Friday, September 19, 2014

Strays (1991)

Am I still on a melty, body horror kick? Yes. Yes, I am. But I decided to break it up with a bit of killer kitty horror. Why? Because KILLER KITTIES. That's why. So, I gave the 1991 made-for-TV movie, Strays a shot. Did I pick a winner? Well, it's not the ultimate killer kitty flick. And it's definitely no Uninvited. But if you enjoy the silliness that is pretty much unavoidable with the very premise of murderous cats, then it's certainly worth a peek.

The movie opens with some cat-vision perspective shots that lead us to this awesome cat lady. 

Behold my role model.

Wait. Why do cat ladies get a bad rap? She's napping with her alcohol and has a house full of furry friends. Sounds to me like she's doing life right!


For some reason Cat Lady stores her supply of canned cat food in the basement. Interesting choice given she lives alone in a giant two story house. She could very easily have dedicated one entire room to cat food storage and saved herself from having to trek outside and around to the dark basement. Now that I think about it, I suspect she wasn't really bringing her A game to the cat lady lifestyle.

And maybe if she had, she'd have never endured that fateful trip to the basement. The one in which she is attacked by an "unknown creature". (Hint. Hint. The movie is called Strays.) Sadly, this is the end of our cat lady. And the beginning of our journey with these twats...

Let's play detective for a minute. The dude must be an important businessman because he's wearing a tie (lawyer) and the chic is in a goofy hat so you know she's an artsy, creative type (writer). The kid? Well, I'm not sure what her outfit says about her.

That. Maybe, that.

The Twat Family is looking for a house away from the corruption of the city so as to give Shitty Pants a wholesome upbringing. Lucky for them, Goofy Hat's sister is in real estate and shows them Cat Lady's now vacated house.

This movie only wishes it was The Amityville Horror.

Tie Guy caves in to his wife, despite his reluctance, and soon enough they're shacking up in the Cat Cave.

They quickly learn that everything isn't perfect in their new home. Their telephone lines are chewed to shit and there's a wee bit of a rat problem. Also, there are kamikaze cats.

It's raining cats.

We finally get to see the mysterious and vicious creature that took out Cat Lady about a half hour in, when the Telephone Repair Dude is in the basement.

This is what they refer to as "method acting".

This kitty's not cute and cuddly like the other strays. This one's rockin' the Church from Pet Sematary look. That's one pissed pussy. So, needless to say, Telephone Guy is screwed.

And then there's the rest of the cats who are pretty much phoning it in. This is what passes for "menacing". Just look at this bullshit...

And this? This is "attacking"...

Amateurs. Nothin' but amateurs.

It's like they're not even trying.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when the Twat Family wakes up to this...

It's difficult to tell in that shitty photo so I took the liberty of highlighting the yellowy splotches on their bedding. Apparently the leader of the strays had a pee party all over them while they were sleeping. I don't even know how you sleep through that. They may want to lay off the NyQuil.

And the pee party wasn't just confined to the bed. Nuh-uh. This cat is the Andrew W.K. of pee parties.

He's also hung like a fire hose. A fire hose filled with pee.

The cat or cats also roughed up Twat Family's dog. They call in a vet. He thinks they're twats, too.

He also lets them know what he suspects is to blame for some of their problems...

Now, if you've managed to tolerate the Twat Family long enough to make it to the 50 minute mark, you're about to get your pay off. Shit gets real when the kitties decide to practice some extreme snuggling with Shitty Pants.

That lady's face is great. I'm especially fond of it when she bashes it with a cat.

It turns out the kitties' snuggle sonar was a bit off because somehow Shitty Pants has magically teleported her toddler butt out of her crib and into the closet where she's refusing to cooperate.

I can haz snugglez?

Goofy Hat uses her mom powers to rescue Shitty Pants and they barricade themselves in another room. But if nothing else, the ferals are go-getters and it only takes them a matter of seconds to begin turning the door into woodchips.

There are several more cat confrontations in which Feral Cat looks pretty grumpy and the rest of the cats just look adorable. At one point, the cats even take a hostage...

Goddamit, Shitty Pants. How do you get yourself into these messes?

I'm not going to reveal how the final showdown plays out or who bites the big one but I am going to spoil the very last shot because it's hilarious in its attempt to be foreboding...


So for its positives, Strays has quite a few unintentionally humorous moments and it has adorable cats. Its negatives can pretty much all be chalked up to its made-for-TVness. It is a little slow, it only has three deaths (one of which is mostly off screen) and aside from a teensy weensy bit of blood, there's no gore and grue. I personally found it worth a watch but I'm not sure how often I'd revisit this one if ever. This movie should be reserved for special people. Very special people.

Thanks for joining me! Until next time...

Bites and Hisses,
Lady Terminator AKA Erika Instead

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