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True Story Of Cats' Buttholes Movie Cut

As if this year couldn't get more absurd, reports leak of an unintentionally salacious rough cut.

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No, you are not hallucinating. No, please, don't click away. This is a real article, this is not a joke, even if the title sounds like insane gibberish. And in any sane world, it would be. But this is 2020, where things like "CATS' Butthole Cut" are a real topic people are discussing at least semi-seriously.

What is this so-called "Butthole Cut"? Is it some sort of meme? Is it a real thing? Have we all gone stir crazy from being in quarantine? Has God finally abandoned us? The answers are, in order: Yes, Maybe, Definitely, and Probably.

This supposed, salacious alternative version of Tom Hooper's 2019 musical extravaganza-turned-laughing stock was first supposed by TV writer Jack Waz in response to screenwriter and notorious Twitter jokester Ben Mekler's tweet expressed his desire for "a tell-all book about the making of Cats". And just as Monkey's Paw somewhere curled its finger, Waz replied that

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A VFX producer friend of a friend was hired in November to finish some of the 400 effects shots in @catsmovie. His entire job was to remove CGI buttholes that had been inserted a few months before. Which means that, somewhere out there, there exists a butthole cut of Cats.

Given a large portion of the entertainment industry is currently in indefinite self-isolation from the COVID-19 outbreak sweeping the world, the internet quickly pounced (pun intended) on the possibly-satirical tweet, and soon #ReleaseTheButtholeCut found itself in the trending section.

But this has to be a joke, right? There's no way a major studio would've sunk the thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours into producing a version of an effects-driven blockbuster with its character's rectum's clearly and obviously visible, right? The truth is...complicated.

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To begin with, this isn't Watz's first time demanding the release of a "Butthole Cut", a glance at his Twitter feed shows posts as far back as January mentioning it. Mekler, who seems to be 100% serious, posted an email exchange with a "CATS VFX crewmember who has asked to remain anonymous", that read as follows.

There were never any cat with buttholes. Or at least by design. None that I saw anyway. However, there were a dozen or so shots where the skin and fur sim was groomed or just folded in a way that really REALLY looked like very furry lady genitals and buttholes by accident. The task (as typical with heavy cg shows) fell on 2D artists to paint out the offending articles where it was brought up and spotted. Daily reviews were constant awkward discussions of people plucking up the courage to point things like this out; "does that look like a fanny to you?

At least, that's how the anonymous VFX artist tells it. Whether Mekler properly vetted his source before sharing that email with the world remains to be seen. But considering the infamously crunched post-production of Cats, with changes still being made to the film's incomplete VFX well after the wide release had started, it seems entirely possible that at some point there may have existed a...*sigh* "Butthole Cut" of the movie.

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Constant revisions and reedits are a normal and necessary part of any film production, particularly VFX-heavy affairs like Cats, so it's likely that if a so-called "Butthole Cut" existed at some point, it does no longer, and certainly won't ever see the light of day.

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Contributor

Writer, student, and part time-journo in the Pacific Northwest. TWIN PEAKS was shot in my backyard.