by: Dr. Boogie
In theory, you can make a horror movie about anything. In any location, in any job, in any point in history, there's the potential there for horror. Even the movie Monkey Shines showed us that you can make a horror movie about a cute little helper monkey. I wouldn't have believed it had I not seen the murderous capuchin myself. It wasn't the scariest horror movie, but it had its moments.
But what if you made a horror movie with even less scariness than that? What if you found an animal to serve as your movie monster that was even less terrifying than a capuchin monkey? What if most of your big scares took place in the middle of the ocean at high noon, and were peppered with enough moments of sheer incredulity that they produce more giggles than screams? What you would have is the movie "Uninvited".
As you may have guessed from the title, "Uninvited" is about a group of people aboard a yacht who are terrorized by a mutated housecat. When you hear "mutated", you might think that the cat is quite large, or has razor-sharp teeth and claws, or a tail sprouting porcupine quills. In this case, however, the mutation is... well, words don't really do it justice.
Fans of MST3K may recognize the name Greydon Clark from the credits. His sole contribution that show (though much of his work deserved to be on it) was Final Justice, a movie about Joe Don Baker being a fat idiot in Malta. This time he's dropping a cinematic deuce on the dime of Amazing Movies. Apparently, someone at that company saw Final Justice and thought, "this is a man who should continue to make movies," whereas every other person who saw it invariably came to the conclusion that Greydon Clark shouldn't even be allowed to film 30-second spots for Denny's.
But I digress...
The film opens with a couple of doctors noting an unusual growth in one of their lab animals. They go to check on the animal in question, a seemingly normal-looking housecat, when it bolts for the open door. Seems like they could have at least shut the door if they were going to be taking their caged animals out to play with. Then again, I suppose they had to leave the door open. Otherwise, the cat would have to jump up and twist the handle himself. And that would be silly.
Fortunately, someone had the foresight to install a PA system so they wouldn't be caught completely off guard in the event of feline jailbreak. One of the doctors makes the call to summon "radiation security".
Unfortunately, no part of this mysterious complex is cat-proof in the least. Worse yet, "radiation security" consists of two guys in crappy yellow suits with gas masks, and one guy inexplicably wearing a poorly-made fire suit. You know, maybe I'm thinking about this all wrong. Maybe the problem with this sinister lab is dealing with some major budget cuts, and is just trying to make do with what they have.
Sadly, the men in the crappy Halloween costumes find out exactly what that cat's mysterious growth was all about:
The cat vomits up another, smaller cat, which then kills the man in the suit. Didn't I tell you it would be special? The director opted not to show the smaller cat as it killed the men because that would've looked even sillier than what we just witnessed. Oh, and don't think we've seen the last of the cat-vomits-cat shot; after each kill, the smaller cat climbs back inside the larger one like some kind of furry sleeping bag.
Soon, the cat is on the run once again.
A guard hears some noise on the other side of a door, so he opens it to investigate, allowing the cat to escape into the parking garage. Again, we see that the tightening of the budget is responsible for the lapses in security, this time in the hiring of slow-witted manchildren to serve as the security force.
Nevertheless, the two doctors manage to shut the gates to the parking garage (the only security measure in the entire building, for those of you keeping track). The alpha male doctor takes the gun from the braindead security guard and begins the hunt for the missing cat. The tension in this scene is palpable as the lives of the staff are weighed against the threat of the test animal escaping to inflict untold horrors-
Aw, look at the cute kitty with his fuzzy tail! Cuuuuute!!!
Anyway, during this time, the cat somehow manages to sneak back and kill a guard without making any noise. Or maybe the guard accidentally killed himself and the cat just happened to be in the general vicinity. These are not smart people we're dealing with.
Given everything that's happened thusfar, I have to think it was only a matter of time before he was eventually killed by one of his lab animals. Interesting side note: the doctor who just got nibbled by a mutant cat was played by none other than writer/director/producer/feeb/clod/ninny Greydon Clark. That's one of his directing trademarks: giving himself brief, but highly visible, cameos in his movie. Shame his acting career never took off. Oh well. Put that right underneath writer, director, and producer on the list of things he's completely failed at.
After dispatching the doctor, the cat makes his way to a vent cover. Is it secured to the wall? Are you kidding? Have you priced screws in this economy? With the gentlest of shoves, the cat emerges from the vent and escapes into the night, thus beginning our film, Greydon Clark presents Stephen King's The Stand. Scene number two: Gary Sinise gets rabies.
Elsewhere, Bobbie and Suzanne, a couple of coeds on spring break, are lamenting that there is no room at any of the hotels in town. Luckily, Bobbie has a plan: they'll go into the lobby of this fancy hotel, tell the concierge they don't have reservations, and... well, that's pretty much it. Fortunately, their whining attracts the attention of Walter Walter, rich guy extraordinaire and connoisseur of desperate chicks. He offers them a place to stay and invites them to dinner. Suzanne protests, however, that they aren't dressed for it, and she's right: they're wearing bathing suits and shirts that would have to be sewn back together before you could even call them "distressed".
Nevertheless, the two of them are admitted into the restaurant in spite of their gross violation of the dress code. Dinner goes off without a hitch, certainly without either of the girls picking up on the implications of Walter offering them a place to stay and a "free" meal. Partway through their meal, a couple of Walter's associates show up to spirit him away.
Hey, it's that guy from the Naked Gun movies! No, not Leslie Neilson; the other guy. No, not OJ Simpson; the other white guy, George Kennedy! He and B-movie veteran Clu Gulager play Walter's geriatric henchmen, Mike and Albert. Mike is certainly good at wearing a dour squint, but he's not particularly intimidating. The same goes for Albert, only about a million times worse, as Clu plays him like all three Marx brothers rolled into one.
Anyway, Mike informs Walter that he has to deal with a "desperate man". The tension music swells as the audience begins to speculate about what kind of dark dealings Walter might be up to with-
Aw, look at the pretty kitty! Who's a good boy? You are! You are!!
Ah, where was I?
Walter and his posse meet with Darrell, the desperate man, on his yacht. Through their discussion, we learn that they're all involved in some kind of plot involving a firm and the SEC. It's not really clear what that plot involves, but concern arises that Darrell may wind up turning state's evidence. Why they're worried about that isn't really clear either, but what is clear is that we're about to say goodbye to a character we've known for almost two whole minutes. Mike draws his gun, and I think you know what happens next.
That's right: they toss Darrell in the hot tub, then Albert falls in as well, but tries to play it off like he meant to do it by forcing Darrell's head underwater. He manages to drown Darrell, but he suffers some kind of episode immediately afterwards. I assume it was a mild heart attack, on account of how undeniably Albert is. I'm sorry to say this, but henching really is a young man's game. Maybe if Albert were a little more ambitious, he could've made henchman middle management before his golden years.
Somewhere, presumably the next day, the cat has been given a bowl of milk by a kindly gas station attendant. Then a man pulls up in truck, mugs the attendant, and drives off with the cash from the register. Furious, the cat leaps into the bed of the truck as the man and his previously unseen partner drive off.
A few miles down the road, the cat makes his move:
No, my mistake. Someone in the back of the truck punches through the rear windshield and starts rubbing the driver with a filthy badger puppet. Needless to say, the driver panics and drives off the road into a ditch. Even worse, judging from the sound of it, the truck was filled with about a dozen sheets of glass that shatter one by one as the truck rolls downhill.
Some of you might be wondering, what was the point of these last two scenes? Well naturally, the director wanted to show that the mutant cat has a tender side. After all, you wouldn't want a fearsome movie monster like him to be too frightening.
Getting back to our story, it's time to put a couple more losers in the chamber. Meet Lance and Corey. Corey's a preppy dick, and Lance has a big, distracting birthmark on his neck. The two of them look alarmingly similar to the two male leads in Weekend at Bernie's. In fact, if they had killed Walter and spent the rest of the movie dragging his corpse around, putting him in funny poses and such, I'll bet we would've had a much better movie.
Anyway, the two of them, along with their nerdy friend Martin (who looks every bit like the poor man's Paul Rudd), meet up with Suzanne and Bobbie. It's not really clear if they know each other or what, but regardless, the girls invite the boys to accompany them on Walter's yacht as he takes them to the Caribbean for a few days. A complete stranger offering to take you out into international waters for an unspecified period of time? Sounds good to me!
On the way to the yacht, our five young adventure seekers overhear some meowing. Following the sound, they discover a fuzzy, orange, not-at-all-scary cat with an unusual collar:
" 'Genetic laboratory.' This must be a lab animal! "
He's the smart one.
Suzanne is worried that the cat is going to wind up dissected. She decides to take it with them on the yacht because hey, why not? Walter is so desperate to score with her and Bobbie that he bought them a fancy dinner even though they were dressed like they came directly from a taping of Girls Gone Wild, and he apparently put them up at the same hotel without laying a finger on them. Why not test his limits some more by bringing three guy friends and a stray animal onto his boat?
Upon boarding the shuttle to take them to Walter's yacht, Lance immediately throws up. So the girls are bringing a preppy douche, a stupid nerd, a puking man, and a lab animal onto Walter's yacht. Heck, why stop there? Why not bring along a couple homeless people and a bucket of week-old chum while they're at it?
How about some more backstory? Wouldn't you like some of that? Don't you need a break from the hectic pace the movie's been setting? This young lady is Rachel, the captain of Walter's yacht. Walter chased away the rest of the crew with his drunken ranting, but Rachel stayed on because the boat used to belong to her father. There's probably more to it than that, but how can we be asked to care about that when we're eagerly awaiting the next mutated cat takedown?
The group arrives on Walter's yacht, and Walter immediately asks the men to leave. Damn. And it was such a foolproof plan, showing up to the yacht uninvited (get it?) and hoping Walter would just let them stay for several days. Before they can officially get the boot, Albert shows up to tell Walter they need to set sail immediately to avoid the SEC. Walter decides to kick everyone off the boat, but Bobbie convinces him to let them all stay onboard as replacements for the crew that left. At this point, Walter's personality shifts dramatically from smirking playboy to seething taskmaster. He demands Suzanne ditch the cat (again, not an unreasonable request), and when she convinces him to let her keep it, he snarls that she owes him one and that he "never forgets". Still no red flags popping up for the girls.
Inside, the boys marvel over the leftovers from the party the previous night. I know when I see piles of food and dirty dishes strewn all over the place, my first thought is "wow, I'm impressed!" They put some crappy new wave music on the stereo and dancing. A couple minutes in, Walter and Mike stop by to remind them that they'll be working during their time on the yacht. Lance protests, and rightly so! They didn't sign up for this... when they signed up to work as the yacht's crew. Bobbie straightens things out in spite of Lance's continued disbelief that he has to actually do the things he agreed to do.
Through some side conversation between Mike and Walter, we learn that their plan is to withdraw some money from a bank in the Cayman Islands before the SEC can freeze the account. The bank is three days' journey from where they are, so they should be fine, so long as there isn't any faster way for the SEC to get to the Caymans other than by boat. I mean, what are the odds that the Cayman Islands would have an airport? Or phones?
You know what? Forget about all that plot nonsense. We have other nonsense to get to.
The cat sneaks into the engine room just as Albert, reliable old Albert, screws up his job in the wheelhouse. Though all he has to do is hold the wheel study, he becomes confused and starts throwing levers. This starts up engine, which startles the cat, causing him to vomit up the mutant cat and cut a wire. The picture I'm starting to get of the mutant cat is that the people on board the boat should be safe, so long as they don't startle him. Let's just pray no one decides to bust out a vacuum cleaner...
Later that night, a party is thrown to celebrate the boat successfully leaving the harbor with a full complement of bumbling idiots. Martin plays backgammon with Rachel while everyone else dances awkwardly to some crappy music on the stereo, and it's hard to say who's having a worse time.
Walter gets drunk and starts mocking Rachel while he eats a banana. He once again alludes to some past event with Rachel's father, but honestly, who cares? Even the cat is bored with the party and takes off. Forget about the mutant killer angle, they should be worried that he's going to start shedding all over their clothes.
There's still plenty more of Uninvited to see!
Click here to continue onward to page 2!
i was hoping a little bit that this would be based on the game
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