From Hell It Came is one of my favorite bad movies – possibly the worst that I can actually stand to watch. (Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is a close second. And I love The Blob‘s theme song.) The plot, according to IMDB: Tabonga, a killer spirit reincarnated as a scowling tree stump, comes back to life and kills a bunch of natives of a South Seas island. A pair of American scientists save the day.
It wasn’t just the fact that the threat was a scowling tree stump that made it so awful. It was the fact that the actor in the Tabonga suit could only move at a pace of a few steps a minute. All of the terrified natives who tried to run away from it could easily have sat on a rock for a few minutes, moved a foot or two, sat on another rock, and kept waiting for it. Conversely, a whole bunch of natives could easily have surrounded the Tabonga and dispatched it with their primitive weapons.
It wasn’t a case of “Run, Forest, Run!” but of “Shuffle, Stump, Shuffle!” I get the giggles every time it moves or catches someone.
But the Tabonga is not the only creature from hell that I’ve ever encountered. Another was a cat. A kitten, really. The Devil Kitten From the Crawlspace of Hell.
My husband found the tiny feline under our house, too young really to be separated from its mother, who hadn’t hung around. Being a tender-hearted soul (read: sucker), Dan brought the little beast upstairs.
As always, when a new cat enters our house, we keep it isolated from the others until it can be vet-checked. The little guy decided that the floor of the bathroom closet was its favorite hidey-hole.
That was fine, except that when either one of us entered the bathroom, it would spring from its lair and savagely attack our ankles. Although the kitten was adorable, it had tiny needles for teeth and claws and could do a lot of damage. We had bleeding ankles. I had shredded pantyhose. That little sucker was fast (unlike its spiritual cousin, the Tabonga).
Again and again we detached the Devil Kitten from our tender flesh and – encouraged – it to retreat to the closet. We decided not to keep it, but when we took it to a no-kill shelter, they said it was too tiny for them to take. We’d have to bring it back once it grew some more and gained weight.
I did feel sorry for Devil Kitten. It obviously had what in humans would be called an attachment disorder – it had simply been taken from its mother too young and had never been socialized. It was left running on instinct and that instinct said, “Attack, shred, kill!”
I will admit that we considered feeding the little thing lead pellets to get its weight up more quickly, but that was just a passing fancy. We waited on its weight and then handed it over, quite thankfully, to the shelter.
I sometimes wonder whether the Devil Kitten ever found a substitute mama to show it the way to be a proper cat. I also wonder what family eventually took it home, and what the state of their ankles was, and whether they had to buy chainmail socks.
This all happened many years ago and I’m sure Devil Kitten (or whatever its adoptive family named it) is no longer around. Perhaps it is in the afterlife, using the Tabonga as its own personal scratching post. It would explain the scowling, anyway.