Night of 1000 Cats
Genre: Thriller (that’s questionable though)
Director: Rene Cardona Jr.
Stars: Anjanette Comer, Zulma Faiad, Hugo Stiglitz
Millionaire playboy Hugo (whose lack of facial expressions give him the appearance of a Thundercat marionette) flies around Acapulco in his private helicopter to pick up sexy young women. He whisks them away to his secluded old castle, where he wines and dines them (among other things, *wink*). With the aid of his bald mute little helper Dorgo, he kills his dates, keeping their heads in a crystal cage and feeding their chopped up body parts to his 1,000-strong army of blood thirty, flesh hungry cats.
So we did an episode of Live Nude Geeks where we watched and valiantly did our damnedest to riff Rene Cardona Jr’s Night of 1000 Cats. This episode won’t be archive and this review should serve as an explanation of why Rene Cardona Jr is BANNED FOR LIFE!
Night of 1000 Nothings
Why is Hugo Stiglitz a memorable name? Well there was a character named after him in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds. Hugo Stiglitz did act in over 200 movies but perhaps “act” is too strong a word. More like starred lifelessly at a camera and sputtered out some dialogue without one goddamn bit of emotion. He’s still alive and still making movies in fact, WHY?
The first 20 minutes of Night of 1000 Cats are an absolute bore. It was an extreme challenge to riff because there was nothing happening. Maybe there was a snippet of dialogue worth joking about for a bit but other than that it was just Hugo Stiglitz and some random lady riding horses, or having uninteresting sex, or just swimming. They take a boat ride where we learn that Hugo (it’s also the character’s name too) dumps backstory on us. He’s crazy – he’s spent some time in a mental institution and, for some reason, this dumb woman thought it was a good idea to get on a boat with him to nowhere. Though the backstory is thoroughly unnecessary as we see that Hugo is insane when he murders the woman. Immediately after this, and I mean the VERY NEXT SHOT, he’s got a new gal. He doesn’t give her the river cruise of death though. Instead he takes her into his helicopter and goes to his forest retreat where things actually do happen.
PETA Gets Pissed
Here is a scene.
While dining with his new gal, a cat randomly interrupts their dinner. Hugo snatches the cat up with the firmest grip possible, storms into the castle basement and chucks the thing into the air where it FLIES a good 20 feet up and soars into a giant caged pit of cats. Contrary to popular belief, cats do not always land on their feet. If you hurl a cat 20 feet into the air, it will break bones and die. You see that cat – that cat dies FOR REAL. That’s no dummy cat. Rene Cardona Jr. is quite notorious for his graphic abuse of animals while making movies. And what are the chances that this was all done on the first take?
Also, why the FUCK does this guy have a giant pit of cats?! Where did animal butcher extraordinare Rene Cardona Jr get the p requisite 1000 cats to fill this pit with? Well, Hugo kills this gal too and then feeds her body to the cats. Really though, the film isn’t about the cats… it’s about Hugo killing ladies. So, why did these cats DIE for this movie?
But it gets so much worse.
Creepy Hugo is FUCKING CREEPY
Hugo goes out to stalk his next victim. He doesn’t hide out and spy on women in the traditional way though.. he stalks women with a fucking helicopter. I don’t mean he flies around in the sky and looks down with binoculars. Nope. Hugo flies right into their backyards and creepily eyes women, even offering them a rope ladder into his rape-copter. Or he’ll just hover right outside their apartment windows. You know why a Peeping Tom hides out in trees? So nobody sees them. Women do not like when a creepy man watches them. However Hugo doesn’t realize that and just parks his helicopter right outside their window like the inconsiderate, cat-killing bastard that he is.
During his flight through town he creeps out several women with his lusty eyes and his BIG FUCKING HELICOPTER. At NO point does anyone call the police and report that a mad man is flying a helicopter into people’s yards. Something like that would make the news, something like that would get noticed! Why they don’t simply baffles me. This goes on forever too, so you get pretty used to Hugo flying around and giving every woman in Mexico a close-up of his “I’m gonna fuck and murder you and then toss you into my pit of cats” eyes.
Then it gets really bad as Hugo settles in on a new potential victim.
That’s a little girl, you sick son of a bitch! NO! We allow a lot of things to slide on Live Nude Geeks because, honestly, there is very little in the world that you can’t make a joke about. Pedophilia is one of those things that’s OFF LIMITS! This movie delivers the kooky premise of “Crazy Cat Man kills ladies!” but then bombs this horrid stuff on you.
Dorgo is like a silent version of Torgo – they could probably be cousins. They both walk around with the same “Oops I just crapped my pants,” kind of limp. The only difference is that Dorgo is mute – probably because he’s retarded. He’s the ONE thing about this movie that’s likeable. Sure he kills a woman in one scene but the actual murder happens off camera and it’s okay to root for a killer in a movie from time-to-time, as long as they are killing adults in a cinematic fashion. We all loved Jason Voorhees – and he killed sinful 20-somethings pretending to be teenagers. We don’t cheer for people like Hugo, however. That’s part of the reason that the reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street failed so terribly. The original Freddy Krueger became a fun character and people wanted to see more of that fun character. Instead, that remake gave us a villain that molests children and then rubs that sexual abuse in their face. It makes for a harrowing tale and would serve as a horror story – but people wanted a bad guy they could laugh with – and nobody’s going to laugh at that.
That’s what Dorgo provides, a villain we can laugh with. Too bad he’s so under-utilized. And just when you thought you couldn’t hate Hugo anymore, he goes and kills Dorgo – over a fucking chess game. The one good thing in this movie and that motherfucker took it from us.
Cat Scratch Fever
Just when you thought that watching Hugo shatter a cat’s spine was as bad as it got.
Hugo Stiglitz drowns a cat. This isn’t an animatronic cat – this isn’t a prop – this is a real cat that DIED for this movie! Rene Cardona Jr directed Hugo Stiglitz to drown a cat. This doesn’t even serve the story in the slightest. This particular scene ends – or SHOULD have ended – with a girl telling Hugo that she would see him later. Then, apropos of NOTHING, Hugo finishes his drink, swims across the pool, then just plucks up a cat and drowns it. We see the poor feline thrashing about and gasping for air too. This kind of “sacrifice” for the sake of art is simply inexcusable.
I think Til Schwieger is a marvelous actor. It’s a damn shame that his character in inglorious Basterds was named after this cat killing shit.
So Hugo deserves a death that will at least give us some kind of closure… right? Well he does, kind of. The cats escape and kill him, which is a poetic justice if it wasn’t filmed in such a way that all you could see is blatant animal torture.
Someone is throwing live cats at the camera!! Because… realism?! Fuck your realism, Rene Cardona Jr, and fuck you!
So can you see why Rene Cardona Jr is BANNED FOR LIFE? Can you see why there is not going to be an archived copy for this episode of Live Nude Geeks. Part of the fun of Live Nude Geeks is that we usually experience the movie for the first time as we riff it. Sometimes at least one of us on the show have seen the movie before. But other times we get unexpected nudity or shockingly BAD movies like Bacalhau. It was inevitable we would have a Night of 1000 Cats moment at some point. The animal abuse in this movie as well as its explored themes of pedophilia do not make for a good comedy show. The premise of the movie itself sounds ripe for comedy – but the film itself is simply unwatchable. We did our best to riff it but, alas, there are somethings that NOBODY can make jokes about. There are things that NOBODY should make films about.
As Josh Hadley said after the show, “at least there’s a copy of Cannibal Holocaust that let’s you opt-out of the animal abuse scenes.” I wish there had existed a copy of Night of 1000 Cats like that. However since so much of the movie centers around these things that are simply impossible to watch there would be no movie. Perhaps that would have been best in the first place, that the world never had something like Night of 1000 Cats.