The Night of a Thousand Cats (Spanish: La noche de los mil gatos) is a 1972 Mexican horror film directed by René Cardona, Jr. and starring Hugo Stiglitz, Anjanette Comer, and Zulma Faiad. The plot centers on Hugo (Stiglitz), a playboy Serial Killer who stalks the women of Acapulco in his helicopter, seducing them under false pretenses and inviting them to his castle estate, where he then kills them and feeds them to his cats, preserving his victims' heads as trophies.
The Night of a Thousand Tropes:
- Bad Boss: As well as treating the cats with utter contempt, Hugo frequently abuses his manservant Dorgo (not to be confused with Torgo) and eventually has him killed and fed to the cats.
- Bad People Abuse Animals: Hugo treats his feline henchmen like total crap, violently grabbing one and tossing him over the fence and attempting to drown another in his swimming pool. Horrifyingly, none of this appears to be simulated.
- Creepy Souvenir: Hugo keeps his victims' pickled heads inside glass jars in his basement.
- Devoured by the Horde: In the film's climax, Hugo's cats gang up on him and finish him off.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Hugo has Dorgo murdered and fed to the cats solely for beating him at chess.
- The Dog Bites Back: Or rather, cats. When one of Hugo's victims manages to escape his clutches, she accidentally creates a hole in the cat pit, allowing them to escape and get back at Hugo for abusing them.
- Fed to Pigs: Or rather, cats. This is how Hugo disposes of his victims, grinding them into mulch and then feeding them piece by piece to the felines.
- Foreshadowing: At one point a black cat is seen licking at the head of a child's doll, hinting at Hugo's eventual fate.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Hugo got fed up with shooting birds, so he decided to start stalking and killing people instead.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Whichever parts of his victims he doesn't feed to the cats, Hugo eats himself.
- Karmic Death: Hugo gets devoured by the very same animals he had been feeding his victims to.
- Never Trust a Title: There's probably about a hundred cats in the film at most, repeated on loop.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: At one point, Hugo murders a doctor in a fit of rage, in the process allowing one of his victims to escape.
- No Animals Were Harmed: Horrifyingly averted - it's pretty clear on several occasions that the cats are being mistreated for real. For example, when Hugo tosses one over a fence, the camera does not cut away, indicating that a real animal was thrown.
- Serial Killer: Hugo stalks his victims in his helicopter, seduces them, and then brutally murders them and feeds them to his cats.
- Taxidermy Is Creepy: Hugo's mansion contains plenty of creepy taxidermized animals, including two cats and a monkey.
- Villain Protagonist: Hugo, the playboy Serial Killer terrorizing the women of Acapulco.
- With Catlike Tread: No pun intended. Hugo's method of picking his victims by helicopter isn't exactly stealthy, what with the copious amount of noise and wind from the blades.