Wilbur Gray, a horror writer, has stumbled upon a terrible secret, that cats are supernatural creatures who really call the shots. In a desperate attempt to get others to believe him, Wilbur spews three tales of feline horror.
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Peter Graham Scott
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Wilbur Gray visits Frank Richards so he can get his book published. This book Gray has written are about cats. Cats watching everyone and controlling everything. He mentions the stories in the book are all true, and gives three examples. The first involves the murder of a cat-loving old woman who gives her entire fortune in her will to her cats. Not everyone is happy about the wills, but would have to get past the cats to get the the will. The second story is a tale of black magic between two girls and the third story is a tale of murderous revenge... by a cat. Written by
"The Uncanny" is the fifth Milton Subotsky film in which a character has the name "Maitland" ("Mrs. Maitland" played by Renee Girard). The others are "And Now The Screaming Starts" (1973) in which Guy Rolfe plays "Maitland;" "Tales From the Crypt" (1972) in which Ian Hendry plays "Carl Maitland;" "The Skull" (1965) which top-bills Peter Cushing as "Dr. Christopher Maitland;" and the earliest, "City of the Dead" (aka "Horror Hotel," 1960) in which Tom Naylor plays "Bill Maitland." See more »
Wellington? Wellington? Where are you Wellington?
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"The Uncanny" is an anthology of tales revolving around cats and how cats are secretly controlling the lives of men. In one, cats fight a servant for a wealthy woman's money. In another, a cat named Wellington assists a young witch (Katrina Holden) in killing her cousin. And in a third, an actor (Donald Pleasance) is threatened by a cat after he kills the cat's kittens by flushing them down the toilet. All this, plus a wraparound featuring Peter Cushing.
Many people rate this film low because of its campiness and the less-than-usual acting from Cushing (who plays a crackpot writer named Wilbur Gray). And I freely admit the stories aren't all that amazing, particularly the second with Lucy the witch and Wellington the cat. But there's a feel to this film that makes it enjoyable nonetheless, a guilty pleasure that you would watch with your friends late at night while your parents are in another room.
And sure, the blood is unrealistic, the gore is cleverly shown too quickly to notice (cats have a tendency to devour human flesh in this film, just like in real life). There's no nudity or swearing, yet this is not a children's movie. It falls into a category where you don't know how to feel about it. These three shorts could each have been average episodes of "Tales From the Crypt" or a similar series of TV-friendly horror tales.
Someone needs to tell me the significance of the comic books. In the second installment, a girl is reading "The Flash" and in the third, there is another comic being read (which is odd for a tale set in 1936, I imagine). I thought with "The Flash", this might mean the picture was made by Warner Brothers and this was a subtle advertisement, but their fingers don't dig into the pie of "The Uncanny". (Why it's called "The Uncanny" I have no idea... there are dozens of great cat titles that would have been better.) Why cast Cushing or Pleasance in a subpar film? I suppose because you can. And they did what they could with what was given to them (many critics pan Pleasance in this picture but I thoroughly enjoyed his role as "Valentine De'ath" and I thought it was cute when his mistress exclaimed, "Oh VD, I love you!"). If you can rent this film, rent it. I'm not sure if it's worth owning (although if you're a horror collector, you'll want this one).
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