Icono-cats of Horror

This post was inspired by a stray cat that happened upon my porch not all too long ago. There's absolutely nothing scary or creepy about it, she's actually rather nice. She had kittens the day we met her and since then, I've had cats on the brain. So to alleviate this, I figured a related post would be a good thing. With the help of some friends at The Horror Mansion, I've put together a short list of some of the most memorable horror movies involving our four-legged friends.


The Corpse Grinders

OMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOM!!

Whether or not you like cats, I think it's safe to agree cats like meat; fish, chicken, beef and pork...and apparently human. In The Corpse Grinders, when sales are down at the Lotus Cat Food Company, a decision is made to cut costs by digging up corpses and adding them to the recipe. The unfortunate side effect is the local cats quickly begin to favor the soylent treat over all else, causing a homicidal spree of blood-thirsty cats. Here, kitty, kitty...

Sleepwalkers


"All I ask for is a saucer of cream and we can call it even."


In this bizarre Stephen King adaptation, a supernatural mother/son duo moves to a new town in search of a virgin to feed on and thus breed.

I'll let you read that again. Done cringing? Good, let's continue.

These psychic powered super creatures are a major threat to the town, but they have one natural enemy that turns these predators into scared prey...can you guess what it is? Here's a hint: His name is Clovis.

Cat's Eye

"I'm gonna hug 'im and love 'im and squeeze 'im and..."

Another Stephen King adaptation, based on three separate stories ("Quitters, Inc" and "The Ledge" from Night Shift and "General", which was unique for the film), Cat's Eye involves a cat that makes a cross-state journey to save a little girl in danger. Each story is a bizarre tale involving a creepily efficient anti-smoking company, a man who makes progressively dangerous bets and the previously mentioned little girl, who finds the cat and adopts him. And yes, that's Drew Barrymore up there.


Ju-On (The Grudge)

...I got nothing. This kid is too fucking creepy.

This is an exceptionally creepy Japanese tale based on a curse that resides when a person dies while experiencing either of two emotional extremes: rage or fear. In the film, one of the ghosts encountered is the fused spirit of a boy and a cat. This is easily one of the creepiest entries on the list as well as one of the better American remakes. If you've not seen it, go do so...after you finish reading this post.

Hocus Pocus

...this was a Disney movie?

Back when Disney movies were admittedly kinda fun, they made a movie about three soul stealing witches, the Sanderson Sisters, called Hocus Pocus. In this relatively tame, yet still somewhat morbid movie, the Sisters are resurrected when a virgin lights their black flame candle. A major part of the story involves young Thackery Binx who is turned into an immortal cat and forced to guard the witches' home for three hundred years. I guess he's really not that young anymore then, yeah?

Pet Sematary

I see your new contacts came in today...

One of the most loved and remembered films on the list, Pet Sematary is yet another Stephen King adaptation about a family that loses their young son, Gage, in an awful accident outside their home. In the story, the family cat, Church, is killed on the same road and is buried in an old burial ground, only to return as something...evil.


So there we have six iconic horror movies that involve cats. There are definitely more that could go on here. How about some of you, my dear readers, list some more of your favorites in the comments below?

Dead Birds Review

Dead Birds (2004)

Starring: Michael Shannon, Patrick Fugit, Nicki Aycox
Directed by: Alex Turner



The Premise

A group of fugitive Confederate Soldiers hole up in an abandoned plantation after robbing a bank. They soon regret their decision when they realize they're at the mercy of the malevolent spirits that still linger in this place.

The First Stitches

After the wispy opening credits, the movie opens to a dusty Fairhope, Alabama, a la 1863. A group of Confederate soldiers slowly ride up to the Commerce Bank, stopping to make a deposit. As a deal is brokered, another posse of riders make their way into town, also with "business" to attend to. The soldiers standing post outside are quickly taken out as the robbers make their way into the bank. Every living soul in the building is quickly dispatched (with the exception of a mole) and the gang makes a not-too-subtle escape from town under the cover of more gunfire.

After making good headway into the woods, the gang soon realize they are lost and may not find their safe house. Luckily they find the next best thing just before the sun goes down...

Easy Riders

Mending the Seams

Plot: Dead Birds is a very story driven Western horror movie. As opposed to how I felt about A Haunting In Salem, which was similarly slow, this film was significantly more interesting and appealing. While it does take time in between each major scene for more exposition, there is little in the way of fluff as we get a bit more into each character with every scene and even more so, a bit more into the actual story.

Characters: Speaking of the characters, one thing I truly loved about this movie was the casting and the character writing. Initially, I had to put away all bias and view this as objectively as possible (I've come to be a pretty decent Michael Shannon and Patrick Fugit fan over the course of time) and as it stands, there were no characters I didn't like in this film. I found the performances to be quite solid and enjoyable.

Setting/Atmosphere: The look and feel of the locale was very fitting for the film. The brief time spent in town definitely sets the bar for the rest of the movie and the subsequent scenes through the plantation and its fields do well to not dip below it. I did enjoy the night scenes as they weren't significantly overlit, which is sometimes the case in period pieces.

Special Effects: I was mostly impressed by the visual effects. While sometimes gory and repulsive, they were tasteful and not overused. I did feel some of the more "jump scare" type scenes failed to keep up, but the slack is easily picked up by pretty much everything else.

Music/Audio: I enjoyed the hauntingly appropriate soundtrack for the film. At no point did I feel audibly derailed or off put by stray sound effects or bad music.

At least he got to keep his hat.

The Binding Stitch

Dead Birds is a film that should not be overlooked. As it slowly pulls you into madness, it pays off in the end as this satisfying tale outshines many others of its kind. This movie fits the bill for anyone looking for a good period piece horror or a movie that doesn't push you through a lack of story with constant visual effects. There is a little bit of everything here for the average horror fan or western fan and I would recommend giving it a try.

Yes, please do.