Pop culture has had its way with cats. Internet cats can be hilarious, while movie cats get mixed service. On the one hand you get the Cat’s Eye type of cat, who is the noble protector. Then you get this other cat, this scary scratching clawing beast, like the cats in the 1991 made for TV movie, Strays.
I started watching Strays after its initial broadcast in 1991 and was hooked right away. Not because it is a great horror film, but because it is a mess of a film. Its pacing is haphazard and the acting feels sloppy. The film is just plain silly and I love it.
The film stars Timothy Busfield and Kathleen Quinlan. They are a family who move to an isolated house with their daughter. While there, they find and adopt a couple of stray cats. Unfortunately those cats are just a tip of the cat iceberg. The film has a very early 90s cable TV feel with its melodramatic music queues and generic sets. Those things are hardly impediments to making this a solid horror film. The biggest problem is that the cats just don’t seem all that menacing. When they do shots of large group of cats, they look like well-kept house cats batting at a string just off-screen or waiting for dinner.
Even when you get a shot of a room full of cats, all you can think of is, which ball of fur do you want to play with first.
Strays is a wonderful time capsule and a fun way to kill a quiet night. It has lots of cute cats in it, each less menacing than the last. It will in no way making your fearful of cats. So if you have a fun furry friend, why not let them climb on your lap and laugh along while you watch it together.
Watch Strays Online
My Cat Story
When I was very little I owned a cat. He was adorable. Grey and black and the friendliest cat I have ever known. My family adopted two cats that year without realizing that I was in fact allergic to cats. Still, we had made a commitment to these wonderful beasts and even though they lived in a section of the house that was “off-limits” to me, I would sneak in there all the time to play with them. The evidence of my doing so was my giant puffy face and nearly sealed shut eyes.
Eventually our neighbor adopted our cats. I would get to visit them, but they moved on and took to their new home. It was for the best. Our neighbor took great care of them and they lived well into their teens. When we got them, I was young, so I don’t have a ton of cat memories. All the ones I have though, are very positive. Nothing like the poorly implied dread of Strays.