The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat (1974)

NineLivesOfFritzTheCatPosterThis one sure made me long for the pretentious navel-gazing of the insipid baby boomer parable Fritz the Cat. Two years after everyone was impressed by a horny, foul-mouth, drug-addled cartoon cat that was long on posing and short on everything else, the expected cash-in sequel was released and the results were pretty much what you would expect. Except nine times worse!

It’s a hodgepodge of stories where Fritz is apparently imagining his life in different scenarios. These scenes are partly designed to be shocking and partly designed to be topical. Thus you get scenes of Fritz hanging out with Hitler and also flying to Mars.

Fritz has apparently recovered nicely from the substantial injuries he suffered when that power plant blew up at the end of the first movie because he is now out of school and married to this fat broad who does nothing but criticize him for everything he does (drugs) and doesn’t do (work).

As this skank rants and raves about how Fritz needs to go down to the welfare office, his astral self floats out of his body and out the window and on down to the street where he encounters a Puerto Rican guy. Fritz farts in his direction thereby setting the tone for the biting social commentary and satire that is to follow.

Later Fritz meets a guy who is living in a trash can and introduces himself as God. He claims that he’s had the job for three years. This would have meant that he started back in 1971 which probably goes a long way to explaining why that decade was better left forgotten by real Americans everywhere.

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After his encounter with a down and out God, Fritz finds himself back in Nazi Germany. What he’s doing there besides trying to generate cheap shocks is anyone’s guess, but it doesn’t take long for him to fall into the job of being Hitler’s orderly.

I wasn’t entirely sure what that meant precisely, but it seemed to have an awful lot to do with both Fritz and Adolph standing around talking about the number of balls each of them had. Did you know that at one time Fritz had three nuts? That’s what I call character development!

Fritz ends up back in his neighborhood talking to the guy who runs the pizza place and telling him about this fat chick he’s been screwing and it turns out that it’s that guy’s wife. This is what passes for an interlude because we’re suddenly treated to a rather extended music video that finds Fritz imagining what a cool cat he was back in the 1930s!

This was a bit of a “multimedia” experience that mixed animation with footage of FDR and other old time stuff while Fritz danced around in a top hat and tails. As terrifyingly inept and nonsensically painful all of this was, the worst part of the movie was yet to come.

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Fritz then goes down to the local pawn shop and to pawn his toilet, but the pawn shop dude is understandably a bit reticent to conclude the transaction. Eventually he agrees to trade Fritz’s toilet for an astronaut’s helmet.

Since he’s got the helmet, this allows Fritz to explore the burning issue of the United States’ manned space program. Luckily for us, Fritz isn’t really caught up in the politics of it all, since he just ends up humping some other astronauts while they’re flying off to Mars.

Fritz really comes crashing to Earth though in his last segment when he clumsily attempts to deal with the race issue. New Jersey has been turned into something named New Africa and all the blacks in America have moved there and Whitey is outlawed.

Fritz is an errand boy who is summoned to the White House and President Kissinger has him deliver a message to the president in New Africa who of course resides at the Black House. Fritz gets enmeshed in a plot to assassinate that president and is set to be shot before a firing squad.

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There’s also some truly wicked satire where Kissinger rolls into New Africa on a golf cart and announces his country’s surrender even though New Africa was about to surrender so they could reap some reparation monies. Take that establishment pigs, whatever that means!

The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat fails to be anything other than self-indulgent and doesn’t even try to tell a story. I guess you could say it’s about what happens when you settle down and give up your independence and have to put up with your crummy family instead riding your hog across this great country of ours and are left with only your dreams.

And if all Fritz has left is his dreams, what do they tell us? That no matter what Fritz does, he’s always destined to attempt political and social statements, but fail miserably? A pointless, obnoxiously unsubtle collection of unconnected shorts that make you wish Fritz used up all his nine lives in the first film.

© 2013 MonsterHunter

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