David Black reviews Cat Sick Blues
There’s a deeply disturbing Ozploitation obsession about the grief of losing a cat. The IMDB description for Daniel Armstrong’s upcoming release, “Tarnation”, starts as follows, “When Oscar is fired, and her boyfriend walks out (taking the cat), she heads to a remote cabin in the woods……” Stuart Simpson’s “Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla” is a crazed descent into madness after an ice cream vendor accidentally runs over his cat and loses the plot. Dave Jackson takes this to a whole new level of insanity with “Cat Sick Blues.”
This is one truly disturbing movie. It will certainly have you thinking twice about feeling sorry for socially awkward geeks. In fact, Matthew C Vaughan’s portrayal of Ted, the cat mourning geek, makes Norman Bates seem somehow comforting to be around. He is calculating, unfeeling and sexually depraved.
Shian Denovan plays Claire, your pretty girl next door type. She makes a decent contrast to the sick characters she encounters, as well as a nice victim. No one likes to see bad things happen to good people but she seems far too trusting and that gets the tension going.
Dave Jackson hasn’t given any of the usual cue’s when something nasty is about to happen though. You just have no idea when the screen is going to be splattered red. Usually, when a scene is building towards something horrific, the music starts to get weird, the lighting and colour palette becomes sickly, there might be quick cuts or stylisations and the framing of the shots might have the bad guy uncomfortably squeezed into them and even looming menacingly. Nope. In this, shit just happens. And lots of it too!
Dave does have your scenes where the music gets sinister and the shots are uncomfortable, but they seem to be there for pacing and sometimes for mood.
One of the big stars of this movie is the prop maker, Dieter Barry. The decapitated heads were spot on likenesses. There are other things that I would like to mention too, but can’t because I just don’t like to give any spoilers in a movie review. What I can say is that some props are on the insane side of things. You wouldn’t even find them at the most underground fetish shop.
I’m a great lover of Ozploitation movies and this one brings us into the contemporary, internet age. Youtubing, viral videos and sex tapes are a key part of this. Life, when broadcast online becomes devoid of meaning and just another form of entertainment, where the viewer no longer sees the victim as a human being. From this angle, Cat Sick Blues becomes a commentary on life in the cyber age.
The film builds in pace and depravity, becoming more surreal. For those that collect Ozploitation movies, this is a must for the collection.
Cat Sick Blues – http://monsterpictures.com.au/shop/cat-sick-blues-dvd/