Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"Strays" the 1991 Forgotten Kitty Cat Slasher that's really a Disguised Haunted House Film

6 of 6 viewers "Liked" "Strays" (1991, USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Math Mage - "Quality acting and excellent animal work cancel out the "made for TV movie" feel."   - 4 Stars

Huntress - "This movie surprised the hell out of me! I was expecting cheap puppets and bad acting but instead watched some of the best trained cats terrorize people in a well thought out hopeless situation and they stayed cute even while they got murderous! - 4 Stars

Book Wyrm - "Although I came in late, I enjoyed the film. I'ma bit touchy about animals & horror but this film was funny and mild enough to watch & enjoy." - 3 Stars

Lord Battle - "1 Year after "Maniac Cop 2" Claudia Christian took on this made for TV movie and played the "Slutty Sister", this should be enough motivation for any horror nerd to dig up this not quit cult kitty classic. I would have given it a higher star rating but the TV budget makes for a lot of  dull moments." - 3 1/2 Stars

Ice Giant - "Best depiction of cats being thrown at cars since "Sleep Walkers". - 3 Stars

Impostor - "You'll laugh when you're not supposed to but there was still suspense as it went on. Kathleen Quinlan's acting was pretty good as the mother/survivor girl which really helped a lot." - 1/2 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*

We went into this film expecting a Slasher film where the slasher is replaced with one or more cats.  It quickly became clear that this would not be the case.  Our potential victims were revealed to be a family of professionals with a toddler, who were about to move into a secluded recently vacated home.  All this indicated that the film would actually be a haunted house story. 

True to form the narrative focused primarily on the relationship between the husband, wife, and sister-in-law, while supernatural mischief provided a background.  In this case the mischief was provided by feral cats instead of ghosts, and other haunted house tropes were modified to fit this theme.  A veterinarian serves the role of exorcist, allergic reactions take the place of psychic phenomena, the cats even display an exaggerated weakness. 

Quality acting and excellent animal work cancel out the “made for TV movie” vibe the film gives off (it’s reminiscent of “Friday the 13th: the Series”); while careful editing maximizes the house’s presence (there are only four scenes not in the house, three of which are filmed in the same room). 
The more thought I put into this film the more I find to like about it, heartily recommend. 
- Math Mage

I just wanted to add, the poster above is the first to sport the new logo designed by The Gross Uncle. I just love how it looks like it belongs on the old VHS cover!
- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating. 

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