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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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
In the tradition of the omnibus horror movie, the Uncanny begins with a framing sequence that sees a seemingly eccentric writer (Peter Cushing) petitioning his publisher to consider his most latest manuscript which foretells a feline conspiracy to rule the world.
The first episode relates the story of a sickly Victorian women who chooses not to bequeath her estate to her ungrateful, high-living nephew, but to her beloved family of cats. Her servant girl - in conspiracy with the nephew, her fiance - undertakes her murder, but in an attempt to destroy the remaining copies of the will is - along with her fiance - killed in revenge by the cats.
The second episode sees a girl who - along with her black cat - is sent to live with her Uncle and Aunty after her parents have been killed in a plane crash. She is teased and bullied by her cousin, Lucy, who is both jealous of her father's affection for the new child and her cousin's introverted ways. With help from her cat, the girl is able to dispose of her hated cousin by shrinking her to the size of a mouse. There is literally a game of cat and mouse in rear-projection before the little orphan stamps out Lucy for good.
The third story, which takes place in 30's Hollywood, has Pleasance and Eggar as actors involved in an off-screen affair who do away with Pleasance's wife by replacing a prop saw with an authentic one. The legacy of the deceased wife, however, resides in the ginger cat that inhabits the new couple's home. In revenge for her mistress's murder and also the drowning of her most recent litter - the pet makes sure the two receive the same fate at the studio, this time at her own claws.
The Uncanny is similar to the farce created by "Tales that Witness Madness" in that the framing device relates the seemingly absurd stories of the narrator - here Cushing as the author - which turn out to be perfectly correct. After Cushing leaves, the disbelieving Publisher (Ray Milland) learns the truth of the author's accusations, but is instead impelled by the gaze of his own pet cat to consign Cushing's truthful manuscript to the fire. The Uncanny is very pleasurable, though not as strong on atmosphere as "Tales that Witness Madness" was.
It is interesting also to see Pleasance play such a tongue-in-cheek role and he looks quite different with that cheesy Clark Gable moustache. Also look out for the camera zooming into the promotional picture of Pleasance as Blofeld from You Only Live Twice with the infamous white cat on his lap, as Cushing is about to introduce Pleasance's story.
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