It’s time to play “Guess That Movie!” The stills above are from four different movies. One of them is A Talking Cat!?! Can you guess the other three and label them correctly?
a talking cat
First and foremost, A Talking Cat!?! is everything I hoped it would be. Everything about this movie was amazingly awful in the best way possible. The direction, script, special effects, lighting, sound, actors, editing, plot, character arcs, animal wranglers. Everything.
I’m trying to figure out a way to properly dissect this movie into readable pieces. One item of commentary often leads to a tangent on another aspect of the film. And a rambling monologue isn’t fun to read.
So there is deep analysis of A Talking Cat!?! coming. I just need some color coded note cards to arrange my thoughts. Because there are so very many thoughts.
A Talking Cat!?!, a movie about a talking cat, opens with the voice of Eric Roberts. Golden Globe and Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts. Brother of Julia Roberts Eric Roberts. You see, Eric Roberts is the voice of our titular talking cat.
The first thing you’ll notice about A Talking Cat!?! is the sound quality. Or, rather, the lack of sound quality. Eric Roberts sounds like he has been awake for three days straight and is recording his voice over into a tin can in an echoey cave with only one sleeping bear to use as sound dampening.
I wouldn’t say Eric Roberts phoned in his voice work. It would be more appropriate to say he mumbled it into a quarter full bottle of gin while someone struggled to get him into his pajamas.
Did I mention A Talking Cat!?! is a family film?
What are the audience’s eyes treated to during this voice over catastrophe? Shots of nature, and a cat walking and rolling around in it.
I know what you’re thinking. “Aric (that’s me), I shut my eyes for a few seconds and didn’t see all the nature and all of the cat walking around in nature.” DON’T WORRY! You will see the same shots used over and over again. Why are you worried about that, anyway?
And now, the content of the voice over. Eric Roberts is our Puck. The talking cat is a mischievous nymph that leads us by the hand through our story. And what a story!
You see, aside from being our Puckish narrator, the talking cat has the attitude of a reincarnated Andy Rooney. He (or she, I guess) complains about technology and how we’re always looking at our “beeping machines.”
So A Talking Cat!?! is going to be a story about becoming less reliant on technology? NO! I don’t even know what this movie is about, and I’ve watched it. We’ll get into that later. But for now, a drunken cat is wandering through the woods while complaining directly to the audience about technology until the opening credits roll.
A Talking Cat!?! is directed by David DeCoteau, even if the credits say it was directed by the pseudonym of Mary (or Marv, the font for the credits is terrible) Crawford.
As stated on David DeCoteau’s IMDB biography, his mentor is famed B movie director Roger Corman. If you needed an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s work filmed in 24 hours, Corman was your man. Corman has also produced films such as Carnosaur, one of the first straight-to-video move ripoffs (hitting video store shelves before Jurassic Park) that I can remember.
Before we get into David DeCoteau’s credits, let’s look at an excerpt from his mini biography, which reads like a press release from David DeCoteau.
“His passion lies in the creation of popular genre programming made for world consumption. DeCoteau’s experience in creating content in countries all over the world makes him a proven choice for exceptionally challenging movie projects.”
Of course, most biographies read like someone looking for their next job. I remember this excerpt from Cary Grant’s biography.
“And if you ever need a charming man to be charming and handsome on a moving picture thing, Cary Grant can be reached at…”
I originally became aware of A Talking Cat!?! when David DeCoteau’s Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft appeared on Netflix. This was a straight-to-video movie ripoff of the mainstream Hansel & Gretel movie starring Jeremy Renner. Here is an exceprt from Jeremy Renner’s Biography.
“And if you ever need a handsome man to be handsome and tough on a moving picture thing, Jeremy Renner can be reached at…”
David DeCoteau’s big break was the straight-to-video (are you sensing a pattern here) Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge. Like Corman, David has also directed many terrible adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe stories.
Most recently, David DeCoteau has fallen into a pattern of three types of movies. The straight-to-video ripoff genre, as represented by Hansel & Gretel. “Family” films, like Christmas Spirit and A Halloween Puppy. And finally, the 1313 sub-genre of GLBT horror B movie, with titles like 1313: Frankenqueen and 1313: Hercules Unbound!
Of note, the family films and the softcore 1313 films are all filmed in the same house used in A Talking Cat!?! If you see a surface in any of those films, there has probably been an animal and a bare ass on them.
Now, armed with some basic knowledge of David DeCoteau and his work, we’ll explore the inky depths of the pit (and the pendulum) that is A Talking Cat!?!
I’ve been trying to come up with a drinking game based on A Talking Cat!?! but I can’t seem to make one that doesn’t end up with everyone dead of alcohol poisoning.