In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

April Showers IV: Day Four

On Day Four of April Showers, I will finally talk about Dave Jackson's bizarre little indie Cat Sick Blues.

A troubled man named Ted (Matthew C. Vaughn) believes that taking nine lives will bring his beloved cat Patrick back from the dead.

I caught this at Fright Night Theatre a few weeks ago and it's been rattling around in my brain ever since. An extension of a short film I remember seeing a few years ago at Little Terrors, this effort from Down Under is very hard to get a handle on.

Matthew C. Vaughn as Catman in Cat Sick Blues.

Coincidentally, Cat Sick Blues does share several traits with Alice Lowe's Prevenge, the film I talked about yesterday. Both protagonists are dealing with loss, leaving a trail of bodies in their wake and share almost identical epiphanies when they reach their endgames. However, that's where the similarities end, as Lowe's dry humour was pitch perfect and Jackson's was more of a bad taste bonanza.

Cat Sick Blues' sense of tone is decidedly problematic. I've never seen audience laughter cut off so abruptly than I did here. On more than one occasion, I found myself just trying to get into the head space of how Jackson came up with some of this stuff. Apart from the brutal violence of the killings, Jackson also shined a light on the uglier side of Internet culture, which lead to its own set of uncomfortable moments. I say uncomfortable mainly because they were sadly all too true.

I think perhaps what made Cat Sick Blues hard to dissect was how it at the same time felt cheap, yet was also fantastically well shot. The hostel sequence where Catman (Ted's alter ego) goes on a Ted Bundy-style rampage to the tune of Mistabishi's Repulsion will never leave your head once it's in there. I was, somewhat begrudgingly, with this movie up to a point, but the tail end really dragged while it struggled to find a conclusion. I could've have done without the odd tangents that made up most of the last half-hour.

Cat Sick Blues is such a confounding piece because even though there was as much bad as there was good, I can't stop thinking about it. Catman was such an indelible figure, and it's troubling because characters that have this much resonance with me usually end up being future Halloween costumes. I mean, I've dressed up as Bobby Yeah and Peach Fuzz before, but I feel this one would get me arrested. So yeah, probably a no-go.

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