‘Don’t Fuck With Cats’ Is The Most Disturbing Documentary Since ‘Abducted In Plain Sight’
A very sad, horrifying, and complex story obscured by a 'funny' title.
Don’t Fuck With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer is another one of those “this is so fucked but I can’t stop watching” style documentaries.
Netflix is no stranger to producing crime documentaries, but Don’t Fuck With Cats stands out.
The story is told from the perspective of the people responsible for the criminal’s arrest from the very start — but they aren’t law enforcement. While I know it’s a big call, it could quite possibly be the biggest rollercoaster of a story since Abducted In Plain Sight, a doco famous for how many twists and turns it had in just 90 minutes.
CW: Discussion of animal abuse, rape, murder, and violence. Also… spoilers.
— 𝙺𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚒 ☁︎ (@krati_joshi) December 19, 2019
The Story Of Luka Magnotta
Don’t Fuck With Cats tells the gripping story of one of Canada’s worst murderers, Luka Magnotta.
In the three-part docuseries, we are introduced to Baudi Moovan (Deanna Thompson) and John Green who recount everything that lead up to Luka’s eventual demise.
You see, before Luka Magnotta was a murderer, he was an animal abuser. Back in 2010, a mystery man uploaded a video onto Youtube titled 1 boy 2 kittens. The video featured a male in a hooded jacket, vacuum sealing two kittens until they suffocated and died. The clip sparked outrage online and lead to Baudi and John creating the ‘Find the Kitten Vacuumer…for Great Justice’ Facebook group.
— Matt (@MatthewLaisby) December 19, 2019
The Facebook group consisted of people from all over the world, determined to uncover who the animal abuser was.
Together they analysed Luka’s video frame-by-frame. They looked at plug sockets on the wall to narrow down the killer’s location. They listened to background sounds to determine the languages heard. The group even went so far as to find the online sellers of blankets and vacuums seen in shots to find some clue of who the cat killer was.
Luka continued to post videos featuring more kitten killing as the group scrambled to identify him.
In 2011, a year after his first video, Luka uploaded Bathtime LOL where he drowned a kitten taped to a broomstick. A week later, Python Christmas, a video of the same man feeding a live kitten to a snake was shared online.
Amazingly, the group identified the cat killer to be Luka Magnotta, and found his location through images he had posted online. The group tried to warn Canadian police that Luka would move from kittens to humans, but their pleas were ignored.
But in 2012, Luka Magnotta did exactly what Baudi and John had said he would.
He murdered Chinese student Lin Jun. In true Magnotta fashion, he uploaded the murder online in a video titled ‘1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick‘ which showed the gruesome last moments of his victim. After Luka decapitated, dismembered and raped Lin Jun’s limbless body, he put his torso in a suitcase and mailed body parts across Montreal.
After his vile act, Luka fled to Paris and then Berlin, where there was an international manhunt for him. Adopting alias names, he was able to dodge detection but was eventually arrested, extradited, charged and sentenced to life in prison.
At trial, Luka pleaded not guilty and blamed his actions on poor mental health, and a mystery man named ‘Manny’, who allegedly forced him to commit his crimes.
So, What Makes The Documentary So Wild?
Beyond the gruesome and unimaginable actions of Luka Magnotta, his thought process behind the murders is just — simply put — crazy.
Luka wanted to get caught. He sought out fame for most of his adult life, and when he couldn’t achieve that, he made sure his name would go down in history one way or another.
Luka’s failed attempts at reality shows, acting and modelling were overshadowed by his false relationship with another Canadian killer. In 2007, Luka spread online rumours about himself dating Karla Homolka, one half of the Ken and Barbie Killers. Aware that anyone associated with the killer would be subject to public opinion and scrutiny, Luka wound up doing interviews denying the claims stating that “the rumours destroyed [his] life.”
Luka was so obsessed with fame that he made many fake fan pages for himself on Facebook, as uncovered by Baudi and John.
I’ve been watching Don’t Fuck With Cats and the amount of twists and turns this story has— pic.twitter.com/ES45KWayS4
— Soft Trade™️ (@laurrrelyse) December 21, 2019
His fixation on chasing fame was also tied into his fascination with film. Throughout the series we see that Luka is a film buff through his posters, childhood home, and in interviews with his equally bonkers mother.
But Don’t Fuck With Cats shows how Luka’s interest in film takes a darker turn, as we find out that the 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick murder is almost entirely based on the plot of Basic Instinct.
— San Juana (@sanjuanacparamo) December 31, 2019
In Luka’s murder video, parallels to the murder scene from the film can be seen. In 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick, Luka uses a poster of Casablanca to replicate a stained glass window and he paints a screwdriver to match the icepick used in Basic Instinct. I mean, even one of Luka’s popular aliases was Kirk Tramell, to match Sharon Stone’s character, Catherine Tramell.
Beyond this, Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Lopez, the ex-escorting client that Luka blamed the murders on, was even linked to the film. While Luka claimed that Manny forced him to film the killings so they could be sold on the dark web, police never found any existence of the man.
Despite Luka officially reporting abuse years before the murder, police believed that this was done to create a paper trail and defence for future crimes. But movie buffs would have already known Manny was fake because in Basic Instinct, the main character conveniently also has an ex-fiance named Manuel ‘Manny’ Vasquez. Yep.
A Sad Story Obscured By A ‘Funny’ Title
#DontFkWithCats wins the award for best, worst title, because I was NOT expecting any of that when I embarked on this rollercoaster 3 hours ago😱
— King 👑 Dave (@Ol_Bae) December 19, 2019
Despite how good the documentary is, Don’t Fuck With Cats was not the right nor appropriate title for the story. While, yes, the documentary is centred on Luka Magnotta’s journey from animal abuser to murderer, there is too much focus on the former.
The internet’s “rule zero” of not fucking with cats is great and all, but surely the life of a human takes priority. With the docuseries spanning over approximately three hours, a significant amount of time is spent on the cat portion of the story. Jun Lin’s story is one deserving of time and respect, and many viewers believe he was overshadowed in Don’t Fuck With Cats.
— Walter (@Oliver_Bradley1) January 5, 2020
Another issue with the documentary is that it has resulted in curious viewers searching for the videos spoken about in Don’t Fuck With Cats. While people did watch the original videos eight years ago, the documentary worked to remind them about the forgotten videos and has inspired others to watch them for the first time.
Even Jun Lin’s murder is still available to watch online if you search hard enough, and is likely not how his family and friends would like him to be remembered.
This concept is touched on by Baudi at the end of the docuseries. Breaking the fourth wall, Baudi turns to camera and asks if we’re complicit in giving attention to those that seek it by watching the documentary itself. While meta, it does raise questions about whether we just gave Luka Magnotta exactly what he wanted all along — fame.
Deanna: And YOU, you at home watching a documentary about Luka Magnotta, are YOU COMPLICIT?!
— Kenny M (@kennaymart) December 19, 2019
Don’t Fuck With Cats is currently streaming on Netflix.