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Guys…I…I think I may be going crazy.
I mean, really, I think I might be starting to lose it. First there were all those weird messages appearing, and then this whole stuff with Blucatt and then suddenly there’s Foodfight! fanfiction appearing on my blog (who would even do something like that?)…
I’m starting to feel my hold on reality loosening and I don’t think it can be entirely explained away by the fact that Class A drugs were briefly legal in my country. Which brings me to today’s movie; Felidae. I knew next to nothing about this movie going in but my research seemed encouraging. Most expensive animated film ever to come out of Germany, based on one of the best selling German novels of all time. Large cult following, 7.9 rating on IMdB, 85% viewer approval on Rotten Tomatoes (though no reviews from professional critics). The consensus seems to be that this was a dark, engaging film noir murder mystery with cats. Okay, sounds cool. I can dig it.
And then I watched it.
What. The. Close. Up. Mouth. Whore. FUCK?
People like this? People? Actual people?
Because I can honestly say, without a hint of hyperbole, that I have never reviewed a movie for this blog that I hated more than this one. No. Not even Home on the Range. Not even Dinosaur. Not. Even. Foodfight!
Now I know what you’re thinking. “Mouse. You’ve lost it. You’ve gone nuts…”
Yes, did you not read the first lines of this review?
“Shut up and let me finish. You gave Foodfight! 0%. Zero. The big goose-egg. How can this possibly be worse than that?”
Well I didn’t say it was worse. I said I hated it more. Foodfight is just total, utter failure on every level. Felidae is not like that. There is a base line of competence that it never goes below. But…that actually makes it more unpleasant. Because they succeed in what they set out to do. It’s relentlessly, repulsively nasty and it’s good at it.
It sets out to appall you and it succeeds.
How bad is it?
Let’s take a look. But you won’t thank me.
Alright, so the movie begins with me trying to navigate my German language DVD and actually play the damn thing.
Okay so the movie actually begins with our hero, Francis the cat, in a car with his owner being driven to their new home. In voiceover, Francis advises us to sit back and get comfortable because he’s got a story to tells us “and it’s not going to be pretty.”
So about the animation. Felidae was a co-production of an incredible 11 different studios from Germany, England, Canada, Korea, Taiwan and Ireland. The result of this is that the animation quality veers wildly from “Pretty Damn Impressive” to “Just a cut above Saturday Morning on TCC in the eighties”.
Alright so Francis and his owner, Gustav are moving house because Gustav is a pulp romance writer and whenever he gets writer’s block he buys a new place. Francis says that this “doesn’t help”. Which yeah, that’s totally what being a writer is like. You get writer’s block, you just up stakes and move house. Sure it’s incredibly expensive but it’s okay because you’re a writer and so you have lots and lots of money. Even if you have writer’s block which isn’t alleviated by moving house so you just never write. I like that this movie is able to capture the life of a writer with such unerring fidelity.
The house is basically a cross between the Addam’s Family mansion and a crack den, and Francis gets a bad stink off the place as soon as he sets foot inside. The smell seems to be coming from the top-most room. He hears a cat mewing and goes out to the back garden to investigate and meets another cat, called Bluebeard. Bluebeard is missing one eye and has heavy facial scarring, but the character design in this movie is so screwy that it looks more like he’s wearing makeup like an eighties WWF wrestler.
Francis looks in the direction that Bluebeard is staring and, oh look at that, there’s a murdered cat in his back garden. Bluebeard and Francis investigate the body and Bluebeard says that it must have been “a can-opener”, which, let’s face it, is probably what cats call human beings in real life so I’ll give the movie points for accuracy on that one. Bluebeard says this is the fourth body that’s turned up in a month, but Francis says he doesn’t think a human did it as the throat was shredded, not slashed. Francis decides to explore the neighbourhood and see if he can get some answers. Now, in case you’re wondering what my issue is with this movie, we’ll get to it. But I have to admit the film opens pretty strong. The atmosphere is nice and ominous, the animation so far is damn good and the mystery is unfolding in an intriguing way. It’s a little hard to pinpoint just when the movie goes off the rails but we’re not there yet. Francis notices that there’s a square space on the wall outside his new house and deduces that it might have been a doctor’s nameplate and reasons that that might explain the weird chemical smell in the house. Francis goes inside where Gus is talking to his friend Archie who’s trying to convince him to install parquet flooring. The movie the spends gets around three explaining that Archie is Gus’ only friend and that he’s a former hippie turned middle class yuppie which is all well and good but we will never see this character again and he plays absolutely no role in the plot. Nothing. And I wouldn’t have such a a big problem with that but…well, you’ll see. Francis turns in for the night and Gus comes in and puts on his “favourite music” to help him sleep.
Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony.
Hey Gustav? Maybe that’s not actually your cat’s favourite music? Maybe you’re just a pretentious gee-bag?
Francis falls asleep and starts to dream that the music is leading him up the room at the top of the stairs. He steps through the door and finds himself in an empty white space OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT…
No, actually it’s even worse than that. Francis finds him face to face with a human in a lab coat. Well. I say “face to face”.
The faceless man puts a collar around Francis’s neck which turns into a shackle which the faceless man uses to strangle him until Francis wakes up screaming in terror. Bluebeard comes in and Francis asks him if there’s been another murder, and whether the victim was a male like the others. Bluebeard asks him how he knew that and Francis says that it was “an educated guess”.
Now see, big, big problem I have with this movie. Francis is supposed to be this fantastic detective but a lot of the time what advances the plot is that he has dreams that magically reveal things to him that he has no way of knowing otherwise. He has “guesses” and “hunches” that tend to be right but the movie rarely does the hard work of showing him put two and two together. It’s just lazy writing. Francis asks Bluebeard if the victim, Deep Purple, was castrated…
What the fuck am I watching?
Bluebeard tells him that Francis still had his junk but that he suffered from erectile dysfunction since he was “old as Methuselah”, cats of course being famous for their comprehensive knowledge of the Hebrew patriarchs (oh and this kinda thing is only gonna get worse from here). Francis finally gets around to asking Bluebeard his name and he tells him “I’ve had more babes than Henry the Eighth”. Yeah. I said it was going to get worse. You didn’t think I meant this quickly, did ya?
Bluebeard takes Francis to check out Deep Purple’s corpse but on the way they run into the neighbourhood toughguys, two cats named Herman and Hernan and their boss, Kong.
Kong asks Bluebeard if he’s “cruising the gay scene” and Kong and Bluebeard square off and good God what is up with these character designs?
Kong finally backs out of the fight and he and his henchmen clear out but not before basically promising Francis that he’s going to rape him next time he gets him alone.
What the fuck am I watching?
Francis seems to take this in stride as the only thing he says to Bluebeard is that he noticed that he called him his “friend”. Which is nice and all but really dude, you got other things to worry about right now. Okay so they check out Deep Purple’s body and Francis actually does some real detective work. He susses that Deep Purple was attacked outside but managed to drag himself into a garage before he bled out. He also smells that Deep Purple was sexually aroused before he died. Francis says that what links the murders is sex and the killer is either a “sex machine” trying to kill off the competition or someone who has a moral objection to “fornication”. So, it’s either one thing, or the complete and total opposite of that thing. Also, pardon me a moment…
There was nothing, NOTHING, about Sascha (the first victim) that suggested sex or anything to do with sex. This is just another example of Francis being right because the script needs him to be right. Bluebeard is still convinced that the killer is a human but Francis says that the victim’s throat was torn out by teeth. He asks Bluebeard to introduce him to the other cats in the area (although considering that the area consists of at least one serial killer and one rapist maybe getting to know the neighbours isn’t the best idea). Bluebeard promises to introduce him to someone who’s a “real clever bastard”.
As we shall see, that is a blatant lie.
Francis goes to sleep and wakes up to hear cats screaming upstairs. He investigates and finds that a massive cult of cats has basically set up shop in the top floor of his house and part of their religious ritual is jumping into live electrical currents and going straight to Bahia.
Francis watches them from a hole in the ceiling and sees that the congregation includes Bluebeard, Kong, Herman and Hernan and seemingly every cat in the neighbourhood. They’re called the Brotherhood of Claudandus and are led by a large cat called Joker.
Hey waaaaaaait a minute. Let me see a picture of Kong again.
It’s the same cat. It’s the same damn cat! They just swapped the colours and pretended they were two completely different characters like frickin’ Mortal Kombat! German work ethic my unshaved ass!
Alright so Joker and these…jokers, worship some cat called Claudandus who suffered terribly for all their sins and was blessed by God so to prove their faith the cats fry themselves while running up Gustav’s electricity bill something fierce. Francis is horrified saying “What I was watching wasn’t exactly a scene out of the Artistocats.”
And he’s right. It’s not. And in retrospect I was way, waaaaay too hard on that movie.
Anyway, Joker sees Francis and yells that he’s a trespasser (hey, you’re the one who crashed his house re-enact Passion of the Christ II: Electric Bugaloo buddy) and orders the cultists to catch Francis. This, as we’ll later learn, makes absolutely no sense whatsoever but at least we get a decent chase scene out of it. Francis proceeds deeper into the attic and finds medical equipment and surgical tools stashed there. The cultists chase him out onto the roof and we get a sequence that has some of the strongest animation in the whole movie with moving backdrops and very fluid motion. Francis loses his pursuers and finds himself in another house in the neighbourhood which is home to a blue Persian named Felicity. He tells her that he’s being chased by the Claudandus sect and she tells him that that sounds “typical of them”. She asks him if it’s light outside and Francis realises that she’s blind but when he mentions it she retorts “I’m not blind. I just can’t see.”
Felicity says that she was born blind (well make up your damn mind) but that not a day goes by that she doesn’t wish to see this world “dark and cruel though it is”.
Um, I’m willing to be corrected on this but I’m fairly sure that those who were blind from birth don’t typically want to see. I mean, how can you want something you have no way of even conceptualising? Like, do you miss the fact that you can’t sense electrical fields like a shark? But anyway, it’s a moot point because Felicity tells Francis that she has dreams of being operated on a surgical table. Francis tells her that he doesn’t think she was born blind and that humans may have inflicted blindness on her at a very young age but she doesn’t believe him, saying that human beings are the kindest species there is.
Francis then asks Felicity if she’s heard anything unusual in the last two weeks (oooh, that might be a bit too specific there Frankie, you sure you don’t wanna vague that up?) and Felicity says “Only the death cries.”
Francis realises that he’s found an actual witness to the murders. Felicity says she doesn’t think the killings are murders, just “sex that’s gone too far”.
Does Felicity think that if you kill someone while having sex it doesn’t count as murder? Or does she just think that these were literally mind blowing orgasms? This movie is weird. And not “fun weird”. “Creepy guy in a trenchcoat at the back of the bus” weird.
Felicity tells Francis that from the sounds they made she could tell that the victims were all tom-cats, in heat and that they were confronted by someone that they knew who they did not attack. Felicity tells Francis that the stranger who confronted them was trying desperately to persuade them of something, but she couldn’t hear what he said. Or to put it another way, she’s able to give Francis all the clues that he needs to know at this point in the script, but nothing that would actually help him solve the case so we can wrap this thing up and all go home. You heard all that, Felicity? Really? You heard well enough to actually hear the sound horniness makes but you couldn’t hear one presumably loud and passionate conversation? Excuse me…
What am I even paying those damn sherpas for?
Alright so Bluebeard pokes his head in and asks why Francis ran off, saying the cultists just wanted to “talk” to him. Francis is skeptical as well he might be because those cats were clearly trying to kill him.
Bluebeard says that the sect is harmless and that for most of the cats who attend it’s just a cheap thrill and no one even knows if Claudandus ever really existed. So…why hunt Francis? How is the sect supposed to attract new members if it chases down away anyone who shows up wondering where the stench of burning fur is coming from?
What (in short) the fuck, yo?
Bluebeard takes Francis to see Pascal, the “clever bastard” he spoke of earlier. Pascal is a very old cat who lives with his owner Ziebold, who’s apparently a scientist and who has a massive portrait of Gregor Mendel in his study. Pascal says that he’s been using his owners computer to try and solve the murders in the area.
Look. I love animal stories. Always have. When I was a kid I read every book in the Farthing Wood Friends series as well as all of Tom McCaughren’s fox books and many, many others. Watership Down is still one of my favourite books. I love this genre. And it has rules. A certain degree of anthropomorphization is expected and indeed necessary. But if the only way your story can work is if your characters can use a computer, just use humans. In Watership Down one of the characters is able to figure out how to use a boat to float across a river. And he is the very, very smartest rabbit of them all and it’s a major, game-changing, this-bunny-is-thinking-way-outside-the-box deal. This is just dumb. It’s a cat using a computer. In the early nineties!
Pascal has compiled a database of every single cat in the neighbourhood according to age, gender, breed, colouring and markings. He calls this database “Felidae” and asks Francis if he knows what the word means. Francis replies “Could it be a scientific word for all our divisions, “cats” as their usually called?” and man, that’s some good guess work Francis but then that is what you do best. Just guessing shit that turns out to be perfectly correct. Pascal says that evolution has produced a wondrous variety of creatures but none more amazing than the genus felidae.
Pascal says that all the victims were males on the prowl for sex and Francis asks him to list the breeds of all the murdered cats.
Francis notes that all five victims were European shorthairs, but Pascal says that that’s not right because he hasn’t yet added the sixth victim. Francis is shocked because he didn’t know that there had been another victim and Pascal says that Felicity has been killed.
I…I…don’t…I…can’t….even…LOOK! LOOK WHAT I WROTE JUST A FEW LINES AGO!
You can’t even keep basic continuity within the space of TWO GODDAMN MINUTES!? If Pascal knows Felicity’s been murdered whey would he say that all the victims were male oh why am I even bothering? Francis runs back to Felicity’s house and finds her body, her head literally ripped off, blood and viscera everywhere and it is so fucking appallingly graphic that I don’t actually think I can show it to you so please just make do with this substitute image.
Later, Francis and Bluebeard discuss the murder in Francis’ backyard. Francis says that Felicity’s eyes were wide open “as if, even to the last she wanted nothing more than to see.”
Or, maybe she was just awake. Who can say? Who can say. Who. Can. Say.
Francis swears vengeance on the killer and reasons that Felicity was killed because she spoke to him and presumably knew too much. The movie then transitions to it’s most technically accomplished and morally abominable sequence where Francis dreams that he’s on a landscape of cat corpses stretching beneath a blood-red sky as far as the horizon. The animation and arty style switches to something much closer to Gerald Scarfe’s animated scenes in Pink Floyd-The Wall and a monstrous Gregor Mendel bursts through the corpses and causes them to dance like marionettes around a terrified Francis.
Those of you who have seen this movie and have been leaving cryptic, ominous, “oh you’re gonna love it mwa-ha-ha” type messages in the comments…this is probably the scene you were talking about, yes?
Okay. My thoughts.
Firstly, can I offer the opinion that Friar Gregor Mendel, a real person, a great scientist and the father of modern genetics, deserved better than to be portrayed in this piece of scheiße as Stromboli of the Zombie Cats?
Secondly…alright. I firmly believe that no topic should be taboo in art. I’ve said this before. If it’s part of the common human experience our art most reflect and comment on it.
But some subjects must be dealt with very, very carefully. They cannot be treated lightly, flippantly or perfunctorily. You’ve got to be smart. You’ve got to be sure of what you’re saying and why you’re saying it. And you cannot simply use it for shock value or to try to give your work a “seriousness” that it has not earned. And probably at the very top of that list is the Holocaust.
If you use holocaust imagery simply because you just think it’s dark or cool or shocking, go fuck yourself.
Find a way.
Now, someone is probably reading this and saying “No, Mouse. You don’t get it. See the movie is actually about…”
Ohhhhhhhh I get it. I know what they think they’re trying to do. But when you actually understand the killer’s plan and how this metaphor is actually supposed to work, I must warn you that the level of stupidity may actually be hazardous. You may lose a good chunk of brain matter, people. Write down anything important that you need to remember before continuing to the end of the review because doctors have told me it’s around the same risk neurologically as drinking paint. If Maus is the Schindler’s List of using animals as stand-ins to retell the story of the Holocaust, then Felidae is Uwe Boll’s Auschwitz.
That bright little trifle dispensed with Francis wakes up in a bit of a tizzy and decides to go hunting. He finds some rats in the basement “darting about, enjoying themselves, busy, busy, busy, waiting for the day when they’d take over the world.”
So while chasing rats Francis accidentally turns on a VCR because he’s a really good detective and this VCR just happens to contain information vital to his investigation because of course it does. The video is a blooper real of the single WORST SCIENTIST IN HISTORY (and I include in that the Russian who made a two-headed dog) Doctor Preterious. Preterious and his assistants, Ziebold and Grey, set out to make a glue that could seal wounds in living tissue. Okay, so first off the bat that’s a kind of stupid idea. Closing wounds is actually not something that medical science struggles with anymore. Stitches and bandages do the job just fine. This is like inventing a coffee mug that can make phonecalls. I mean sure, not entirely useless, but there’s already a readily-available technology that does the job perfectly well. The glue was tested on cats and through the video diary Preterious reveals that the first experiment was a failure and instead of closing the wound the glue ate it’s way right into the subject’s brain like goddamn xenomorph blood.
So, they built the mug, and not only did it not make phonecalls, but it gave everyone cancer. How do you fail that badly at something without supernatural powers? How do you make a glue, that’s just supposed to seal wounds, and instead is a thousand times worse than if you’d just used REGULAR FUCKING GLUE?
So they give up right? Daunted by the sheer scale of their own incompetence they quit lab work and retire in shame to work as science correspondents for the Daily Mail, right? Pah! Why stop at failure, when you can have a complete fucking fiasco? They keep liquidating cats with their death glue (can you even call it glue? It doesn’t glue anything! IT’S ANTI-GLUE! STOP CALLING IT GLUE!). Every experiment fails and Preterious descends into alchoholic madness, muttering “It simply defies logic!”
Preterious remarks that a young stray cat has wandered into the lab (presumably drawn by the smell of liquidated cat brain and terror) and the good doctor says that they’ve made him their mascot. Hell, put the cat in charge of research, you’ll probably get better results!
As the video goes on, Preterious complains bitterly that the lab’s funding has been cut…
…and so they’ve resorted to using the young stray as their final test subject. The glue finally works (oh and that was totally worth it) and an ecstatic Preterious names the stray “Claudandus”.
You know how Hitler’s father was actually born with the surname “Snikelgruber” and there’s always been this joke that if he hadn’t changed his name to “Hitler” then WW2 would never have happened because who’s going to follow Adolf Snikelgruber? I kind of feel like this whole movie might have been avoided if Preterious had just named Claudandus “Mr Tiddlewhiskers”. Preterious concludes that Claudandus is a mutant, which is why the glue doesn’t kill him.
Seriously, if the only reason why your medical treatment isn’t killing your patient is because they’re a child of the frickin’ atom, just pack it in. Alright, so things go from bad to worse. His assistants leave him and an increasingly unhinged Preterious starts a breeding programme in the lab to create new subjects. His funding completely gone, he labors on in the filthy, blood-caked lab, lit by candles and kept company only by the unfortunate animals he tortures day after day. The final moments of the log have Preterious ranting that Claudandas is telling him to release him and face him in hand to hand combat and then the tape cuts out.
I’ve been bitching a lot so I will give the movie credit and say that Preterious’ Apocalypse Log is creepy as balls.
Francis is interrupted by Kong bursting into the basement to attack him for…absolutely no goddam reason, I don’t fucking even. Kong chases Francis outside but they stop when they come across the body of another murdered cat. A female. With her throat clawed out. And her unborn kittens torn out of her and lying by her side.
I wish this movie was a person, so I could spit in its face.
Kong is distraught because apparently the dead cat is Solitaire, his favorite girl and the mother of his kittens.
He rounds on Frankie yelling “what kind of heartless bastard would do this?!”
But they’re interrupted by a rustling in the bushes and an old grey cat makes a run for it, fleeing over the wall, pausing only to briefly glance back at them and oh my God you have got to be shitting me.
Kong and his lackies run off after the old cat but Francis hangs back and sees him double back and follows him from a distance. The old cat is vanishes into a tunnel that leads underground. Francis is joined by Bluebeard and together they explore the tunnel. They find themselves in a chamber with literally hundreds of dead cats. They find the old cat who says that he is the guardian of the dead and his name is
Isiah Isaiha Issaiha Bill. His name is Bill. Bill tells Francis that once he was trapped in a terrible place of pain and fear with many other cats, but that the prophet Claudandus set them free. He says that Joker raised him in these catacombs but then left to spread the gospel of Claudandus and that shortly afterward the first body appeared and he heard Claudandus’ voice telling him to hide the bodies and watch over them and also never leave again and just stay down there. With hundreds of rotting corpses. And also he’s not allowed get sick and die. Fortunately for the prophet, Bill follows orders like a goddam marine.
Back on the surface Francis tells Bluebeard that they’re not dealing with seven murders, but hundreds. He also wonders why the seven victims that they were originally investigating weren’t stashed down in the catacombs with the rest of them. Francis goes home to think about this some more, but he gets distracted by the arrival of a strange blonde female cat named Nhozemphtekh (gesundheit) who starts rolling around on the ground and why is the porno sax music starting up and OH MY GOD STOP NO NO NO NO NO DO NOT WANT!
WHAT THE FUCK AM I WATCHING?!
Some one had to draw this. Someone had to spend weeks and weeks and weeks animating two cartoon cats fucking. You just think about that.
So. That happens. And then, because Francis is a gentleman, he asks what her name is and she tells him he doesn’t need to know and that she simply “is”. Francis has never seen a cat like her before and asks if she’s a new breed.
She says no, and that her breed is very old. And also new. Okay, show of hands, is there is anybody in this movie that can go without contradicting themselves for two fruckin’ minutes? No? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?
Later, Bluebeard stops by and Francis tells him to go and find Joker and tell him that they want to talk with him about the murders. Meanwhile, Francis is going to go and consult with Pascal the Keyboard Cat. Francis also asks Bluebeard if he knows anything about his new fuck buddy, and Bluebeard says that there have been lots of cats of that new breed showing up in the neighbourhood and they’re considered to be designer pets. Bluebeard says that they’re not like other cats though. He says that they’re wild and dangerous and ruinin’ the neighbourhood and takin’ our jobs dagnabbit.
Francis tells Pascal everything that he’s found and Pascal’s all “Mmmm…that’s good sleuthin!” and Francis asks to use the Felidae database to see who’s gone missing over the year to see if all the victims have anything in common. He also asks why the killer has now started to leave the bodies above ground and Pascal suggests that perhaps he’s trying to send them a message. Pascal says that the local cats would be too stupid to understand any such message and Francis says that maybe the message is only intended for one particularly intelligent cat and oh for the love of Pete. Movie? How about you just do a text crawl onscreen telling us all the pertinent information so we can just go home? Anything’s better than pretending that these two are actually doing any real detective work instead of just magically arriving at the conclusions they need to move the story forward.
Bluebeard arrives and says that he checked Joker’s home and that he’s gone. Pascal reasons that he’s the killer and has fled now that he knows that they’re on to him but Francis doesn’t buy that someone that crazy would just give up. Francis and Bluebeard head back over to Francis’ and Bluebeard warns Francis to watch his back, as he’s probably pretty high on the killer’s shit list. Francis is worried about Pascal, but Bluebeard says that since Pascal was neutered years ago the killer won’t go near him as he’s only targeted non-castrated cats. Well, yeah, but didn’t you just say that he’d kill Francis because he’s on the killer’s trail? Do you really think he’s going to let Pascal live and eventually expose him just because he’s been fixed? I actually like the fact that all the inconsistencies in this movie are so closely grouped together, it prevents a lot of going back and forth. Anyway, Bluebeard says that it doesn’t really matter because Pascal has stomach cancer just in case you were starting to feel any joy again.
Alright, so Francis and Pascal address a meeting of all the neighbourhood cats and Pascal tells them that they now know the killer was responsible for the deaths of 450 cats over the last fourteen years and the murders were linked to the experiments in Preterious’ lab. Francis says that he knows that many of the cats worship Claudandus who died on Preterious’ operating table many years ago but he’s interrupted by a voice who says “He didn’t die.”
Francis asks the little kitten what she knows and she says that Claudandus challenged Joker to battle and killed him. Francis asks her how she knows this and she says that her great-grandfather, Joker, told her.
So, we’ve never seen this character before. We never see her again. We don’t even learn her name. Her only purpose in this script is to just show up, give our heroes some vital information that they could have learned through their own agency, and then presumably vanishes as she is raised off the stage by a crane operated by some ancient Greek stagehands. Maaaaaan I am glad we got to spend so much time with fucking Archie listening to how much he loves parquet floors instead of maybe, I dunno, establishing this vital character earlier on in the narrative so this might actually feel halfway organic. Seriously, she just appears, gives the line and then she’s gone! You can’t do that!
Pascal tells the cats that Joker took on the name Claudandus and was behind the murders but that thanks to Francis he’s fled. Francis isn’t so sure, and gets Bluebeard to take him back to Joker’s house. Francis Joker’s body on top of a shelf, his throat shredded.
Francis notes that Joker didn’t struggled and that this looks more like an execution than an assault. Francis thinks that the only way Joker would have allowed himself to be killed would be if the killer was Claudandus himself and reasons that the prophet must still be alive.
Back at Francis’ house Gus has fallen asleep with a book on Egyptian hieroglyphics open and Francis notices a depiction of a cat that looks a lot like Nhozemphtekh. He gets an idea and pulls down a book on genetics, and starts reading about the theories of Gregor Mendel. The movie also refers to Mendel as a Jesuit priest (he was actually an Augustinian friar) but shit, like that’s the most inaccurate thing about his portrayal in this movie?
Francis says that the killings are part of an attempt to breed the neighbourhood cats back to their origins and that all the victims were killed for trying to breed with Nhozemphtekh and other cats like her. Francis curses his stupidity for not realising this sooner, particularly for not twigging that the faceless man in his dream was Preterious (because he’s…psychic? Is that why? He’s a psychic cat?).
Francis and Bluebeard head over to Pascal’s, with Bluebeard going through the kitchen and Francis heading upstairs to hack into Pascal’s computer. He sees that Pascal has maintained a meticulous log of the sex lives of every cat in the neighbourhood. Pascal enters behind him and asks if he’s figured it out yet. And Francis says that he thinks he understands, and calls him “Claudandus”.
- Claudandus was subjected to unethical experiments by Doctor Preterious many years ago.
- He escaped by mimicking human speech and convincing a drunken and insane Preterious to release him from his cage, whereupon he tore out his throat.
- After escaping he became the pet of one of the other researchers who worked for Preterious, a geneticist named Ziebold, and changed his name to Pascal.
- Having become convinced that human beings were truly evil, Pascal concocted the plan “Felidae”, to create a new superior breed of cats who could overthrow humanity using the theories of Gregor Mendel and a computer.
- He created a database of all cats in the area. Whenever a cat that Pascal deemed genetically inferior tried to mate, Pascal would magically appear like a genie from a fucking lamp and try to convince them to just take a cold shower. If the cat refused after several attempts at persuasion, Pascal would kill them. This went on for anywhere between nine and fourteen years (depending on whether the movie is set in 1989 when the book was released or 1994 when the movie was) and in that time Pascal killed 450 cats. None of Pascal’s victims ever escaped. None of them ever fought back and managed to defeat him. There were never any witnesses. None of the cats he tried to convince not to mate ever said to their buddies “Yeah I was lookin’ to get some last night and then Pascal totally cockblocked me and starting rambling about how my dick had no role in the creation of the master race and what’s even up with that guy?” Even when he was old, decrepit and riddled with cancer, Pascal was such an invincible baddass that he was able to lethally police the sex lives of every moggy in the area without anyone ever noticing.
- Facing death, and needing an heir, Pascal began leaving the bodies out in the open in the hope that someone would be smart enough to get what he was trying to say by leaving murdered bodies out in the open. Someone who just got him, y’know?
- Upon meeting Francis, a cat who was trying to solve these murders and was clearly horrified by them, Pascal decided that he would be the perfect candidate to continue his project of single-handedly overthrowing the entire human race worldwide by selectively breeding a new breed of cat in this one small German suburb.
Francis finally defeats Pascal/Claudandus by ripping open his vivisection scars and causing his guts to fall out. Yeah. But he was totally able to kill 450 cats and not get a scratch.
“The horror.” Pascal gasps as he lies dying “So much pain and darkness.”
Francis flees downstairs and finds Bluebeard’s unconcious body and drags it out before the whole house burns down. Francis collapses on the snow, exhausted and bloodied, and he reflects on Claudandus.
“He lost his innocence.” Francis whispers “As man lost his.”
Well. He definitely lost something.
And so the movie ends with Francis going of to screw Nhozemphtekh. He leaves us with this thought; “Don’t give up on the idea of a world in which all animals and people can live together. Perhaps all need to evolve, to grow a bit more. Maybe we all need to grow into Felidae.”
So that was Felidae, the thing I now hate more than any other. This movie just left me drained and miserable.
I think I’ve said everything I needed to say. I don’t even have the energy to wrap this up, that’s it. I’m done. See you in two weeks.
TO BE CONTINUED