Starring: Sarah Miles, Kris Kristofferson, Jonathan Kahn, Earl Rhodes
Directed by: Lewis John Carlino
Cat Out of the Bag Alert! This review contains some spoilers for this film!
Synopsis: Based on the Japanese novel by Yukio Mishima. Ann Osborne (Sarah Miles) is a widow who lives in a seaside village in England with her young son Jonathan (Jonathan Kahn.) Jonathan hangs out with a group of kids led by a sadistic, sociopath they call Chief (Earl Rhodes) who consistently tries to convince his followers that morality is a myth and adults are not to be trusted. When a sailor named Jim Cameron (Kris Kristofferson) comes into Jonathan and Ann’s lives, Ann and Jim fall in love. Fearing a change in his close relationship with his mother, Jonathan turns to his friends who propose drastic measures for handling the situation.
Featured Feline: One day the boys go to Chief’s house for a meeting. Chief points out how his family’s pet tabby cat, Cedric, no longer hunts and is no longer true to himself. Cedric end up playing a key role in the film.
Kitty Carnage Warning! I must be honest, the first time I tried to watch this film several years ago I actually became hysterical during the second scene with Cedric and begged for Dad to turn the movie off. That is the only time that I have ever become so distraught while watching a film. This movie is simply disturbing all around, and the scene in which Chief and the other boys drug Cedric and then perform a dissection upon him is one of the most unpleasant moments in movie history, not because of graphic violence but because of what it represents. There is a large disclaimer at the end of the film states that no animal was hurt during the making of the film, although it’s clear the cat was at least drugged for real. I understand that the scene with Cedric is important to set up what happens at the end of the film (which is no less disturbing, though not as graphic) but I do have to warn anyone who loves cats that if you can’t stand to see any kind of violence against animals, definitely do not watch this movie!
Final Mewsings: Only a creature without a heart could do what the Chief did to Cedric in this film.