Troma // 1997 // 84 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // September 2nd, 2004
When they rub against your leg, you cough up the hairball!
Descriptive titles make plot summaries much easier. Teenage Catgirls in Heat -- what else could you possibly need to know? Scott Perry from Austin, Texas directed, and it is his only directing credit. Most of the actors were recruited from Austin theater circles, and they never did any movies of note. Okay, so David Cox, who plays Ralph, had a short role in Baseketball and appeared as K-Dog in the Jennifer Lopez epic Angel Eyes. But hardly anybody involved in this movie has any notable credits, save for the girls who grace the stages of several Austin gentlemen's clubs. So trust me when I say these cats definitely have indie outsider street credibility to spare. This is a gang in Austin who had a good time making a bad movie.
The plot concerns a mysterious occurrence in Riverville. An old lady has a cat god statue in a trunk, and it comes to life and commands all the house cats to commit suicide. When they die they are transformed into naked women, and their mission is to copulate with men and create a species of Catmen that will rule the world and worship the cat god. Everything would have gone as planned if it weren't for Gary Graves, who plays a "catbuster." Armed with a tracking device that homes in on cat brain waves, he tracks strays and begins to notice the girls are big cats who must be stopped. Along for the ride is nerdy hitchhiker Ralph, who seems more interested in dating a Catgirl named Cleo than in saving mankind.
The movie is a low-budget affair, emphasis on the "low." Night scenes are achieved with a blue filter, which means night is just day with a blue tint. There are no amazing transformations from cat to human: Typically there's a stuffed animal and some dry ice, and out pops a naked girl. There is a sequence with a real live tiger, but that's about the extent of the film's visual effects. You get hilarious scenes of naked girls acting like house cats. They play with yarn, eat cat food, and make us all thankful no huge litterbox ever appears.
Troma produced the DVD, so right there you know if this is your kind of affair. The transfer is typically bad full frame, but the film doesn't need much. Audio is two channel and perfect for its low budget. You get a hilarious commentary with the director and several (maybe) drunken friends who yell at the screen and laugh at how cheap the movie looks. It's a brief and fun midnight movie that has spirit and sass to spare. It will never join the ranks of cat classics like Val Lewton's Cat People, but it certainly has more fun than Halle Berry prancing around as Catwoman. And it probably cost $90 million less to boot! If the idea of strippers playing with balls of yarn is your thing it's a must. And I have to admit I had a purrrrrrfectly good time. Nothing catty to say about it at all: It's movie catnip.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 84 Minutes
Release Year: 1997
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Audio Commentary by Writer-Director Scott Perry
* Interactive Tour of Troma Studios
* The All-New Troma Intelligence Test 2
* The New Troma Digital Comic Book A Nymphoid Troma Intern in Hell's Kitchen
* New Troma Public Service Announcements
* Easter Eggs