Season 2 Episode 11
Originally aired January 19, 2007
Directed by Stuart Gordon, Stuart Ortiz
Written by Stuart Gordon and Dennis Paoli
Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat
Jeffrey Combs, Patrick Gallagher, Christopher Heyerdahl, Eric Keenleyside, Ken Kramer, Elyse Levesque, Ian Alexander Martin, Aron Tager
One of the best things about the Masters of Horror series is that you don’t usually have to wait long for something demented, disturbing and gory to happen. In this episode, yet again, only an hour long, they manage to make a very brutal and graphic experience for the viewer.
Poe is a married writer. He lives a modest but happy life with his wife, Sissie, along with their lovely pet bird, a goldfish and a black cat named Pluto…until Sissie falls ill with The White Plague.
Having a loved one with a terminal illness, especially back when medicine was in its infancy, was a terrible strain on those afflicted and those caring for them. Poor Edgar just can’t handle watching Sissie wither away and soon turns to drinking to escape his pain and reality.
The truth is, Sissie being sick isn’t the only thing tormenting our writer. He is suffering from writer’s block, a death sentence when writing is how you make a living. It gets so bad that he can’t even afford to pay the doctor to come care for his sickly wife.
Meanwhile, Poe is drowning his sorrows and his sanity in bottles of alcohol. He starts to see things he isn’t sure are really there, and there’s no one he can talk to about the madness in his life. A madness which soon takes an even darker turn when he begins to suspect that his loving wife’s cat, Pluto, is somehow plotting against him, taunting him, torturing him even.
If you want to know how gruesome and gory this episode gets, you can watch it free at the link below:
Now, I will say this was an incredible episode. I was glued to the TV the whole time and I cursed when commercials came on. Watching this film short was like a window into watching a helpless man descend into a world of despair, madness and insanity.
There are certainly points where you can feel for Poe. At the beginning. But eventually, you really only feel for the wife, the only true victim in the story. It’s not like Poe takes this cat tormenting him lying down. And if you have ever tried to TRULY outsmart a cat, you’d have found they are very sneaky and shrewd at times, especially when they are on the defensive and protecting themselves. And they are smart like dogs. I don’t care what people say. I have four cats. I have two Bengals (which is a breed produced by mating an Asian Leopard cat with an American Tabby), I have a gray tabby and an all-black Bombay cat. I also have a two-and-a-half-year-old German Shepard. And I can say this, the cats figure things out like when they are getting lured with treats to come out of a room that are not allowed in. The dog, is just happy to get treats. The cats, they know you are tricking them. They know if they come out, you’re gonna grab them up and take them from the “forbidden room”. So, they don’t come out and eat the treats. Oh sure, maybe the first few times they did, but they learned quick. My dog is one of the top five smartest breeds…and it took him three times as long to figure out he was being lured back inside at night with treats.
So, Poe and this cat, they have a tumultuous relationship and it gets increasingly vicious as time goes on. So, what happens to Sissie? What about Poe? And what about this genius tormenting cat???
Watch and find out. But I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.