Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Friday, January 7, 2011

Giant Cat, Tiny Man: a Sci-Fi Role Reversal, a Cautionary Tail --er-- Tale

Scowl-Face wrote a book review about The Incredible Shrinking Man, by Richard Matheson.  It covers the ground decently, but, like so many of his blogs, it drones on a tad.  I like to go straight to the heart of the matter, so let's get right to it.

The main guy gets sprayed with some radioactive mist.  It poisons whatever gland controls his growth (tie-rod gland?  No, tie-rods control the steering in cars and trucks and keep the front tires from flying off.)  Well, some kinda gland.  Anyway, this guy starts shrinking.  He gets really, really small.  There are lots of sci-fi descriptions.  We get inside his head, like we do with all of Richard Matheson's characters, and we get to experience genuine fear of the unknown and seeing the world turned topsy-turvy.

Here's the best part, which may have just been in the movie adaptation rather than the book (I can't remember off the top of my head):  the little fella is "hunted" by his "pet" cat!  Isn't that, to use the tired cliche, just the kitten's whiskers?  Now, it is clear to anyone of us privileged to be a feline that the kitty had no intention of hurting the human; rather, it was simply a run-and-chase game.  In the movie adaptation of the book, they made out the cat to be some terrible bad dude (BOO!  HISS!), but that's Hollywood for you.  We cats don't hurt humans, even tiny ones; they're too useful as servants.  Until we master the can opener principle, we need those opposable thumb folks to open tins of cat food, tuna, shrimp, and such like.

Here's our book trailer featuring The Incredible Shrinking Man, complete with biased cat portrayal (BOO!  HISS!, again):

Here is a movie "still" along with some promotional movie posters.  See what I mean about the misrepresentation of cats?  It's a conspiracy, I tell you.

Whoever wrote the screenplay probably believed that slobberdogs are humans' best friends.  Well, if being a best friend requires totally embarrassing and demeaning yourself by slobbering and groveling at the feet of people, then they can take it and run with it.  Felines don't suffer fools gladly.  I spend enough time with embarrassing, demeaning types, and that's just talking about Scowl-Face.

Anyway, read the book already.  Richard Matheson is THE awesome-est (not a word, but should be) sci-fi and horror writer.  He seriously influenced some big guns, like Stephen King.  Read the book, then watch the movie, and see if the cat chase scene appears in both.  (Scowl-Face used to have a copy of the book, but Frisky, his 10,000-year-old-senior-kitty, whizzed on it.  There's a lesson for you.  This rarely happens in public libraries.)

Living Down Hollywood's Shameful Misconduct,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Shrinking Violets News Beat

1 comment:

  1. In book Scott is four sevenths of an inch tall when he encounters the cat ("its breath was sickening"). Throws bit of string it cat's mouth, almost clobbered by paw etc


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