We’re usually taught to respect our elders; but there have been plenty of characters in film who never quite got that memo. There’s been a long and proud tradition in movies of elderly abuse and bad doings being transgressed on the 4:30 dinner crowd. This is the generation that did things like survived the Great Depression, fought the Nazis and the Reds, raised our parents and all too often us. One would think they’d earned a bit of consideration for things like guaranteed Social Security, adult diapers that don’t leak and generally not getting the shit beat out of them or snuffed like some third rate movie extra. In this CHUD list, we’re going to take a look at 15 old timers who, unfortunately, turned into having-a-really-bad-timers.
The Film: Tales from the Darkside: The Movie: “Cat from Hell” chapter (1990)
The Director: John Harrison
The Elders: Drogan (William Hickey), Amanda (Dolores Sutton), Carolyn (Alice Drummond), and Gage (Breaking Bad‘s Mark Margolis).
Drogan is a rich old wheelchair-bound bastard, the kingpin of a pharmaceutical company that has earned him millions. Now he’s spending his twilight years popping his own pills, living in a dusty mansion with three other pathetic old fogies: his sister Amanda, Amanda’s friend Carolyn, and their man servant, Gage. Their lives are boring routine, slowly circling the drain as death creeps nigh.
Until the black cat comes along…
The Abuse: Death by cat.
As we all know, cats are the elderlies’ natural predator. And this black cat quickly bumps off all three of Drogan’s mansionmates — in ways that the authorities mistake as simple accidents. Drogan’s sister Amanda is tripped by the cat and sent tumbling to her doom down a long flight of stairs.
Then, following the old wives’ tale, the cat sneaks into Carolyn’s bedroom at night and “steals her breath” — ie, death-hugs Carolyn’s face while she flails around suffocating.
Then, Gage the man servant takes the cat to the vet to be put down. But the cat ain’t havin’ none of that, causing Gage to crash his car and be dead. At this point Drogan realizes he may out of his depths with this cat, so he hires a hitman named Halston (played by the protopunk The New York Dolls’ frontman, David Johansen; also known to some better as 80’s novelty act Buster Poindexter) to kill the cat. By now you should have grasped how devious and badass this cat is. Things don’t go well for Halston. When Drogan returns in the morning, he discovers that the cat has burrowed inside of Halston through his mouth like a face-hugger. When Drogan rolls into the room, the cat pops out to say “hi.”
Drogan’s reaction is pretty reasonable to this — he starts having a heart attack. But the pills he needs to save his life slip from his fingers and he dies with the cat mockingly hissing in his face.
Lack Of Respect By: Cat from hell
We never conclusively learn where the stray cat came from or why it wants to kill Drogan and everyone around him. Though Drogan’s theory – that the cat is some manner of preternatural karmic comeuppance for the thousands of cats that Drogan’s company killed while testing their wonder drug (the same drug that is keeping Drogan alive) – is pretty sound.
Did They Have It Coming? If you’re a cat person or otherwise against animal testing, then sure.
Could the AARP Have Helped? Not really. The AARP was created to help senior citizens unable to otherwise help themselves. Drogan paid a guy $100,000 to kill a stupid cat. He has means.
If Nature Had Taken Its Course? Carolyn has a pretty nasty hacking-cough, so she probably wasn’t long for the world to begin with. Same goes for Drogan and his weak heart. But Amanda probably would have been around for a little while longer, and Gage actually looked pretty fit when we saw him in a tanktop. Though it is entirely possible that Gage may have one day killed everyone in the hopes that Drogan put him in the will.
I will guiltlessly say ‘I told you so’ on this one. I have gone on the record many times as a dog person. Cats are trouble. Yes sir, yes ma’am. You heard it here, first and last. Rooney out!
Relive all the discourtesy below!