The Cat With Hands: A horror video short review.
To our new CHUD readers and our returning O.G.’s. I bid you….
Welcome to Barry’s Basement of Oddities
Every week, dear readers, I will deliver three short films of my choosing. Sometimes, we’ll have a theme, sometimes a stream of thought. What I’m presenting to you is part fun house ride, part classroom, and part getting wasted with your buddies on weekend. This is a horror series, but I’m here to show you the gems. It’ll be scary sometimes, funny, perhaps even thought provoking, but it won’t be boring.
Don’t expect zombies.
The Story: It’s called The Cat With Hands! It’s not about a jewel thief or a piano player working in a house of ill repute. It’s about a cat who has human hands. You know how The Walking Dead is a title that delivers the walking dead? Same thing here. Don’t think. Just go with it.
Directed by Robert Morgan
The Rundown: So one night in 2001, Tim Burton ate a Jack in the Box fried fish sandwich and immediately went to sleep watching a Brothers Quay video while a cat slept on his chest.
Okay, that didn’t happen, but if I didn’t tell you that Robert Morgan directed this, you might be inclined to believe me. Why? Did you watch the embedded video above?
You didn’t? BAD READER! BAD! Just click on the video. I’ll wait.
I TOLD YOU!
All kidding aside, for a short that is pushing 20 years old, the writing, effects, and mise en scene is more interesting, disturbing, and funny than it has any right to be. I’m also convinced that someone involved with Thor:Ragnarok saw this film and was inspired to write that film’s opening scene (mental note: pitch Disney your Thor-adopts-a-cat movie).
Let’s talk about the writing. This film is a joke and I mean that with all due praise. Set-up, reinforcement, and reveal. The Cat With Hands pulls this off perfectly within a tradition that I can only describe as EC Comics-esque. Is it weird that I’m excited that this has a beginning, a middle, and an end?
Whether or not Livy Armstrong’s Old Man character was due a comeuppance is debatable but he was pulling water out of a well in the middle of the night so clearly he was up to no good and deserved what he got (I’m trusting you Bob Morgan).
It’s 2018 and it’s worth bringing up to some of our readers of a less than vintage age that there was a time you were unable to shoot a film on a phone. You had to secure funding to buy film and a camera and then have that film developed and edited. To put it lightly, it was a bitch back then and now it’s becoming a lost art. The mix of stop motion and live action in this short proves how far we’ve progressed in film. Listen, there’s no way that a cat tongue bathing its human hands couldn’t be creepy, but the stop motion animation mixed with the stunning 480i grainy film quality only adds to the atmosphere. What is hipster cool now was all we had back in the day (get off my lawn, kid).
Is there a moral to the story? Is there something in this film that speaks to the human condition or comments on the state of America? The answer is no– until some crap goes down and we’re blessed with the hashtag #catshavehandstoo.
May that day never come (seriously, get off my lawn).
What Movie should I watch after this?….
Hausu, Tim Burton’s Vincent, Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn
Writer. Wrestling mark. Dog parent. Halloween enthusiast. Always wondering about the me on Earth 616 and what he/she/it’s up to. Currently residing in Los Angeles.