Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Film Review: THE CAT (1992, Ngai Kai Lam)

Stars: 4.5 of 5.
Running Time: 84 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Philip Kwok, Siu-Ming Lau, Waise Lee, Christine Ng, Gloria Yip.
Tag-line: "THE CAT."
Best one-liner: "I'm not joking I mean to finish off your mom too!"

Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you aren't easily frightened. Now, I have to imagine that Lam Ngai Kai was smoking from the same batch of crack here that Obayashi was when he made HAUSU back in '77. If you're familiar with Lam's RIKI-OH: THE STORY OF RICKY, you'll probably have a pretty good idea of what you're getting into. "Tonight's story is about three people- no, make that two men and one cat to be exact." THE CAT- also known as 'THE 1,000 YEARS CAT'- raises a lot of age-old questions. Hopefully, having viewed the film, I can provide the answers and help distinguish MYTH from FACT.

MYTH
: Cats are no good when it comes to fighting.



Note that The Cat is simulaneously fighting the dog AND absconding from the museum with a priceless artifact.





Note 80's lightning and the illuminated dog skeleton.


Don't worry, the dog isn't too badly injured.

FACT: "I never knew a cat could fight too and so hard!" This cat is an interstellar shitkicker. Canines and blob-like aliens: beware. The infamous knock-down, drag-out duel between The Cat and Lao Pu (the bravest dog in the world) has been medically proven to enrich viewers' lives. I now can say that I have seen a cat swing on a rope like Tarzan.

MYTH: When cats leap through windows, they leave behind a perfectly cat-shaped hole, like in an old Warner Brothers cartoon.


FACT: Well, actually...

MYTH
: Leaving behind intestines and bloody newspapers when you move away may delay the reimbursement of your security deposit.

FACT: The Cat did not complain about this, so I have to imagine he received his deposit back in full.

MYTH
: All aliens are bloodthirsty, gooey sea anemone monsters that transform ordinary folks into gun-loving terminators.

FACT: Not The Cat and his friends. "We can't kill mankind- there's no hatred between us."

MYTH
: Alien terminator men will make you piss your pants and stuff a grenade in your mouth, but they draw the line at killing your mother.

FACT: "I'm not joking I mean to finish off your mom too!"

MYTH
: You can't make a decent drum machine-fueled montage out of the closeups of sweat globules on an excercisin' lady.

FACT: Well, watch THE CAT and find out if this indeed remains a myth.

MYTH
: This is the first hero cat to be named 'The General.'
FACT
: Go back and watch Stephen King's CAT'S EYE.

MYTH
: The finale is a letdown.


FACT: Only if you think people bursting into flames for no reason, levitating cats, a Smog Monster-esque creature exploding into a deluge of glitter, and our extraterrestrial heroes ascending into heaven (like the end of THE APPLE!) somehow approximate a letdown.

MYTH
: All good things must come to an end.

FACT
: It all ends on a freeze frame and then we're entreated to a replay of some of the film's best scenes set to some stock synth music. As a tribute to the fact that the film has so many great scenes, they even outlast the credits, and keep going for several mind-blowing minutes. Who says the movie has to end? Certainly not THE CAT.


-Sean Gill

4 comments:

J.D. said...

Damn, I wish my cat had THOSE powers. Whoa. But I don't think I'd get the deposit back...

Sean Gill said...

Between HAUSU and THE CAT I'm probably going to develop a phobia of cats. Or at least begin to draw a correlation between cats and batshit craziness.

One True Thug said...

great review of both The Cat and Riki-oh.

i suggest you watch more of Ngai Kai Lam's films, especially Ghost Snatchers if you like ridiculous special effects. The Seventh Curse is good as well.

Sean Gill said...

One True Thug,

Glad you enjoyed them! I definitely want to see more Ngai Kai Lam- thanks for the recs.