She’s Allergic to Cats is a 2016 American feature film about a dog groomer with a rat-infested apartment who makes weird experimental analogue videos.
Written and directed by Michael Reich, the movie stars Mike Pinkney, Sonja Kinski, Flula Borg and Veronika Dash.
What a cool premise and title! It was immediately intriguing to read the plot about a dog groomer with high aspirations who meets a dream girl who is apparently allergic to cats.
Unfortunately, that is where the fascination ends and therein lies an underdeveloped and flat fairytale that dissolves into nothingness. Mike is a dreamer…he wants to be a famous filmmaker in the Hollywood community and live a rock star lifestyle. Unfortunately, he routinely wakes up in a rat-infested apartment while grooming dogs for little pay. And he can’t manage to even groom to the perfection status of the business owner. Let’s face it, Mike is a loser.
One day, Cora walks into the groomers and into Mike’s life. By mustering up a little confidence, he arranges a date with Cora while trying to solve the rat problem that is leaving his living situation in complete pig-pen disgust with droppings all along the countertops and even in the food. Gross.
The psychedelic effects that churn within his brain onto the screen are begging for an ode to the ’80s with little sense and logic behind them. His manager Sebastian carries the limited scenes he appears in with utter sarcasm and brutal honesty. Just a little satirical humour and cynicism kept me from turning this off.
It’s hard to find a reason behind the attraction from Cora’s point of view. She’s a beautiful and
mysterious young woman who appreciates Mike’s situation (not sure why?) and allows her attraction to take over once they are in seclusion. Perhaps she sees a future project within Mike that she challenges herself to tackle? Either that or she secretly doses on quaaludes to keep up with the absurdity that she’d ever considered life with someone like Mike.
Regrettably, the tactic Mike generates to solve the rat issue in his home affects Cora without warning. A little too hard? And it spirals out of control. Mike is left with yet another trigger towards his failures.
The scenario provides a pathetic look into Mike’s overall malfunctioning life and we have no empathy while watching his demise. Still stuck in his hallucinogenic fantasies, it is an impossible feat to escape the weirdness and disconnect from reality into his unexplained fantasies. And I can’t say that I really wanted to go down that path into exploratory rationalization. My hope was just to get to the end of this terrible mess.
Meredith Brown, MOVIES and MANIA
“She’s Allergic to Cats is nothing like what you imagine it to be and at the same time, it makes perfect sense. This is the dichotomy that reigns in this small and highly experimental movie where logic is left behind but the plot is easy to follow and understand even with the stimulus of the crazy images randomly being thrown at the screen.” 10th Circle
“The acting and direction succeed at capturing the audience’s eye and drawing an emotional response. It is just more likely to be worry, dread and fear than laughter. Those with a low tolerance for weird stuff will hate it from the first minute, let alone first hour. But those looking for literally anything different from the norm may find something here.” Cryptic Rock
“Shot on high quality digital and downgraded through analogue processes to give the appearance of VHS, She’s Allergic to Cats is a movie that seems determined to alienate as many viewers as possible from the off. Its eventual audience will likely be small enough to fit in its protagonist’s cramped apartment, but give yourself over to its grimy aesthetic and absurdist humour and you’ll find it a charming piece of punk filmmaking.” The Movie Waffler
“Funny, hallucinatory and deliriously strange, Reich’s internalised, animalistic trip is literally bananas.” Projected Figures
” …despite its very formulaic premise it approaches its story in a totally experimental way and spices up the basic romance with touches of horror and even the surreal, and develops a cinematic language far away from what you’d expect to see in a (however unlucky) love story. And the outcome of this is quite fascinating, a bizarre yet likeable genre-bender that will very probably stick with you for quite a while after watching.” Search My Trash
Cast and characters:
- Mike Pinkney … Mike Pinkney
- Sonja Kinski … Cora
- Flula Borg … Sebastian
- Veronika Dash … Nancy
- Honey Davis … Honey
- Mike Dazé … Neighbour Steve
- Felipe Esparza … Tow Truck Driver
- Luis Fernandez-Gil … Huber
- Willis Jackson … Naked Gym Member
- Tom Kiesche … Exterminator
- Livia Treviño … Susannah
- Mike Zehr … Weird Owner
Los Angeles, California