A Talking Cat!?! 5 out of 10: A cat named Duffy (Voiced by Eric Roberts) interacts with two families, giving out sage advice to help them enter into relationships with each other and corner the Northern California cheese puff market.
The Good: A Talking Cat!?! is one of the most good natured films I have ever seen. Sure, it has some minor faults, but the plot is so lightweight as to be almost relaxing. It is good to see Kristine DeBell (1976’s Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy) acting again after all these years.
Okay, um… the musical score by Harry Manfredini (Friday the 13th) is catchy, staying just on the right side on irritatingly coy.
Plus, there is a cat.
Despite being directed by David DeCoteau (Directing under his apparent alter ego/Norman Bates moniker Mary Crawford) A Talking Cat!?! is a family friendly film. I mean, David is a prolific director. He has an eye-watering 178 directorial credits. David occasionally goes on a soft-core gay porn kick. Most recently, with his 1313 series. But A Talking Cat!? is almost completely gay porn free. Almost…
Also, if your mom walks in the room while you are watching the movie and states, “That house looks familiar. Have I seen it in a film before?” You can remind her it was also the set for Ass Worship 13 and you both can share a good laugh and a tender moment together.
The Bad: Alright let me put the kettle on.
The following is by no means an exhaustive list.
One of the first things that will be apparent is that director David DeCoteau got some sort of deal on establishing shots with apparently no limit on the number of times he can use them. Or perhaps he had a bet with someone. Either way, in a movie with only two locations (large mansion used on various adult films and a poor person’s cabin that would easily cost over a million dollars as well), we have 59 establishing shots. The movie is only 85 minutes long and eight of those minutes are a surprisingly lengthy closing credits. (Surprising because the cast is seven people and a cat). So we are dangerously close to one establishing shot a minute.
Even worse, this is not fifty-nine different establishing shots. This is the same eight or so shots repeated over and over again. A few of which do not appear to take place in the same… I am going to go with state… as the action in the film.
Okay, so the film has more padding than Keira Knightley’s bra. How is the acting? Well, the cat isn’t very good. There are constant treats on the floor everywhere in a desperate attempt to get the cat to hit his mark. At one point, the poor director had to use a laser pointer on some shoes that is hilariously visible on film.
Okay, I hear you say, but it is a talking cat. Surely the voice acting by Eric Roberts saves the day???? I don’t know what homeless shelter or Greyhound bus station bathroom Eric recorded his lines in, but if there is a go fund me for Eric Roberts at this point I am willing to chip in. At least someone buy him a bus ticket back to Julia’s house.
The Ugly: The idea that Justin Cone should be trying to hook up with Alison Sieke rather than Daniel Dannas, whom he is clearly in love with and shares such an intimate swimming lesson chemistry with is clearly denying both the characters and the directors true feelings. The fact a nineteen-year-old wealthy white boy who lives in a mansion with a pool has never learned to swim or dated a girl before also seems to strain credibility.
In Conclusion: I have seen this film three times now and I have actually enjoyed it. Admittedly, it was the RiffTrax version each time, but nevertheless, I find it zen. It is an attractive and mellow film where nothing much happens. Like putting on one of those meditation YouTube videos. Which, in all fairness, is about where a third of the footage originated from.
Rifftrax: A Talking Cat!?! (2018) Review
RiffTrax: A Talking Cat!?! (2018): 10 out of 10: You can tell the RiffTrax guys are having a blast doing A Talking Cat!?!, and it shows. It is always a pleasure when you get the true feeling of three friends enjoying themselves and taking the piss out of a film. Even as they stare at the screen in disbelief.
While A Talking Cat!? does not present the challenge of, say, Terror at Tenkiller, it would have been easy for them to go for the cheap and easy observations made by so many others before them. Instead, we have some brilliant skits and possibly one of the best closing credit sequences in the history of RiffTrax. Bravo guys and I hope you really had as much fun riffing the film as I had listening to you guys.