This is another “anthology” movie containing three short stories. It’s not as good as Creepshow, but it’s passable. Whereas the stories were linked by a comic book in the prior, this film links its stories through a cat who wanders from location to location. I liked the nods to Cujo and Christine in the opening. There were also nods to The Dead Zone and Pet Sematary, but they weren’t as effective. Actually the Dead Zone one was pretty amusing.
The first story is based on King’s short story, Quitters inc. A man signs up for a program to help him quit smoking, only to find that the means are more sinister than one would think. James Woods turns in a good performance and Alan King is great as the mafioso type head of the organization. There is some suspension of disbelief required as to how they can monitor you so diligently, but overall it’s an entertaining story. It was odd how they were all able to laugh about it later. Even James’ wife is able to look back on it with a smile. I don’t know, I found the whole “hey, they locked me in a room and tortured me by sending electrical currents through the floor ha ha ha” bit slightly far-fetched.
The second story is based on another King story entitled, The Ledge. Both of these stories, oddly enough, come from Night Shift. This one felt like a slight rehash of the Something to Tide You Over segment from Creepshow. A man who’s involved with the wife of a crime boss is abducted and forced to circle the high ledge of a building. It’s not bad, but it pales in comparison to the other segment. Even the ending is similar as the tables are turned in a similar fashion. What was up with that pigeon? Pigeons are dirty and disease carrying, but I don’t recall coming across any pigeon that was that aggressive. He was hell bent on pecking at people’s feet, even to the point of drawing blood.
The third story brings the cat to the forefront as he comes across a little girl who takes him in. Earlier in the movie, the cat had visions of the same little girl, who pleads with the cat to come save her from some supernatural threat. The psychic phenomenon is never mentioned, nor is it explained how she thought summoning a house cat was the right strategy. Anyway, the mother doesn’t want the cat at all. She makes the cat sleep outside and even takes it to be put to sleep. I’m a dog person through and through, but cats can be great pets. She takes the whole anti-cat thing to whole new levels. As it turns out, the girl is being stalked by a troll and it’s up to the cat to save her. Yeah, I know. It’s not even a fair fight. The troll has a knife and he’s not afraid to use it, cat stabbing bastard.
The third is definitely the weakest of the bunch. The cat worked best as a peripheral character wandering from place to place watching these events unfold. Once he becomes the hero, it turns silly. The cat even has a leitmotif. Yes, there’s this heroic musical cue that plays throughout the movie. It sounds like something out of Final Fantasy or Legend of Zelda, it’s really jarring.
Stick with Creepshow, it was done better.