Cat Sick Blues


Directed by Dave Jackson

Australia 2015


Ted is a neurotic, chronically obsessed with the death of his cat Patrick and convinced he can bring him back to life by sacrificing nine human lives. His deranged plan hits a snag when he meets Claire, a YouTuber who gained fame thanks to her cat Imelda and is also struggling to overcome the recent loss of her beloved pet.


The plot speaks of a disturbing psychological labyrinth that could test your mental sanity. Don’t worry, it truly is, but that’s not all there is to it.

Primarily funded through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign of about $15,000, Cat Sick Blues had limited distribution in the director’s homeland, Australia. A critical eye will immediately notice the film’s low-budget profile, the cut of some shots, and particularly the occasionally amateurish level of acting. However, this plays significantly in the film’s favor, lending a touch of realism and, given that we’re talking about an extreme horror film, the weird atmosphere that characterizes snuff products.

Ted and Claire are united by the same fate: the death of their cat and the subsequent trauma they must overcome. Same fate, different outcomes. For Ted, Patrick is a lifelong friend, probably his only loyal companion since childhood (as seen in the images during the end credits). The death will deliver the final blow to an already twisted and disturbed mind. For Claire, Imelda is a tool of wealth, the web star who, thanks to her popularity, ensures fame and prosperity for her owner. The sudden death of the cat and the rape she suffers plunge Claire into a spiral of pain and solitude.

In this, Jackson works well by carving out the profiles of two convincing and credible protagonists, extracting the best possible performance from them, and fitting them into this shocking delirium. The result is an unpredictable and at times shocking film that relies on dynamics suspended between slasher and torture porn to shock the viewer but also knows how to rise above the average low-budget B-movie due to its unusual attention to character development and its sharp critique of the contradictions of contemporary society.

Indeed, the underlying criticisms that emerge as subplots are numerous, most notably how the director inserts the alienation of humankind in the age of social networks, where you are someone if you have followers, and a subtle finger-pointing at those who obsessively idolize their pets. From these principles, a rotten, sick, evil, and disturbing wall rises, made of blood, gore, splatter, and violence where everything is shown to us. The protagonist’s look is iconic: oversized cat mask, clawed gloves, giant hooked penis, and a sweater several sizes too small (which will make you laugh at first glance but will later understand why).

Jackson has no filters; everything is irreverent and out of control. The killer, being a sick person, is not the epitome of elegance and believes he can bring the cat back to life by immersing the corpse (which he keeps frozen in his home freezer) in the blood of nine victims. So, he kills, decapitates, crushes skulls, collects tanks of blood, and rapes with the enormous phallic prosthesis nine unfortunates in a series of truly remarkable splatter moments.

In all of this, you will find absurd sequences, some flawed, others unbearable, but also some remarkable for a film that will delight fans of the extreme genre.


When Ted/Patrick sneaks into the bedroom while four girls are sleeping in a hostel and kills them all in different ways to the notes of “Repulsion” by Mistabishi in a slow-motion scene you will hardly forget.

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