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LOL Cat!?!
March 12, 2013 7:16 AM   Subscribe

A Talking Cat!?! is The Room of anthropomorphic animal movies featuring Eric Roberts.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants (39 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
I had no idea Roberts was shunned in Hollywood. I just thought he was an always-available B-grade actors, or the best of the SyFy players.

I had not heard of A Talking Cat. I must now investigate it.
posted by Mezentian at 7:25 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I got about a paragraph in to the description of this film, then stopped for fear of spoilers. I am definitely going to watch the shit out of this; thanks for bringing it to my attention.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:33 AM on March 12, 2013


Oh man. This is great. I highly recommend people read this article and especially watch the video clips. Each gets a little better. The third one -- I LOL'd IRL.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:35 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't see how it could come close to Birdemic bad, considering the director's, um, pedigree.

But I will find out.
posted by Z. Aurelius Fraught at 7:40 AM on March 12, 2013


I don't see how it could come close to Birdemic bad, considering the director's, um, pedigree.

The Birdemic episode of How Did This Get Made is seriously amazing.
posted by kmz at 7:41 AM on March 12, 2013


Family Movie Night, get ready.
posted by padraigin at 7:45 AM on March 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I occasionally browse IMDB for the amazement at people's career arcs: some stars who have worked steadily for decades are forced out the door so quickly that you almost expect a forgotten scandal to explain this while other fading performers cling stubbornly to the shreds of moribund careers and act in an endless stream of largely unseen straight-to-video flicks. Gene Hackman is an exemplar of the first kind while Eric Roberts is my new go-to man for the second. 41 movies due to come out this year? That is... pretty impressive.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:46 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is the money fact:

If the film feels like it was shot on a softcore porn film set by a softcore gay porn director, that’s for a very good reason: It was. Renaissance man DeCoteau alternates between kids’ films like the holiday puppy trilogy and this and the softcore gay porn films he makes under the 1313 name, sometimes using the same sets.
posted by Think_Long at 7:52 AM on March 12, 2013 [9 favorites]


Gene Hackman is an exemplar of the first kind

Huh? Gene Hackman is old and stopped making movies. You think people in Hollywood wouldn't hire Gene Hackman if they could?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:54 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Huh? Gene Hackman is old and stopped making movies.

He is indeed getting on a bit (83 this year), but I recall him appearing on some late night talk show promoting Return to Mooseport in early 2004 and Dave or Conan or Jay or whomever asked him what he had coming up. He looked pretty glum when he answered, "nothing." And true to his word, he has not a single appearance onscreen in the last nine years. He would have been 73 when he made his last movie, but two years earlier, he had five movies come out in one year and he was the lead in three of them. This is not a guy who dislikes working, I think.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:07 AM on March 12, 2013


Is he a polydactyl cat? And does he lose his thumbs?
posted by cazoo at 8:11 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gene Hackman pretty publicly declared his retirement, if I remember correctly.
posted by Think_Long at 8:12 AM on March 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Gene Hackman pretty publicly declared his retirement, if I remember correctly.

He did indeed, in 2008, almost five years after his last role. Sort of a formality, in my view.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:18 AM on March 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Eric Roberts was in The Dark Knight and The Expendables, two pretty giant hits. They weren't lead roles, but "shunned" seems to be overselling it.

Also, I'm a bit annoyed. A while back I had an idea for a blog about DTV genre film called "DVD Purgatory". Damn you, Onion!

If the film feels like it was shot on a softcore porn film set by a softcore gay porn director, that’s for a very good reason: It was. Renaissance man DeCoteau alternates between kids’ films like the holiday puppy trilogy and this and the softcore gay porn films he makes under the 1313 name, sometimes using the same sets.

I have a friend who writes and directs DTV features for a living. He mostly seems to alternate between bloody horror movies and African-American Christian dramas (he's a white atheist) but he just made his first talking dog family comedy. Maybe it's a rite of passage for b-movie directors.
posted by brundlefly at 8:29 AM on March 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Poor, poor Johnny Whittaker.
posted by sonascope at 8:44 AM on March 12, 2013


The way the cat's mouth moves reminds me of this.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:48 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I remember having a a long chat with a producer of C-grade direct to DVD schlock saying they never even bother to release them in the US cause all the money is in overseas sales in
south America, something like conventions where the national distbutors and rental house places would go and order copies of THE MOST DANGEROUS LOVE in bulk and then head back to Bolivia.
posted by The Whelk at 8:49 AM on March 12, 2013


I've got a kind of fixation on DeCoteau movies just from finding them in bargain bins and the like.

The filmmakers seem to think that with the right editing and context, audiences will gaze at a static shot of a spectacularly uncharismatic cat staring blankly at nothing in particular and imagine a rich inner life for said cat, or at least the capacity for thought.

Except for the word "cat" that applies to a lot of his movies, which star pretty but bland actors who don't emote very much.
posted by RobotHero at 8:54 AM on March 12, 2013


This is also in keeping with his other films:
countless shots of people walking or sighing or wandering around that serve no conceivable purpose but to fill out the film’s insanely padded 85-minute running time.
posted by RobotHero at 9:03 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's the fattest 'lives in the woods' cat I've ever seen.

Eric Roberts and David DeCoteau are made for each other. Both just keep grinding out movies over and over again, no matter how crappy.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:10 AM on March 12, 2013


Eric Robert's voice sounds like it's emanating from a bathroom somewhere inside the cat.
posted by orme at 9:34 AM on March 12, 2013 [7 favorites]


I watched this movie a few weeks ago, it's on Netflix instant streaming.

I have a bit of a hobby of watching bad movies, and this is very watchable. It gets a 0 on my personal scale of "how many eyes do you want to gouge out while watching this movie?" (Where Birdemic is a 1, and Manos is a 5.)

The bit about it being on a softcore gay porn set makes SO much sense. One of the first scenes is in the rich families living room with a bizarre objet d'art—a tree stump wearing red leather stiletto boots. The shot is just open enough for the audience to point at the screen in horror and ask "WTF IS THAT?" and then the character delivers the answer: "Boy what was I thinking when I hired that decorator?!" From that moment on, you just accept that this movie is being filmed at a softcore porn set.
posted by fontophilic at 10:36 AM on March 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


This movie automatically has one thing over Manos, Birdemic, The Room and Foodfight: KITTY.

Because, at the end of the day, KITTY!
posted by JHarris at 11:34 AM on March 12, 2013


The Room is already an anthropomorphic animal movie. (see: Tommy Wiseau)
posted by ShutterBun at 1:19 PM on March 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


My hand starting cramping while scrolling down Roberts' IMDB page. Say what you will, the man works for a living.
posted by tommasz at 1:56 PM on March 12, 2013


I have a friend who writes and directs DTV features for a living. He mostly seems to alternate between bloody horror movies and African-American Christian dramas (he's a white atheist) but he just made his first talking dog family comedy. Maybe it's a rite of passage for b-movie directors.

Apparently most of the good action films are DTV these days. I wonder if any of the have talking animals. My Dad was excited when Eric Roberts was in Dark Knight, but I didn't recognize him. I want to check out his movie Six Gun Savior, since how bad can a supernatural Western (that isn't Jonah Hex) be?

On a similar note, here's the Plinkett review of Cop Dog (possible trigger warning), which is actually about a ghost.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 2:19 PM on March 12, 2013


One of my first movie memories. Benji pretending to be Chevy Chase pretending to be a dog named BJ. And it all made sense!

A Talking Cat!?! looks like one of those awful films you just have to see ... once. Any more than that and it will steal your soul.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:48 PM on March 12, 2013


Is he a polydactyl cat? And does he lose his thumbs?


12 hours later I finally get the (obvious) joke.

I also came to say some perhaps redeeming words about Eric's acting chops (see: Star 80) but I notice the main article addresses the point pretty well.

He's likely been a victim, both personally and professionally by his success at playing "irredeemable scumbags." Think about his role in Star 80, which really should have been a star-making tour de force for him. The problem? He was simply too good. He was so damn convincing as an abusive narcissistic asshole that it was impossible to overlook. He was that good. To paraphrase Tropic Thunder, he went "full scumbag." We'll never really know how good he could have been in more mainstream roles (say, as Henry Hill in Goodfellas) because despite the fact he's been working steady, DTV is just never going to get much serious consideration. He could have been great in other acclaimed non-theatrical work like The Sopranos though.

Sheesh, his DTV has been a showbiz in-joke since Seinfeld, when his video career was gently mocked in "The Tennis Pro" episode.

From the sound of things, he probably earned his ouster from mainstream Hollywood, but it's a shame nonetheless.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:58 PM on March 12, 2013


Also left out of the conversation: the trailer for this movie uses Comic Sans exclusively. It really is like some kind of purrfect storm.
posted by ShutterBun at 11:22 PM on March 12, 2013


Having seen the trailer, it has the same location as Actor Slash Model and Snow White: A Deadly Summer and probably others that I haven't seen, because I can't watch DeCoteau movies as fast as DeCoteau makes them.
posted by RobotHero at 10:12 AM on March 13, 2013


I can't watch DeCoteau movies as fast as DeCoteau makes them.

Now, that's just not true.
He only made 13 movies last year.

Incidentally, people of Metafilter, I bring you the joyous news that A Talking Cat!?! already has a spiritual sequel: A Talking Pony!?!

You can thank me when the hangover wears off after watching it.

(I also discovered that the rather tepid remake of The Craft, but with dudes, The Brotherhood has turned into a series of six "homoerotic horror films". And the cover does have that gay porn vibe.)
posted by Mezentian at 7:26 PM on March 14, 2013


Oh god the brotherhood

THEY'RE ALL THE SAME SPOOKY JOCK TWINK SWIMMER

also why exactly being drawn into this coven of magical gay hard bodies a bad thing? I'm pretty sure that's all I ever wanted.
posted by The Whelk at 7:36 PM on March 14, 2013


With your luck you'd end up in The Sisterhood.

(Yes, apparently he remade The Brotherhood by turning the premise on its head.)
posted by Mezentian at 9:40 PM on March 14, 2013


We watched this tonight. It was very very bad, although I don't think inspiring of Foodfight-level mania. A huge portion of the movie was establishing shots that didn't need establishing, like thirty seconds of a waterfall, or a river flowing, or the tide coming in. Many of the shots were reused throughout the movie. Even the credits were padded, with what I think were every shot of the cat doing cat things throughout the whole film. It was gloriously empty.

Incidentally, people of Metafilter, I bring you the joyous news that A Talking Cat!?! already has a spiritual sequel: A Talking Pony!?!

If it's Pinkie, run for the hills.
posted by JHarris at 2:45 AM on March 15, 2013


Obligatory Cupcake Reference.

Sadness at the death of Fan Fiction Friday.
posted by Mezentian at 9:23 AM on March 15, 2013


My friend and are going to watch this movie tonight, starting around 8:15, and livetweet it. If you have any interest in following, you can read along at twitter.com/botflyparty and twitter.com/tricialockwood
posted by Greg Nog at 5:00 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Alas Greg Nog I was in the pizza mines when you posted that and when you watched it. I really need more advance warning for that kind of thing... and for it not to happen in the window of 4 to 10 PM. But overall I am generally down for riffing, I sharpened my teeth on Foodfight and feel kind of cocky and invincible.
posted by JHarris at 7:52 PM on March 15, 2013


I've been blogging about this movie, scene by scene, since it showed up on Netflix.

A Talking Cat!?!: The Movie!?!: The Tumblr!?!
posted by a47danger at 1:18 PM on March 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


You know, with the DVD box right there, it's worth noting that the thing I find most irritating about this movie is that the cat on the front of the box is VERY CLEARLY a different cat than the one in the film. Is this acceptable now? Can you just put a photo of George Clooney on any DVD case about white people? Come now. Really.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:39 AM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


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