We’ve heard that March usually comes in like a lion- but tonight on MeTV, it comes in like a slightly smaller- but just as scary- feline, as we come into an old dark house during a nasty, stormy night! It’s the perfect setting for a killer to be stalking victims- and for death to be stalking anyone who crosses the path of "The Black Cat"!
This old mansion is over-run by the many pet cats of its wealthy old lady owner- whose relatives have gathered in anticipation of her shuffling off this mortal coil. Their concern for her seems to be far out-weighed by their hopes of gaining an inheritance from her estate, but, like her multitude of feline friends, old lady Henrietta seems to have nine lives, and keeps returning from the brink of death! She has no pretensions about her relatives' agendas, and opts to read her will to them herself before her time is up. She proceeds, unafraid of letting each relative know what she really thinks of them, but the reading is interrupted by the entrance of realtor Gil- who grew up in the area, and is well known to her. Gil, now a real estate agent, has crafted a lucrative deal for the old woman's mansion and property, with the only hold-up being that he has to convince her to sell! Accompanying him to the house is a rather screwy antique dealer who hopes to be a part of the deal and stake a claim to the antiques in the house. Unfortunately, Henrietta, though fond of Gil, refuse to sell- as the poor real estate agent spends his whole time coughing and sneezing since he's allergic to the cats that run wild over the whole estate. The old crazy cat lady has equipped the place with every convenience for her four-legged friends who live there, and is even prepared for their passing- she has a crematorium on the grounds. It is there that a mysterious tragedy occurs- and the appearance of the black cat seems to be part of it- odd, because superstitious Henrietta has never allowed a black cat on the premises!
Frighteningly, circumstances point to there being a killer somewhere on the estate- as well as the black cat. Tensions build as the estate housekeeper repeats the unsettling lore that the black cat always appears right before a death occurs! Gil, the giddy antique dealer, Henrietta’s heirs and her household staff begin to suspect each other, as more murderous mayhem ensues- when they wind up trapped in the house, with the power and the phone out, as well as the road away from the estate, as a thunderstorm rages. No one is sure who they can trust, or who might actually be the killer- or the next victim!
I always have to mention that this is the 1941 "Black Cat" -with Bela Lugosi in a supporting role- as opposed to the eerie and unsettling 1934 film of the same name starring Bela and Boris Karloff. In our film tonight, the creepy moments are offset with some laughs, several provided by comedian Hugh “Hoo-Hoo!” Herbert as the wacky antique dealer. We'll walk you through the cast listing, with such notables as Broderick Crawford as the allergic real estate agent, Basil Rathbone and Alan Ladd among the heirs, and Gale Sondergaard as the housekeeper. We'll have a commercial for some pizza even a Little Sneezer may not order, a courtroom scene combining this film and a popular MeTV program, and , after the movie, chat with an artist whose work is often seen on our dungeon studio walls- popular comic book artist Christopher Jones!
"The Black Cat" prowls tonight at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central, and, if unsure of time and channel in your area- please check local listings or the information you can find at www.metv.com . We are honored to continue to trend nationally on Twitter, with fans live-Tweeting during the show using the hashtag #svengoolie - we have even trended number one in USA- and MeTV encourages you to join in tonight! And-our Chicago area viewers can once again try on “Strait-Jacket” with Joan Crawford at 11 am on our sister station, WCIU!
We have big things coming up- including my yearly appearance at the big C2E2 comics and entertainment convention later this month- and, it appears they are about to post the balloting information for this year’s Rondo Awards very soon- you can check to see if it’s up yet at www.rondoaward.com I have it on good authority that I will again be nominated in the category of “favorite horror host”- with a field of other worthy hosts- so, cast your vote for whoever your favorite might be- and follow all the rules, or your vote will not count!
...but tonight - stock up on the Meow Mix and Tidy Cat, and be ready for some feline fright!