Oh, The Humanity! A Talking Cat!?!

a talking cat indexDirected by David DeCoteau under the pseudonym Mary Crawford, if the internet can be believed this was shot in three days and the voice over from Eric Roberts only took fifteen minutes to record. It wouldn’t surprise me if that was the case as well, it’s all but certain that no second takes took place and it sounds like Eric Roberts recorded all of his lines over the phone, and not a modern iPhone either, but from a phone box somewhere in the nineteen seventies.

To say there’s a lot of padding in this film would be the understatement of the century, if not the millennium, with a huge amount of pointless establishing shots and scenes of people wandering around various locations without actually saying anything. While this is going on Duffy enters the lives of our main characters, a stray cat who claims that he helps people and so is vaguely like a feline version of Lassie or The Littlest Hobo. He’s far lazier than those two however, and most of the time Duffy sits around staring at the camera, or wherever I presume a laser pointer was directed at. Occasionally he suddenly starts to talk to people though, with some cgi that was provided by someone with a low budget PC, and for some reason he can talk to a person one time only.

Among the help that Duffy gives is when he suggests to computer coder Phil (Johnny Whitaker) that he should take a walk in the woods, which leads to Phil getting lost and stumbling upon the small home of Susan (Kristine DeBell) and the two have a bit of a chat, with romance eventually developing. How Duffy knew this was going to happen is never explained, but presumably as well as being able to converse he’s also psychic, and yet did this cat ever try to prevent a major act of terrorism? No, and I imagine the dirty little bastard probably helped 9/11 take place if he’s like most of the cats that I know.

Duffy also helps out Phil’s son Chris (Justin Cone) romance young student Frannie (Alison Sieke) because this is a cat who sure does seem to like to watch human beings kiss, and along the way Chris learns to swim thanks to Susan’s son Trent (Daniel Dannas), and Susan’s daughter Tina (Janis Peebles) develops an app with Phil’s help because, well, they had to stretch out this nonsense with some supporting characters I guess, even though the plot lines they’re involved with are some of the most tedious you’ll ever see.

None of the characters have any sexual tension apart from the Tina and Trent, which given that they’re brother and sister is beyond problematic. Because this is a film with more filler than actual plot there’s some really boring scene of Chris talking on the phone where he discusses investing in a toy company, and it probably won’t come as a shock that another sequence about Susan coming up with “Susan’s Pantry Country Catering” isn’t thrilling, nail-biting footage either.

Yet despite my complaints I perversely quite enjoyed aspects of this terrible film. Perhaps that’s due to a kind of film based Stockholm syndrome but after a while the stupid amount of establishing shots started making me laugh, as did the many continuity errors, and of course dear old Duffy and his fascinating views on life contain many an amusing moment, especially as they’re delivered by a cat that sounds like he smokes forty a day and knocks back a couple of bottles of whiskey too.

To create a tiny amount of tension towards the end it looks like Duffy might die in a scene which is hilariously poorly directed even by the standards of the rest of the film, but the solution to his woes is somehow even funnier. Then over the end credits there’s a funk version of Itsy Bitsy Spider, but why this particular music was chosen will confuse me to the end of my days. Also on the music front, I’m pretty sure only two pieces were commissioned for use in the movie, but that didn’t stop director David DeCoteau using one or the other in nearly every scene, even though one is shockingly annoying in its jauntiness.

An amateurish affair where the whole thing sounds like it was shot with one microphone attached to the camera and so when someone walks away even though they’re still close by their voice becomes distant, this is one of the worst movies ever made and I’d imagine people will still be saying that millions of years in the future. Yet because it’s so awful it’s oddly captivating, and though unlike some bad movies it is not something which bears repeat viewings, if you’re fond of cinematic car crashes it definitely should be sought out the once.

1/2★

Alex Finch.
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