Story: Billie (Karin Mani) lives with her grandparents and their neighborhood is not one of the best, as violence often erupts and the police seem helpless to stem the tide. When she catches a couple of thugs trying to steal her tires, Billie decides to fight back and thanks to her martial arts skills, she is successful. Of course, her grandfather coming out with a pistol helped a little, right? While the criminals are run off, that doesn’t mean the coast is clear, as word of the failure soon reaches local crime boss Scarface (Michael Wayne). To protect his reputation, Scarface wants revenge and he sends more thugs to assault Billie’s home, killing her grandparents in the process. She refuses to simply walk away however, intent on getting justice for her loved ones. But when the police fail her at every turn, Billie decides to fight back once again, but can she survive a battle against Scarface himself?
Entertainment Value: This is a solid vigilante flick with just enough action, intense 80s vibes, and wackiness to keep it above the crowd. The narrative isn’t going to dazzle you with originality, but it hits the right beats for the genre and manages to hold interest throughout. The pace is a touch slow in a few places, but with a mostly brisk push and just over 80 minutes in duration, Alley Cat never drags in the least. As usual, I wouldn’t have minded a wilder overall atmosphere, but I had fun with this one for sure. Karin Mani is the standout of the cast, carrying the lead role well and bringing the 80s heat at a nice pitch. I wouldn’t call her performance as a star making turn, though she does what the role requires and that’s all Alley Cat seems to need. I think her serious approach was wise for this material and when the camp veers in, she handles that well also. The rest of the cast is fine, but I would have loved more colorful villains, especially when it comes to the main baddie. The performances range from overly serious to straight up wooden, but with this often wacky kind of material, that only serves to enhance the good times. That said, Alley Cat never rises to the level of a cult classic or some kind of buried gem, but it is a more than solid watch and genre fans will likely find some entertainment here.
There is some light sleaze to be found in Alley Cat, with a variety of naked bodies on showcase. This includes several topless scenes, some bare ass, and even full frontal, with the expected 80s bush involved. There is a prison shower sequence, but the sex is never graphic or over the top, just some nudity thrown in here and there. There’s not much blood to be seen, despite some gun fights and action scenes. So perhaps a little red stuff from the gunfire, but otherwise, no real crimson. But we do have some action to discuss, with a few martial arts sequences and the assorted street shootouts. Some of the fight scenes are really poorly lit, which I found super humorous, for some reason. The dialogue was a pleasant surprise, as the movie is littered with humorous, awkward, or just plain odd lines. Most of the best or most outlandish talk comes in snarky responses, but there are also some memorable exchanges that go beyond a single quip. I love that the line “drive, asshole!” pops up over and over, with each new appearance more fun than the last. The insanity scale never skyrockets, but it hits some fun heights and keeps a consistent level of wackiness at work. Some of the highlights include tire theft, some highfalls, a visit to Arby’s, the new Mrs. Blowjob California, and poor sportsmanship in a prison volleyball game.
Overall Insanity: 5/10
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