Newest Reviews
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Woman at War
Newest Articles
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
  Felidae Cat PowerBuy this film here.
Year: 1994
Director: Michael Schaak
Stars: Ulrich Tukur, Mario Adorf, Helge Schneider, Wolfgang Hess, Gerhard Garbers, Ulrich Wildgruber, Mona Seefried, Manfred Steffen, Uwe Ochsenknecht, Michaela Amler, Christian Schneller, Tobias Lelle, Frank Röth, Alexandra Mink, Klaus Maria Brandauer
Genre: Horror, Animated
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Francis the cat (voiced by Ulrich Tukur, or Cary Elwes in the English dub) is moving into a new neighbourhood with his owner, who is a writer of pulp fiction and finds he has to move around a lot to get his inspiration, not something his pet is tremendously keen on, though at least he gets to investigate various places he might not otherwise have had the chance to had he been with a more settled owner. This latest house needs quite a bit of work done to it, but the minute Francis arrives he senses all is not right, as he picks up the strong scent of... what? Something unfamiliar but ominous, that's for sure, and in his wandering about he happens upon another cat in the garden. He is Bluebeard (Mario Adorf or Michael Madsen) and he is surveying a grisly scene...

Author Akif Pirinçci penned a series of novels based on Francis the cat, but as with Martin Rosen's adaptations of Richard Adams' books Watership Down and The Plague Dogs when it came to making a movie of one of the instalments, animation seemed the best method, thus German director Michael Schaak stepped in and took the reins, crafting a cartoon that was decidedly not for little children. But then, who was it for? Possibly fans of the source, but cat lovers who you would imagine would be most interested had to contend with an awful lot of cat slaughter and mutilation if they were going to try to relax with Felidae, which you imagine put off a large percentage of the potential audience.

What you had was a horror story that happened to star cats, presented as a murder mystery with Francis as the gumshoe, visiting various characters and gleaning information from them to better piece together the jigsaw of what is actually happening. It wasn't a conventional mystery as it might have been akin to a film noir, as the ultimate explanation was fairly outlandish, and not something you would have guessed from the beginning, but what appears to be happening is a series of cat killings, and not by humans either. Francis judges by examining the bodies that the toms were sexually aroused when they were killed, and that their throats have been ripped out by claws, pointing the finger (paw?) at one of his fellow kitties as the culprit.

For a while it seemed as if the plot was going to introduce a fresh character every five minutes, which dramatically increases the amount of potential murderers, though it increases the number of potential victims as well - one apparently harmless feline is found with her head ripped from her body, for example. Among those others Francis encounters were a large tom who determines to rape him with the assistance of two of his cheerleading pals, cueing a chase across the town which only ends when they stumble across the tom's girlfriend and mother of his kittens, all of which have been torn apart - although the movie was not wallowing in gore, we were well aware this was pretty brutal stuff for anyone to endure, never mind a cat, the hunters becoming the hunted.

But then there were the decidedly odd elements which lent a particular sensation to some not bad at all animation. For a start, Francis suffers nightmares which strangely point him in the right direction in his investigations, reminiscent of Gerald Scarfe's animations for Pink Floyd The Wall in their grotesquerie, an ocean of cat corpses among them. But in the real world, there were also such instances of weirdness as a cat cult which uses electrical equipment abandoned by some possible clue, where the moggies willingly electrocute themselves to join up and achieve some form of religious ecstasy. It's all grist to Francis's mill as he ploughs on, the more he finds out the more he is pushed forward, though even with the bizarre setpieces you did find yourself balking at such scenes as cats using a computer to check a database of those deaths in the neighbourhood. Nevertheless, there wasn't much exactly like this, not even The Aristocats which this owes a curious debt to and if it was finally too offbeat for most, it did intrigue. Music by Anne Dudley.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2084 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (2)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M


Last Updated: