuxedo cat in tailor shop with Attila Donald Sutherland

Attila asks for the cat and holds it up, making a political point and saying, “Communists are smart. They play on your human feelings. They’re like this little pussycat.”

Novecento - 1900 - Attila Donald Sutherland holding tuxedo cat in tailor shop

Novecento - 1900 - Attila Donald Sutherland holding tuxedo cat in tailor shop

Novecento - 1900 - Attila Donald Sutherland holding up a tuxedo cat in tailor shop

Attila goes on to say that communism is a disease that will destroy the world and leads the man outside. There he heartlessly straps the cat to the tailor’s sign with a belt.

Novecento - 1900 - Attila Donald Sutherland taking off belt while man holds tuxedo cat in tailor shop

Novecento - 1900 - Attila Donald Sutherland strapping tuxedo cat to tailor shop sign with belt

Novecento - 1900 - Attila Donald Sutherland strapping tuxedo cat to tailor shop sign with belt

The poor cat is in pain and struggling as Attila backs away, saying that if this pussycat has communism, you can’t think about this pussycat, you have to think about and protect all the other pussycats in the world. He then says that they have to destroy the communist and races at the cat, head butting it and crushing it to death. This is not shown in completion so they likely didn’t really crush the cat for the film (the director did not hesitate to show other brutal acts of violence against people and animals without cutting) but the poor cat is clearly in pain while strapped to the sign.

Novecento - 1900 - Attila Donald Sutherland backing away from tuxedo cat strapped to tailor shop sign with belt

Novecento - 1900 - Attila Donald Sutherland backing away from tuxedo cat strapped to tailor shop sign with belt

In Act Two there is a scene where Attila is with his wife Regina (Laura Betti). She is having a breakdown of sorts and claims someone is watching them from a corner of the room. Attila walks over and throws down a baby carriage, then reaches down and picks up a cat, which he violently flings across the room.

Novecento - 1900 - Attila Donald Sutherland flinging tuxedo cat across room

Finally there is a scene in which an elderly woman named Signora Pioppi (Alida Valli), a nearby landowner who has fallen on hard times and is being victimized by Attila and his wife with the idea of getting her land, goes to a confessional. At one point she pulls a dead cat out of her bag to show the priest, claiming Attila has killed it. It’s not clear if the cat was drugged or a dead cat was obtained for the filming.

Novecento - 1900 - Signori Pioppi Alida Valli pulling dead cat out of her purse in confessional

Novecento - 1900 - Signori Pioppi Alida Valli holding out dead cat to priest in confessional

This is clearly not a film for cat or animal lovers, as there are many other unblinking scenes of animals being killed.

Final Mewsings: Cats should not be killed to make political points.


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The Good Doctor – “Burnt Food”

The Good Doctor poster

Original Air Date: September 25, 2017
Starring: Freddie Highmore
Directed by: Seth Gordon

Synopsis: In the pilot of this series, a hospital considers adding a young doctor named Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), who happens to have autism and savant syndrome, to their surgical staff.

Kitty Cameo: At the beginning of the episode Dr. Murphy is seen getting ready in the morning in his home. A large long haired multi-colored cat looks in the window at him.

The Good Doctor - Pilot: Burnt Food - long haired cat looking into window

As the young man walks out the front foor the cat is seen sitting off to one side on the porch railing.

The Good Doctor - Pilot: Burnt Food - long haired cat sitting on porch railing

Final Mewsings: Cats accept everyone for who they are.


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