The Cat (HK 1991)

Rating: **
Review Date: 7/20/23
Cast: Waise Lee, Gloria Yip, Philip Kwok

A cat from outer space and a beautiful young woman (Gloria Yip) are stranded on Earth and must destroy the evil Star Killer before they can return home. Famous adventure novelist Wisely (Waise Lee) gets involved by following the mysterious cat around.

It's a bizarre horror film with a spooky soundtrack and some frightening imagery. The visual effects range from tacky to extremely good, and the initial incarnation of Star Killer is quite terrifying. The cat plays a large role, which unfortunately reflects some unpleasant animal cruelty. The centerpiece of the film is a completely outrageous battle between the cat and a Mastiff, which cleverly (but not always effectively) incorporates live action, puppetry, and stop motion animation. Only in Hong Kong could they get away with something so completely crazy and over the top. The cinematography is good and there's some impressive stunt work as well.

Gloria Yip is impossibly enchanting in her short black cheongsam dress, but her delivery is a bit flat. Waise Lee also delivers an emotionally flat performance and Wisely is about as charismatic as a piece of wood. It's a marginally entertaining film, but the pacing drags and it's difficult to recommend to anyone who isn't a genre enthusiast.