Acting with your eyes closed is the most powerful kind of acting.
I found the house! The house from A Talking Cat!?! and all those 1313 films!
After squinting at houses on Google maps and looking at houses available for filming locations, I did a search for “vw bug couch malibu, ca” and BAM, first result.
1807 Latigo Canyon Road
Malibu, CA 90265
Here is an excerpt from their estate sale listing.
“We are selling the contents of a 7,000 sq. ft home in the hills of Malibu. This beautiful home has so many interesting pieces! VW Bug Seating, Unique Art, Mid-century Furniture, Modern Furniture, we have Theatre Seating, a Ms. Pacman machine, Ben & Jerry’s original 1986 cow cut-out artwork, Fabulous Rugs, plus tools, books, camping and sports equipment, an entire gym for sale. We even have a Lotus engine turned coffee table!!! So much great stuff! And because we know it’s a bit of a drive for you, our prices are even better than normal!!”
Come on A Talking Cat!?! and estate sale listing! Quit using up all the exclamation points! Other people need them too.
Also of note. The home from A Talking Cat!?! where Phil and Chris live has 7 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms. That’s 5 extra of everything. They could change their rooms like day of the week underwear.
Makes me think of the H. H. Holmes’s Murder Castle. Phil and Chris must have started their own little murder castle in Malibu.
Phil, the father in A Talking Cat!?!, certainly murdered his wife. I have deduced this because:
- She isn’t around
- His son hates his guts with the power of a thousand suns
Phil enters the world of A Talking Cat!?! with a sigh. After an extended period of silence, Phil’s first line is addressed to a piece of driftwood wearing hooker pumps.
Phil’s line is “That thing is hideous. What was I thinking?” I had a theater professor who would walk out on any production of Hamlet if the first line wasn’t delivered correctly. He said that “Who’s there” encapsulated everything that Hamlet was about.
“That thing is hideous. What was I thinking,” is really Phil speaking directly to the audience about A Talking Cat!?! Phil is the voice of the director. The Cléante in Molière’s Tartuffe, if you will.
Like how I mentioned a bunch of plays to sound smart? Me too. Let’s keep going.
After addressing the driftwood, we are introduced to Phil’s son Chris. Phil flies into the room making car noises, interrupting Chris’s “summer reading.”
This is the face you make when someone interrupts your summer reading.
Chris gives Phil the first of four eyerolls we’ll see in this scene. That’s not counting the four “whatever” sideways glances Chris gives.
Chris hates Phil so much! Phil states that he now has enough money to retire, and Chris needles Phil by saying he already had enough money to retire.
“Maybe we could go on those trips we talked about,” suggests Phil. “What trips,” responds Chris.
Phil must be thinking about the trips he discussed with his wife before he murdered her in front of Chris.
The extent of Phil’s retirement plans are “Guess I’ll hang out here at the house for a while.” When Phil brings up learning to cook, Chris shuts him down with a “Well, I’ve got a lot of summer reading to catch up on. Maybe we’ll order pizza later.”
That’s a solid move, Chris! You ended the conversation AND slammed Phil’s cooking aspirations to the ground in one go! Chris must practice his hatred while he is alone.
And then Chris existd the scene. For 15 seconds.
Chris leaves the room, walks to the stairs, walks up the stairs, and walks out of view. I timed it. It’s 15 seconds of exiting. Because if we didn’t see it all, we’d never know if Chris actually made it up the stairs!
So what’s next? Will Phil murder Chris? And how will being dead affect Chris’s summer reading? Come back to find out!
Don’t stare directly at the mouth of A Talking Cat!?! lest he eat your soul.
Phil and his son Chris have a strained relationship. Post-Eric-Robers-voice-over-opening, A Talking Cat!?! begins when Phil returns to his echoey home early.
Jeez, okay. We need to talk about the sound. Aside from the sugary synthesized score of Harry Manfredini, the sound quality is the first truly horrible thing to slap you in the head. As soon as Phil turns the handle of the front door, the reverberations of its metallic clicks shoot back and forth across the cavernous expanse of his spacial entryway.
For the recording of dialogue, a film would normally have a boom operator holding a fluffy microphone over or under an actor’s head to capture their voice and nothing else. The sound effects (such as a door opening or footsteps) would be added later by a foley artist.
But if you’re going to make a film for a million dollars, you need to work with a skeleton crew. And if you can’t find a necromancer to raise up the dead to work for you, you have to use a scaled back crew. That means no boom mics and no foley artist.
What we get is a single mic, probably mounted on top of the camera, capturing every last sound made in a house that doesn’t even have carpeting for sound dampening.
I was going to talk about Phil and Chris in the post, but the sound takes so many missteps from moment one it needs to be brought up.
But here’s a fantastic bit of dialogue, to hold you over until the Phil and Chris update.
Phil: It’s over.
Chris: What’s over?
Phil: The company.
Obviously, Chris, you dummy. What else would Phil be bringing up for the first time ever?