THE CAT (1992)
posted 00/00/2010

Directed by:
Ngai Kai Lam

Starring:
Philip Kwok ... Wang Chieh-Mei
Siu-Ming Lau ... Errol
Waise Lee ... Wei Si Li (Wisely)
Christine Ng ... Pai So

Country: Hong Kong
Runtime: 84 min
Original title: Lao mao
       

Have you ever seen a cat choke a dog? Have you ever seen a bum swallow baked beans and become a giant fleshy tree monster? Have you ever seen a cat use a laser from its ass to sow its severed tail back on? Have you ever seen gobs of flesh crawl up the side of a building and turn into a ridiculous puppet face? Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight? If the answer is NO to most of these, then that's because you haven't seen this little oddity from China. Listen up friends and learn yourself something. Bear with me because I don't think I understood this rare little film very well, but this is basically what happens.

The film is called The Cat because it's about a fluffy black cat and its owner, a round-faced Chinese girl. It just so happens that they aren't your regular cat and kid, because they are from outer space! They have come to Earth in "human" bodies to retrieve the two pieces of the "Octagon" which are twisted hunks of metal that when put together can be used as a weapon against their enemies. Who are the enemies? Well, at first the enemy appears to be a bubbling slop of baked beans, and when they force-feed themselves to a person (i.e. a bum) they mutate that person into a massive mass of fleshy monstrosity. They too have inhabited bodies and are preparing for some kind of showdown. On the trail of the girl and her pussy (you know I meant cat, come on now) is Inspector Wisely. This guy is as ineffectual as can be, and decides to borrow a super-trained dog to join the hunt. The cat and dog get into a fantastic fight that involves everything from live animals to stop motion and puppetry. The dog nearly dies, and in the process the cat loses its tail.

Wisely grabs the tail and has it analyzed. It turns out that the cat it belongs to has been dead for a long while. That night, the girl and her guardian Errol show up at Wisely's home to let him in on the secret and to retrieve the cat's tail. The cat uses his laser ass to meld the tail back onto the bloody stump. Suddenly, the group is attacked by one of the people possessed by the evil alien. He comes loaded with guns like Arnie in Commando. Errol decides to set himself on fire and jump from the roof of the building to take the assassin out before he blows bullet holes in the last remaining bits of the half-exploded house. They survive and head towards the local observatory. There the girl tells Wisely and his girlfriend that she and the cat have to return home to get stronger or something before they can defeat the evil aliens. But as luck would have it, the aliens send down a pink laser and meld the two halves of the octagon together. This somehow makes the cat the ultimate weapon that can destroy the monsters.

Wisely drops his girlfriend off at the cops and heads to some building with the girl and the cat and the giant turd-looking octagon thingamajig. The aliens have anticipated this (or I can only guess they have) and the building is instantly flooded with wave after wave of slimy pink flesh that morphs into a freaky white face with green eyes. Wisely leads the group up to the roof and there the pink alien masses of skin converge and form into the most ridiculously-looking monster I have seen in a long while. They find themselves at a loss until the cat turns into a stop-motion puppet, bites down on the Octagon, and jumps into the vicious, Predator-like mouth of the alien. There the cat floats into the creature's guts and explodes! The explosion disintegrates the alien into billions and billions of particles of...glitter. The girl explains to Wisely that this is how she and the cat (who survived!!!) will be able to get home. They wave goodbye, turn sparkly like a Twilight vampire and jog (no joke) out into space, back to their home world. Wisely watches them go and decides to write a book all about it.

The film has a tough time bouncing between cop action movie and weird sci-fi tale. This is an interesting hybrid that reminds me of The Hidden, a classic cops and aliens movie. That was a good movie, this one is not. Beyond the fact that it makes no sense, there is a shocking sense of amateur-hour on display here. The fleshy alien props are great, but the stop-motion and the puppets are horrendously bad to the point that I started to think this was a spoof...but it is not. This film is only one in the famous Wisely series. He is some kind of Chinese adventure writer or something, and as far as I know this is the weirdest one of them (correct me if I am wrong, because I want to see them!). His character was useless and nonsensical! Was he cop, a writer, a detective? I had no idea who he was or why we needed him at all. The whole film sounds crazy when you read it, but it actually was not as crazy as I wanted it to get. The film as a whole disappoints and leaves you feeling baffled. The cat is a stupid choice for a live-action hero and this bizarre, WTF movie proves that.

- Jose Prendes

 

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