So, today, I'm going to tell you all about what it's like to go insane. Not the normal, run of the mill insanity that I trundle through on a daily basis, but a special kind of hellish insanity, a type that compels you to sit and scream at a TV for an hour and a half.
I'm going to tell you about a movie called 'A Talking Cat!?!', which I watched last night, from beginning to end. Continuing to watch the movie after realizing what I was in for is akin to seeing something in the distance and walking towards it, until it becomes clear that the object on the horizon is a spike-wall and not slowing pace at all
Now, what sets this bad movie apart from all the other bad movies that I watch and love? What warrants a write up? Well, for one, there are only two sets in the entire movie. Second, the seemingly random string of punctuation at the end of the title. Third, there are seven actors in the movie - not a single extra. But really, makes this more than run of the mill bad is...
Well, let me show you.
To start, here's the DVD cover
Meet the entire cast. Sort of.
Which makes the film look like a shitty, run of the mill Snow-Dogs-esque feature. Harmless enough.
Until the movie starts.
The movie opens with shots of nature. I hope you like shots of nature. I hope you like the exact same shots of nature that show up throughout the film inexplicably, for no reason at all
This is the first of 700 times this shot shows up.
Over this scenic, majestic lake, we hear narration.
I like the woods. I always have. Don’t get me wrong. I like to be indoors on a nice, fluffy bed as much as anyone, more than anyone, probably. I’ve heard them say, ‘It’s the simple things you should appreciate most.’ Mmmm hmm. And right now it’s the wind in the trees and the smells in the air. This place has magic! And people nowadays are way more concerned with their tiny, shiny, beeping machines than they are with the simple joys of living. Sometimes I’m propelled to come out to this place and do a little meditation, they call it, or communing with nature, or just letting the magic guide me. Because I help people. Even if they don’t know they need help, because as I’ve discovered, people need all the help they can get!
Yes, that's what opens the movie. In addition to it being terribly written, the delivery is next to impossible to understand, so much so that my friends and I paused the movie trying to figure out how much they paid the guy to record his lines. He sounds about as coherent as the text messages I send out at 12:00 on a Saturday night. In addition, he sounds like he's literally phoning it in
. After some protracted debate, we continued the movie. The opening credits... they... they let you know that nothing you're about to watch is going to make any sense, on any kind of level.
The opening credits is five minutes. Of this.
The opening credits use the same filter as my hate induced nightmares. That's the same filter that goes over my eyes when someone insults my family or the eggs I made them or when my shoes are untied. When I see that, I fear. I fear everything; I fear the man I have become, I fear for the future, and I fear what I will do.
There are various shots of the cat, and, as I'm sure you've noticed, that's not the same cat that's on the poster
. In fact, Squeaky (as he's known in real life) looks like a thoroughly miserable feline, and sounds like a drunk
Roberts? Julia Roberts estranged brother? Sal Maroni, the vice-villain of The Dark Knight? Head villain of The Expendables? What the fuck? How can he -
He's the busiest functioning addict alive.
The list continues. He has forty seven
movies in production for the 2013 calendar year. And yet, he still found time for this movie.
The basic, basic plot is as follows:
There are two families, both single-parent, both opposite gendered parents. There's a Dad, who looks very much like at any point he's going to fall over from a ham overdose, and his highly effete English tutor of a son. The Dad, Phil, is a software developer who, in one of the more brilliant bits of dialogue in the film, tells his son - Chris - that he no longer works at the development firm that he used to, because
It’s over. The company. We sold the websites, the interfaces, the code that I worked half of my life on. Sold myself out of a job! Now they say I have enough money to retire.
OH, IS THAT IT? Did you all sell the algorithms and the matrixes? Please tell me you didn't let them hack the mainframe!
Phil wants to use all this new time to bond with his son, and his son so loves the idea that he storms off upstairs. He then gets a phone call from Frannie, a classmate, and who the fuck named her. Did the writer lose an aunt during script development and decide to honor her by - fucking Frannie
fucking for real? Sadly, she's played by Alison Sieke, who isn't a terrible actress. On the one side, she has the most charisma out of anyone in the cast, but on the other, she hasn't Tweeted me back, so the jury is still out on her.
I later found out through internet investigation that it's probably the director's house, where he also shoots porn.
I feel kind of bad for asking now.
The problem with having to tutor her - and she quite clearly needs no tutoring and is only using this clever ruse as a thin veneer to involve herself wholesale in Chris's very un-dramatic, unimpressive, motherless life - is that he can't talk to girls. At all. In what is probably the only endearing part of the movie, he fumbles his way through a phone call with her, acting like a homeless guy who was just given ten dollars and told he has fifteen seconds to order a sandwich from Subway or he'll be shot - the kind of nervous, sweaty fear that comes from doing things that make you scared. And sweaty.
I know at this point, you've noticed I have not mentioned the cat.
That's because the cat... well, at this point in filming, Eric Roberts is still stumbling around his kitchen, screaming incoherently into his phone while looking for more things to drink (he can't life the five gallon jug of Vodka to put on the water cooler to replace the one he just finished) - so Duffy the Cat just kind of wanders around people's houses narrating things. What things?Nothing at goddamn all
. He just talks and talks, smarmy and intoxicated, about how little he understands humans. And how much he wants deli-meat and milk.
Also, at several points throughout the movie, people seem to be incredulous that there's a cat present, questioning whether or not it's really there, or if it is, indeed, a cat. The fanfare when he actually starts talking is decidedly tame, as if the oddity in the situation is that there's a cat at all. The fucking title of the movie
is more surprised that there's a talking cat than anyone in the actual film.
See, Duffy boasts throughout the run time that he's mystical and helps people by giving them cryptic advice that even he doesn't understand.
His advice goes as follows:
And that's it
Go for a walk in the woods. (To Phil)
Don't let one setback ruin everything. (To Chris)
Check your beep-machine. (To Tina, Susan's daughter)
Arbaleaerjf *vomit noises* (To Trent, Susan's son)
. He doesn't even talk to Frannie or Susan - he talks four times before the third act drama. Because, you see, there are rules governing how often he can talk, and I think that's shorthand for how often we can afford the effects budget to do this
I can't even what is this oh
So, Duffy brings Phil and Susan together - Susan, being a caterer who operates out of her single-stove cabin?!? who is trying to land a client and decides the best way to do this is to yell at her kids and make her kids miserable.
Tina came up with an awesome computer program that helps you catalogue your outfits and will help you pick out new outfits. Meanwhile, her brother, Trent is having an existential crisis. For a handsome seventeen year old, he sure as shit doesn't have his life together, a fact Tina won't let him forget. Leading to this memorable line after thinking about accepting an internship that involves toys...
Besides, toys and stuff is for people with imaginations and creative type stuff.
I'm not going to spoil the rest of the movie for you; what happens?
Do Phil and Susan work out their differences?
Can Chris and Frannie work things out? You see, Frannie wants to go swimming and Chris doesn't want to, because he never learned and the water scares him, so he tells her she can go swim by herself and oh my god is this a metaphor for sex?
Then... when Trent teaches Chris how to swim, does it... oh. oh. Oh my God. What.
Back: Trent. Front: Chris.
this is i can never unsee now that i know now that i know now that i
Will Tina get her app up and running? Does she have the right matrices?
Will be we treated to a ten minute montage of Chris and Phil scanning their clothes into the computer with a booklight?
Will Susan's catering business (of which she only seems to make one item, Cheese Puffs of some kind) land her first big client?
Will Alison Sieke ever respond to my tweet?
Oh God I hope so
Finally, for reading all of this, I'll show you an incredibly graphic picture of Duffy, after he's hit by a car. This is not for the weak of stomach.
WILL HE EVER RECOVER!?!
This movie is so bad that it got to the point last night where we weren't making fun of it anymore - we were just screaming incoherently at the screen. Scene transitions? I hope you like the same shots of the house and the beach and the woods. Even if we're just moving from one room of the house to another, we still get two establishing shots, just in case we forgot we were at that house. Is there a two minute, dialogue free scene of a car driving? Yes. Yes there is. I hope you like a heroes journey to find a replacement magic collar that Trent assures us can cure Duffy from his vehicle-poisoning that takes all of two minutes.
And I really, sincerely hope that you can accept the fact that everyone who doesn't hear Duffy speak also accepts the fact that Duffy did, in fact, speak. And this will endear their respective love interests to them - Frannie will love Chris even more for telling her a cat talked, and Susan just don't give a fuck about nothin'.
Wait... we weren't making fun of the movie.The movie was making fun of us.
"A Talking Cat!?!" is now streaming on Netflix, and is highly recommended by me.
Chris: Dad, did we get a cat?
Phil: No, why?
Chris: What do you do when you like a girl?
Phil: Well, uh…
Chris: Oh, I did see a cat. That one.
Phil: Yeah, me too.
Chris: Weird, right?
Phil: Hey, let’s order that pizza.
Chris: Yeah, I’d like that.