You rub my fur, I’ll rub yours
Normally I focus on horror and sci-fi movies from the 50’s and 60’s and newer “B” movies. But… I’ve wanted to see this movie for a long time. I remember seeing parts of it years ago but when I got it this year I had to watch it. After all it has two things that I love, a science fiction story… and a cat. I was not disappointed.
I’m sure most of you know the premise. A spaceship lands on earth. The pilot is what looks like your average Abyssinian cat. The spaceship has broken down so the alien cat, who's name is Zunar-J-5/9 Doric-4-7, needs to find the proper parts to make repairs. The army captures the spaceship and moves it to a secure location. Needing to keep an eye on his ship, the cat follows.
Zunar-J5/9 Doric-4-7 wears a collar that allows him to communicate. With it he can speak and understand any language. A bevy of scientists are brought in to figure out what propels the small space ship. The alien/cat listens in to the scientists theories. None of them have anything useful to say until Frank Wilson (Ken Berry) is brought in. The military poo-poos his theory but the cat listens carefully. Believing Frank can actually help him repair his ship he befriends the scientist.
Once he finally convinces Frank that he isn't crazy, the scientist nick names the cat Jake. Frank brings in some of his scientist friends to help acquire the parts needed to fix the spaceship so that Jake can return home. Included is Liz (Sandy Duncan), Frank's potential love interest. Involved in all the hijinks are the Army (full of nincompoops), A spy (Roddy McDowell), and small band of mis-matched scientists.
The movie was made in 1978 and although CGI came about in the 70’s it wasn’t widely used so if you see strings when Jake is moving objects around the room, remember, the magic is in your heart not your head.
There are a plethora of stars in this movie all veterans of movies for years. Two cats play the part of Jake. The voice of Jake is done by Ronnie Schell, another veteran actor and comedian. Schell also plays the part of Sergeant Duffy. It’s a family movie, which means that it’s a children’s movie but there is enough adult humor for parents to enjoy. And by adult humor I don’t mean sexual.
The cat’s expressions made me smile. I’m sure everyone who has a cat can see the same brilliant mind in their cat when compared to Jake. It just may prove that cats really are from outer space. For cat lovers it has an adorable factor that you can’t beat.