Uninvited (1987) — Two cats for the price of one

“There’s poison in my blood! There’s poison in my blood!”

Justin’s rating: If I only had a PhD, I’d be as smart as this movie

Justin’s review: I guess it’s as good a time as any to confess that I have a cat. Well, technically our household is a refuge to what I think is a cat princess from another planet who is laying low while expecting the same royal treatment. She is the embodiment of cat-ness, including returning friendly pats with scratches, meowing for our attention and then running away when she gets it, and getting very pushy when we don’t feed her on schedule. I am generally friendly to her, but I don’t trust her, because I know that there’s always the possibility she’s harboring a second demon cat within her furry form.

I learned this from Uninvited, a movie that nobody was asking to have made but director Greydon Clark (Joysticks) forged ahead to create anyway. He also gave himself an early cameo, because why be a director if you can’t abuse your power once in a while?

As we’ve seen at the start of so many films, a radioactive cat escapes an unwanted autopsy and flees aboard a pleasure yacht. This is bad news for many of the yacht’s passengers, including a pair of possibly homeless girls and George Kennedy (who should never be seen outside of Naked Gun movies). Everyone there discovers that when you needlessly antagonize this particular cat, it’ll open up its jaws wide… to let a second cat out. As you’re coming to grips with the weirdness of that statement, the inner demon cat has already killed you (but probably offscreen because puppetry be hard, yo).

You would think that a two-in-one cat would be at the epicenter of this ocean-bound party, but no, it’s shoved aside in favor of a list of partygoers who should never be mingling together in the first place. The aforementioned girls drag along a handful of college dudebros, and they all hang out with a millionaire-slash-murderer, his geriatric henchman, the boat’s cranky (yet alluring) captain, and George Kennedy looking upon the festivities with great disapproval. It’s not a group you would expect to see getting jiggy with it, but jiggy they get.

And all while a killer — part feline, part Beelzebub — mingles in their midst. The cat got dragged aboard as a mascot of one of the girls, which I guess is like going to someone’s birthday party and saying, “Hey, you don’t mind if I park my saltwater crocodile in your bathtub, do you? Cool. You won’t even know he’s there.”

Because the cat actor is, in truth, just a fat tabby who is constantly on the brink of falling into a diabetic coma, the soundtrack picks up the slack by throwing shrill cat meows any time the cat shows up. You would think that the suspicious meowing and all of the mysterious deaths would clue everyone in that there’s a demon cat about — it’s the only logical conclusion — but the party must go on! There is fruit to be eaten, ’80s music to be heard, and backgammon to be played.

But the good times must eventually end, and before you know it there are double-crosses, poison cat attacks, and spandex workouts that sends everyone into heated conflict. With everyone at everyone else’s throats, it’s the perfect time to try to go cat hunting before the creature… leaves them alone? It’s not like Mr. Uninvited is actively pursuing any of them; he only really attacks when people get up in his face. Then again, the cat somehow contaminates all of the food and somehow sabotages the boat’s engine, so the tension is at least at the level of Democratic primary debate level.

If there’s a theme to Uninvited, it’s “unnecessary deaths.” Just about everyone who dies in this movie — and it’s more than you would think — is of the result of the dumbest things. Hot tub drownings, cat poisoning, being dragged overboard, eating obviously tainted food, shooting steam vents at point-blank range, and puppets. If I haven’t conveyed it in this review, this movie is so-bad-it’s-good in the best of ways. There’s never a dull moment. There’s also never a rational moment. So why not join the party?

Didja notice?

  • Two scientists can’t hold a single cat. Better leave the door open, just to be safe.
  • The director really can’t act as a scientist
  • Those girls’ outfits seem held together by spider silk and dreams
  • The bellhop has a terrific top hat going on
  • The best murder is when you drown a guy in your hot tub on a boat in the middle of the ocean
  • Killer cats have no problem lunging through windshield glass
  • That cat is so loud
  • Blue bucket hats are the height of ’80s fashion
  • “It is SO HOT.”
  • Whole lot of fruit eating in this movie
  • Girls love it when you comment on their bodies as they do workouts
  • That’s when the radio bought it
  • Thanks for coming to my rabies TED talk
  • Cat poison does goofy things to George Kennedy’s tummy
  • Friend gets shot? Better make out with him to cure his wound!
  • “There’s poison in me! There’s poison in me!”
  • Can you poison a poison cat?
  • Brought to you by Corn Flakes

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