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Alley Cat

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    Ian Jane
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  • Alley Cat



    Released by: Scorpion Releasing
    Released on: March 26, 2013.
    Director: Victor M. Ordonez, Ed Palmos
    Cast: Karin Mani, Robert Torti, Britt Helfer, Michael Wayne, Jon Greene
    Year: 1984
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Made in 1984 for Film Ventures International, Alley Cat stars the unusually attractive Karin Mani as a tough young woman named Billie. When the movie starts, some thugs are outside in the middle of the night stealing hubcaps off of a car parked in the driveway. She runs outside and makes short work of them and we're off. Billie is not a woman to be messed with. She has a sizeable collection of tracksuits at her disposal and some awkward looking martial arts skills to back things up.

    From here we see a gang of thugs, lead by a guy named Scarface (Michael Wayne), stalk an old couple. They follow them in their car and then rob them, the old lady dead of a knife wound. It turns out that these were Billie's grandparents and while Gramps is still kicking, she intends to get revenge, but not before opening a door in the hospital and busting the nose of cute rookie cop Johnny (Robert Torti). Of course, they hit it off and fall for each other quickly, but their love will not come easy. See, Johnny's got to enforce the law whereas Billie doesn't mind breaking it in the name of true justice. When she's out jogging one night and stops two Hamm's Beer swilling perverts from raping a chick, she winds up sent to jail for possession of an unlicensed handgun. And while she may be making friends behind bars, vengeance is still very much on her mind. Once she's out of the big house, thanks to Johnny's connections, it's back to work as she tracks down the bad dudes who offed her grandmother with every intention of making them pay…

    Fast paced and fairly sleazy, Alley Cat works on the same level as similar films like Savage Streets. Billie doesn't get a whole lot of character development here, she finds her family victimized and then sets out to set things right and maybe help a few others along the way. The victims in the movie are pretty much entirely female and outside of Johnny and Gramps, the men in the movie are scumbags - even the judge and a few of the other cops on the force. With that said, it's tough to see the movie as any sort of serious feminist statement when Mani is naked and flaunting her jugs and most of the other female cast members (including a hooker played by Britt Helfer and most of the prisoners Billie finds herself locked up also spend some time in the buff.

    Performance wise, Mani doesn't have a whole lot of range, in fact she's a bit wooden, but she's cool looking, she's got a very distinctive face and a decent enough screen presence. She handles herself in the fight scenes with confidence even if she isn't the most graceful martial artist to ever light up the silver screen. Torti is fine as the love interest, the noble cop out to help his lady friend when he can while Michael Wayne makes for a pretty decent main bad guy. Nobody is going to take home any awards here but they do fine with the material. The movie also offers up some nice mid-eighties Los Angeles location footage, giving us a guided tour of a few seedy spots and showing off a few sleazy sights along the way. Throw in a wonderfully dated score and some funky use of color and Alley Cat winds up a pretty bad ass movie, a very entertaining mix of B-grade action and flat out trashy exploitation.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The movie has been restored from 35mm elements in high definition and presented on DVD in 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen and it's hard to imagine anyone complaining about the picture quality here, for a low budget mid-eighties B-movie, Alley Cat looks very good. Some scenes suffer from some poor lighting and those flaws are represented in this transfer but you can't really fault the disc for that as that's just how the movie was shot. There's a healthy level of grain present as there should be but only very minor print damage noticeable, some minor specks and that's about it aside from a random scratch or two here and there. Colors are reproduced very nicely and black levels are generally pretty strong as well. Detail is about as good as standard definition will allow for and there are no issues with noise reduction or edge enhancement.

    The Dolby Digital Mono sound mix on the DVD is in the film's native English, there are no alternate language or subtitle options provided. Clarity is fine. The range is a bit limited but outside of that, things sound pretty good here. The levels are well balanced, there are no problems with any hiss or distortion and the score has some nice strength behind it when the movie calls for it.

    The main extra on the disc is a twenty-something minute long interview with Igo Kantor who worked in a behind the scenes capacity on this movie and was responsible for some of the post production work on Alley Cat. He talks for a few minutes about the movie and then goes on to give kind of a nice overview of his career. Kantor comes off as a pretty gracious guy with a good sense of humor and honesty about many of the movies that he was involved in and this is a pretty nice addition to the DVD.

    Outside of that, we get a trailer for the feature and trailers for a bunch of other current and upcoming releases from Scorpion, static menus and chapter selection. As this is part of Katarina's Kat Scratch Cinema line, you also have the option of watching the movie play out with an introduction from Katarina Leigh Waters who gives us a quick and fairly humorous rundown of the movie and who runs off some cast and crew credits and trivia information before the movie starts.

    The Final Word:

    Alley Cat isn't the most original film but it is a lot of good, trashy fun. There's plenty of action, nudity and chaos and Scorpion's DVD presents it in very nice shape and with a few cool extra features as well. Recommended!









































    • Jason C
      #1
      Jason C
      Senior Member
      Jason C commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm a big fan of this one. The Madacy DVD is terrible so this is an upgrade I've been pining for. Karin Mani may not be a great actress but she brings an aggressiveness and confidence to her onscreen fighting that few other females have. Its a shame she didn't do more action flicks. Awesome rack as well :up:

    • Richard--W
      #2
      Richard--W
      a straight arrow
      Richard--W commented
      Editing a comment
      What is known about this actor Michael Wayne in Alley Cat? imdb has noting on him. The reason I ask is that he's a dead ringer for John Wayne, except that he's not known to be related. Yet he looks like a skinnier version of John Wayne's son Michael Wayne who produced for Batjack and appeared in a few of his father's films. I've met the late Michael Wayne and his wife Gretchen who now ovesees Batjac and been in the presence of the Wayne family, and I'm telling you, this guy in Alley Cat looks like a Wayne. Hmmmm ...
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