The Extra-terrestrial Cat In Boots
aka O Gato de Botas Extraterrestre
Directed by Wilson Rodrigues
Written by Rubens Francisco Luchetti
Ladies and Gentlemen, TarsTarkas.NET was served. We were served by Todd at Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill, in his review of the Mexican Puss in Boots, and he danced a deadly dance of death while everyone hooted an hollered and yelled “Damn” at the backflips and foreflips and flips that were made up of tiny flips with cream filling and cherries on top. When the dust was settled and TarsTarkas.NET was critically wounded by the serving, there was but one choice. Never backing down, TarsTarkas.NET is going to serve back! The gauntlet is thrown…and by gauntlet, I mean the boot! The boot-let, if you will. Yes, we’re serving FourDK with our own live action Puss in Boots! And this time…there’s spaceships!
Yes, it’s true, The Extra-Terrestrial Cat In Boots (O Gato de Botas Extraterrestre) features a spaceship. And a robot. And other weirdo things. But most of all, it features a guy in a cat suit running around doing things. That’s weird enough by itself. The Extra-Terrestrial Cat In Boots largely follows the plot of the original Puss in Boots story by Charles Perrault (though the film erroneously credits it to the Brothers Grimm!), except for the few random goofy things that make this Puss in Boots freaking crazy. The last time we went to Brazil, TarsTarkas.NET was tortured by Os Trapalhões’ Brazilian Star Wars (Os Trapalhões na Guerra dos Planetas). We haven’t been back since, despite an ever-growing pile of Os Trapalhões and Xuxa films preparing to destroy my body and mind. But I’m back, and this time, there is a case of cat litter and a laser light acting as backup. So, Puss, get your boots…it’s dance-off time!
WR-Filmes brings us this Brazilian take, and the credits are primed to tell us that Burman Studios created the cat makeup, while Dr. D. Wes Wheadon did the visual effects of the cat’s eyes. This cat is complicated! And yet, it still looks creepy as hell.
To add more weirdness to things, director/writer/actor Wilson Rodrigues is well known for directing a bunch of softcore Brazilian productions in the early 1980s. He even brings along a pack of the stars of those films, including Puss himself, Heitor Gaiotti! This was Wilson Rodrigues’s last film.
Do you like Princess Bride? Because we’re going all Princess Bride on this mofo as a grandma is telling her granddaughter the story of Puss in Boots.
Which naturally involves a spaceship flying around in space. In space, no one can hear you meow. The space ship sort of looks like Spaceball 1 with a grey pyramid on the front. Or, more accurately, it looks like a giant dong floating in space. This is a kids’ film, remember! There’s a quick glance at a helmeted head, and an open android panel. But enough of that interesting stuff, let’s go down to a planet.
If you’re familiar with the actual story, you know that three sons of a miller get their inheritance, and the youngest son gets nothing except a cat. He’s bummed, as he should be with that goofy green smurf hat. The youngest son decides that the best way to prove he’s worthy is to do nothing, but Puss is proactive, and says he needs boots, a bag, and three carrots. So the son gives him the items, and off goes Puss in Boots, now with boots!
Puss in Boots leaves for his journey…somewhere…to do something…catlike. Like run along the side of a lake with a fencing sword pretending to swordfight as epic music plays. Gato de Botas goes for a walk! More epic music. I feel like awesome stuff should be happening. Instead, Puss uses the carrots and a bag to lure in a rabbit. And he also catches a duck. Yep. Is Puss starting his own zoo?
Meanwhile at a castle where the music has changed from epic to classical, Puss brings the animals to the king a la the original story. He says they are complements of the Marquis de Carabas. The cat bags more and more animals for the king. With all the statues and architecture of the “castle” scenery, it is obvious that the cat and the soldiers are wandering around some government building or museum and pretending it is a castle. Not that I have a problem with using cheap public spaces as sets.
The next step in the plan is to get Puss’s master, strip him to his underwear, and throw him in the lake as the Queen and her daughter are passing by in their procession. Puss flags them down and says his master the Marquis de Carabas has been robbed and his clothes stolen, so the Queen sends for some nice clothes for the Marquis. The son is now trapped in the role, but he doesn’t seem to mind because the hot Princess Belina is making googly eyes at him. The Queen decides to escort him back to his place, which as we all know doesn’t exist.
Things are going fine until…a dude in a wizard costume??? He’s at some other public park/space with old architecture. The Wizard has a lightning design on his robes, a cape, giant white hair, and an owl. I’d swear he’s straight out of Harry Potter, even though this is pre-Harry Potter! J.K. Rowling stole from everywhere!
Puss talks to some dirty peasant guys, and demands they say they’re servants of the Marquis de Carabas. They agree because they got nothing else to do but smear mud all over each other. Also note one of the peasants is wearing the same green Smurf hat the young son was wearing earlier in the film. Either that design is in style this season, or he fished it out of the lake after Puss dumped the clothes.
The Wizard is using a crystal ball and doing wizard magic with chemicals, and his owl is flying around, because you want a random bird flying around when doing delicate experiments with the fundamental laws of the universe.
The next sequence is a wonderful chance for the director to fill up 15 minutes or so as the Queen’s procession passes by various dirty peasants, the peasants say “Huzzah Marquis de Carabas!”, while Puss in Boots runs ahead of the procession making up lies as he goes, trying to find a place to pass off as the Carabas estate.
WHAT THE FRAK, COFFIN JOE JUST TELEPORTED INTO THE MOVIE!!!
Coffin Joe’s spooky, laughs, does spooky poses, then starts stalking Puss. More film padding! Coffin Joe menaces the cat – which is sort of weird because Coffin Joe’s fingernails are longer than Puss’s claws. It’s some odd threatening. Coffin Joe says some stuff, then vanishes, never to be seen again.
If Os Trapalhões shows up, I’m outta here!
And a quick shot of the spaceship, in case you forgot it was there!
Puss wanders into the giant public space/house that the Wizard lives in, and wanders right into his room, so the Wizard can growl at him. Go all Crookshanks on that Wizard, Puss! The Wizard uses wizard powers to turn into a dog! Just to show off his power. Puss says that’s cool, but I bet you can’t become a tiny mouse, because you’re too big! Wizard is like “Watch me become a mouse, you fool!” and does so.
How stupid can you get? The Wizard was an Ogre in the original story, thus why Puss in Boots got ganked into the Shrek franchise.
Suddenly there are a bunch of servants who teleport in and are happy Puss killed the Wizard. It’s like Beauty and the Beast, with all these random servants appearing. And no one is a candlestick! Puss says you are all free, but you gotta play in on this joke about the Marquis de Carabas. One of the servants is actress Zezé Motta, who will show up in another Brazilian film here soon.
So Puss goes to get the carriage and takes everyone to the new Mansion de Carabas. The Queen is impressed, but not as impressed as Princess Belina, as she and the Marquis are in love. So it’s natural they get married ASAP.
And, if you’re one of those people who like long, dull royal wedding processions, boy are you in for a treat! We get almost 15 minutes of wedding charm, including people wandering around a room in a choreographed dance sequence that’s like square dancing if turtles were doing the movements. I think at this time, the director was like “I have to fill HOW many more minutes? Screw it, it’s dancing time!” Kids love fancy, boring wedding processions. No wonder City of God happened, the alternative was watching Puss in Boots and 15 minutes of wordless marriage maneuvering! I’d turn to a life of crime as well. In fact, I’m robbing a bank as I type this up. Stick ’em up!
Puss meditates, the spaceship flies through space, and there are multiple shots of the sun. It’s avant-garde! Then a Darth Vader looking guy teleports next to Puss. We’ve gone from avant-garde to frakking awesome! Don’t tell anyone the secret secret of Space Puss in Boots, because Puss was a robot the whole time! That fact will blow the minds of your friends, and then their families will sue you and you will be broke. Don’t risk it, keep your yap shut, and let them experience it for themselves! In fact, forget you read this, and I’m not responsible if your brain has exploded and you now need help dressing and vote Republican.
Puss needed his batteries solar charged, they probably rand dry during the long wedding processional. And why have solar batteries if they’re hidden in a panel under fake skin and a shirt?
Darth is talking…it IS frakking Darth Vader! They modify his voice just the same as the real Vader. Vader points a gun at some palace guards, then teleports away. Puss runs from the guards as well, because the guards are now mysteriously chasing him instead of coming up to him concerned because a creepy black monster guy was next to him.
In any event, that means more film padding! Chase chase chase chase chase pad pad pad pad pad pad pad.
The guards stop when they see the spaceship that’s just floating over a lake. Have I noted how the spaceship looks like a giant wang? Because it does. So wangy. Eventually the ship flies off, the sun sets, and we’re outta here!
The end, grandma tells the kid, even though I forgot this was like Princess Bride. And now it’s the real end. The daughter fails to question Grandma as to why she incorporated all the Star Wars elements into this feline fantasy tale. Way to drop the ball, 6 year old girl!
And the serving is complete!
Rated 4/10 (carrots, Hedwig, medallion that goes nowhere, mouse-stake!)
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