LEGEND OF THE DEMON CAT (2017)
Starring Xuan Huang, Shota Sometani, Yuqi Zhang, Hao Qin. Directed by Chen Kaige. (120 min)
ON BLU-RAY FROM WELL GO USA
Review by Tiger the Terrible😼
As the roommate of two cantankerous felines, I can attest that cats generally don’t listen or follow directions. They may indeed be trainable, but it takes more patience than I can ever hope to muster. Stinky continues bathing herself on my dining room table because I’ve long-since given up trying to keep her off.
Maybe the producers of Legend of the Demon Cat lacked the required patience, too. Maybe they first-tried using a real cat, only to have it sit on a table and lick its ass. Maybe Hong Kong ain’t exactly teaming with skilled cat wranglers. So maybe someone finally threw up their hands and said, “Screw it, go fire-up a couple o’ laptops.”
So the title creature is entirely rendered in CGI, and if that isn’t a testament to the overall incorrigibility of cats, I don’t know what is.
But damn, how ‘bout putting a little effort into it? If your whole premise is built around a ferocious feline exacting revenge on those responsible for an empress’ murder, wouldn’t you make sure the critter was at-least marginally convincing? Instead, this is a bad kitty in more ways than one, looking like a cartoon character and atrociously animated. Which is a damn shame because the rest of Legend of the Demon Cat boasts impressive special effects and spectacular production design.
|"Cat? What cat?"|
Kind of a crazy plot, but when your primary antagonist is a vindictive housepet, that’s probably a given. Speaking of which, as silly as this creature looks, the film is at its most interesting when the cat is part of the narrative. Especially amusing is a sequence where it pops-up at a brothel with a serious case of ‘the zoomies’. It reminded me of my other cat, Josey, only she never clawed-out any eyeballs (for which I’m grateful). However, there are some lengthy stretches of feline-free exposition that tend to disrupt the pace and tone.
While overlong, Legend of the Demon Cat is ultimately worth checking out. Aside from the embarrassing title creature, this is a great looking film and the story is just bizarre enough for the viewer to endure the duller stretches. If only they had utilized just a few more gigs in their hard drive.
NOT BAD. LIKE CAT CHOW.