Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Uninvited (1987)

Directed by:
Greydon Clark

I have a couple of cats of my own and it seems like I'm constantly cleaning gunk up off the floor that's left behind by my furry little buddies. The fluffy orange kitty in UNINVITED has a similar problem... but instead of hacking up hairballs or excess food, it occassionally goes buck wild and pukes up a tiny-but-deadly mutant creature that's taking refuge inside its belly! Why? Dunno. But it did escape from a government research lab and the scientists there mention cancer research, which we horror fans know always spells trouble. As the cat runs around, some other shady things are going on at a resort area during Spring Break. A trio of murderous criminals; hard-assed grump Mike (George Kennedy), womanizer Walter (Alex Cord) and goofy drunk Albert (Clu Gulager, with a set of oversized dentures) swindle three million dollars and plot to get away on a yacht to be captained by a one-woman crew named Rachel (Toni Hudson). A couple of oblivious young bimbos - Suzanne (Shari Shattuck) and Bobbie (Clare Carey) - end up catching Walter's eye and he invites them to come along on the trip. The ladies, in turn, invite three other guys; Corey (Rob Estes) and Lance (Beau Dremann) and brainy Martin (Eric Larson), and right before they get on board the ship, they find the cat. Suzanne instantly falls in love with it and insist it come along, too. Mr. Kennedy isn't too happy about any of this. But then again, he never is.
Tensions mount between the criminals and the others after an attempted rape and things just get worse when mutant kitty starts attacking and killing everyone off one by one. Even a scratch from the little sucker leads to a nasty and fatal infection where the wounds pulsate and explode. Surprisingly, all this somehow managed to secure a PG-13 rating. Though there's no nudity or over-the-top profanity, the film does have enough violence and blood to seriously put its rating into question. Veins swell and squirt blood, fingers are bitten off, a face is melted off with hot steam and a neck and ankle get chewed up real good. Of the three veterans in the cast, two make an early exit, but Kennedy is pretty hilarious while he's around. Shattuck (previously seen in DEATH SPA) also seems to be having fun. Strangely, the two worst actors end up being the last two standing. Boo on that.
Still, for 80s cheese movie fans, the premise and handpuppet cat creature alone merit this a look. Director Clark (who also wrote, produced and has a cameo during the opening sequence) might not be a genre luminary, but he does come up with some amusingly absurd concepts (see also: SATAN'S CHEERLEADERS and WITHOUT WARNING). Austin Stoker appears in a small role. Dick Warlock and Spice Williams were stunt performers.


CavedogRob said...

I remember seeing one years ago. Clark always managed to got some "name actors" to star in his stuff. Amazing!

Reuben R said...

Love Shari Shattuck. This was one of the first flicks with her I ever saw. It used to play on TV a lot!

spookyx3 said...

i've been trying to watch this for the past two days and i'm still only about 30 minutes in. didn't even recognize clu gulager. need to get my focus back.

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

Here's some irony. I just finished Death Ship, another horror-on-a-boat starring George Kennedy. I enjoyed this one more!

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