2 horror anthologies from 4 decades apart

Talk about an extremely contrasting double feature. And I don’t mean because one comes from 1977 and the other from 40 years later. The Uncanny and An Hour to Kill are totally different animals—one a cat, the other a pig.

THE UNCANNY (1977)

Before Cat’s Eye there was…The Uncanny! While the cat passes through the stories in the Stephen King anthology then gets his own tale with Drew Barrymore, this one is entirely about cats.

Peter Cushing is an author convinced that cats are trying to take over the world. To prove it, he comes to a prospective publisher’s house to tell him three tales of killer cats…

 

1st story – A devious young woman wants her relative’s inheritance, but the old bag has left all her money to her horde of cats! So the woman cooks up a scheme to change that, but the cats have other plans. This one has a horribly long sequence of the woman hiding out in a kitchen to stay away from the cats, but when she fully comes out, it feels like The Birds…with cats.

2nd story – This tale takes an awesomely mean and somewhat campy turn by today’s standards. After her parents die, a young girl comes to live with her aunt, uncle, and evil cousin, who terrorizes her and her cat. What idiot would mess with a black cat and a little girl with a bunch of books on the occult…?.

3rd story – This is a weird and often farcical tale starring Donald Pleasence as an actor who doesn’t treat his dead wife’s cat kindly, so the cat creates “accidents” on the set of Donald’s movie!

The odd thing about Cushing’s argument when it comes to the wraparound—none of the stories suggest cats are trying to take over mankind, just that they’re weeding out the assholes and getting revenge.

AN HOUR TO KILL (2018)

The wraparound of this indie does it a disservice until the final payoff at the end. Two assassins waiting to execute an assignment sit in their car to tell horror tales. The setup takes too long and the segments between stories are too long, especially considering this is a horror movie and the wraparound is not horror at all, so it in no way sets the tone. Anyway, on to the stories.

1st story – Girls go looking for a marijuana stash in a hidden Nazi bunker. It’s only implied that a few of them are killed by a guy in Nazi uniform, and then the story just ends. No blood, no final girl, no conclusion. I’m not quite sure why there was no effort made to deliver on the promise of a slasher.

2nd story – Murder after a food eating contest. This one is going for a trashy horror comedy vibe. In that it succeeds, but again the story feels incomplete!

3rd story – Okay, this exploitative trash makes sitting through the disappointment beforehand worth it. Be warned, it is totally offensive to rednecks and hillbillies. A group of white trash bowlers wants to take their new black teammate to screw some pigs. Let’s just say a backwoods family turns the tables on them. This sleazy tale made me laugh out loud, and the black dude is hilarious. I would have taken this one as a full-length movie.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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