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Uninvited Blu-ray Review

Written by ZigZag

Blu-ray released by Vinegar Syndrome

Uninvited Blu Ray Large

Written and directed by Greydon Clark
1988, 91 minutes, Rated R
Released on January 29th, 2019

Starring:
George Kennedy as Mike Harvey
Alex Cord as Walter Graham
Clu Gulager as Albert
Toni Hudson as Rachel
Eric Larson as Martin
Shari Shattuck as Suzanne
Clare Carey as Bobbie
Beau Dremann as Lance

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Review:

Our story begins at a biochemical lab where scientists are conducting experiments on animals. A common house cat escapes to the parking garage where it manages to kill the scientists in pursuit. It is a big surprise when the cat opens its mouth really wide and a little monster crawls out to attack the scientists, but it happens within the first five minutes of the film, so I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler. The monster uses the kitty as a host and climbs back into its mouth after murdering any surrounding threats. The thing changes size randomly, as it appears to be as big as the cat when it is aggressive, but still manages to fit back inside the cat’s mouth later. Technically it should be a tiny beast, but that isn’t visually threatening. Either way, the cat is just a host and should be viewed as innocent of all crimes.

A pair of attractive girls on spring break crosses paths with renowned multi-millionaire Walter Graham, who invites them to join him for a party aboard his yacht. They have a fun time and accept his next offer to join him on a trip to the Caribbean. The girls invite some college guys they meet at the marina to join them – to keep things on the up and up. As they walk along the docks toward the boat, they discover the lab cat and decide to bring him along. Graham initially refuses both the boys and the cat, but changes his mind when the teens volunteer to serve as crew members for the trip. As it turns out, Graham is a shady business man running from federal agents who plan to seize his assets in the Cayman Islands, and so the race is on. Partnered with his enforcer, a towering man named Mike, and a shifty yet bumbling accomplice named Albert, Graham sets out to reclaim his fortune using the kids as cover.

Before long the cat is loose on the ship causing mayhem as it attacks the passengers. When the engines fail, our group is stranded at sea and must search the ship for the feline terror before it kills everyone. The rest of the picture is made up of a game of hide-and-seek with the cat and it pops up in the darnedest places. The furry beast appears to be infected with something and could be contagious. It gets into the food supply and contaminates the majority of their supplies. If anyone is going to survive this ordeal they’re going to need to find a way off this boat because no place is safe with a monster on the loose.

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Writer/ director Greydon Clark (Without Warning) has come up with a ridiculous spin on the classic monster movie motif with Uninvited. He takes the friendliest animal in existence and tries to make it menacing. The cat is placed in a number of spooky scenarios and photographed in a manner that attempts something frightening, but the premise is hard to swallow. There is a lot of human drama to keep things interesting, but the Cayman Islands destination is a MacGuffin, as we are simply here to kill time and let the cat do its dirty business. There isn’t a lot of suspense outside of watching the humans try to survive long enough to be rescued.

George Kennedy (Strait-Jacket) headlines as Mike, the enforcer. He is a tough guy looking out for the boss with little taste for teenagers or anyone else. He remains cool and collected until it is his turn to face the killer kitty and then we see him lose his patience. Kennedy by all accounts was a stand-up guy who loved to work and plays the material straight. You believe he is a gruff man facing off against a mutant cat, no matter how silly it looks. Alex Cord (Airwolf) is Walter Graham, the antagonist of the picture, and plays the role perfectly. I want to see this guy get eaten. He’s a smarmy, white-collar criminal accustomed to buying his way out of trouble, facing real danger for the first time. Rounding out the list of familiar names in the cast is the always-welcome Clu Gulager (The Return of the Living Dead) as the bumbling Albert. His character comes with a lot of business and is fun to watch as he gets drunk while steering the ship, but we must also remember he is a dangerous criminal behind that friendly demeanor. Gulager disappears in the role and delivers another solid performance.

Toni Hudson (Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III) does a fine job as Rachel, the ship’s captain. She is resourceful and quite capable of taking care of herself and fills the role of Final Girl nicely. Joining her in the struggle for survival is Eric Larson (Demon Wind) as Martin, the intelligent college kid trying to keep everyone cool and rational during the ordeal. Clare Carey (Zombie High) and Shari Shattuck (Death Spa) star as Bobbie and Suzanne, the college girls looking for fun times. Both do a fine job and are instantly likeable, particularly Shattuck, who receives more time to shine in the second half of the picture. Rounding out the cast are Rob Estes (Iron Eagle III) and Beau Dremann (My Science Project) as Corey and Lance, respectively. Estes is given more to do and his character is quite opportunistic and morally questionable. Dremann is laid back and along for the ride as an easy-going college kid looking to party.

Uninvited is a silly movie that is light on scares but features some definite signs of creativity. The central device of a monster living inside a cat is probably unique and offers visuals never seen before. I’ve known a lot of cats in my day, but never have I met one who throws something up and then sticks around to interact with it. Setting the story at sea is a nice way of keeping our heroes isolated and forced to handle things themselves. This is one of the more bizarre genre pictures from the 1980s and I don’t know if I am a fan or not. The picture plays better with a group of friends, so adjust your plans accordingly.

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Video and Audio:

Uninvited arrives on Blu-ray featuring an all-new 4K scan and restoration of the original camera negative. The picture, presented in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio looks terrific with vibrant colors and rich black levels.

The film’s original stereo recording arrives in a DTS-HD MA 2.0 mix that remains faithful to the source material. Dialogue levels are well-balanced with music and effects tracks and remains clean and free from hiss.

Optional English subtitles are included for anyone in need.

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Special Features:

Director Greydon Clark delivers an informative and thoughtful commentary track that reveals a lot of how this movie got made. He talks about working with actors and special effects and the troubles of shooting on a boat at sea. He is pretty frank in his discussion and is well aware of the kind of film we are watching.

Cinematographer Nicholas von Sternberg sits down for an interview in the segment That Darn Mutant Cat! (10 minutes). He talks about working in close quarters aboard a ship and his relationship with the director. There are some pretty decent anecdotes included, making this piece worth a look.

The international cut (93 minutes) of the film is included and features a different edit. The opening moves faster, there’s a different ending, a new character intro for the college guys and even a bit of nudity absent from the domestic version.

The theatrical trailer provides a look at the film’s marketing campaign.

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Grades:

Movie: Twostars Uninvited Blu Ray Small
Buy Amazon Us
Video: Fourandahalfstars
Audio: Threeandahalfstars
Features: Threestars
Overall: Threestars

About The Author
ZigZag
Author: ZigZag
Staff Writer
ZigZag's favorite genres include horror (foreign and domestic), Asian cinema and pornography (foreign and domestic). His ability to seek out and enjoy shot on video (SOV) horror movies is unmatched. His love of films with a budget under $100,000 is unapologetic.
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