Film

Cat Sick Blues (Dave Jackson,2015)

Cat Sick Blues (2015) 3/5
One of the truly weirder films I’ve seen in a long while. A low budget Australian horror-comedy about a serial killer with a cat fetish who briefly has a relationship with rape victim who is mourning her cat who was killed by the same man.
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Original and quite unlike anything I can compare itto apart from the British TV series A League of Gentlemen and serial killer films like Manhunter and Henry:Portrait of a serial killer; it’s more akin to the former than the latter. I had the impression that this was not a serious film, since in most of the voilent scene the characters rarely behave as you would expect, and appear generally dull and uninteresting. Also the buckets of blood and severed heads, and the depiction of a man wearing a belly top, rubber cat mask and huge strap on phallus gives it overall campness that hard to take it as anything but comedy.

One critic described the film as not a horror movie but a ‘character study’ about a disturbed mind showing moments of ‘black comedy’. I would argue the contrary and say this was a pure black comedy, reminiscent of the nihilism shown in Irreversible or American Psycho, with moments of genuine horror.

C19

It’s hard to tell whether you would call the violence ‘graphic’ or just excessively gory without looking realistic, but it’s still disturbing to watch the victims scream in terror. Several of the murder scenes show the killer battering, strangling or slicing his victims in slow motion or prolonged moments which, despite the geysers of blood spraying the walls, illustrates the cruelty of the killings without the typical theatrics of the victim running upstairs screaming or begging for mercy. in one scene the killer even argues with the bereaved woman that his motivation is not sexual gratification, which he appears to fail at continuously, but actually to resurrect his dead cat.

Ultimately the film seems to be more about understanding the killer’s impotence than the trauma experienced by the rape victim and her equally strange emotional attachment to social media and cat videos. It was scenes which satirised the character’s interest in cat videos and social media, mirroring the killer’s fetish, and the lack of drama alloted to the rape which I found most disturbing, which probably wasn’t intended to be as superfluous.

In another scene the victim watches a website showing the reaction of viewers who saw the video of the rape which was filmed and then posted online. At no point does she seem truly effected by the incident, in fact she even goes on a random date with the killer where they have sex after he finds the rape video online. Its’s as if  her humiliation is treated more as an embarrassment and a consequence of social dependence than an serious traumatic event.

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