STRAYS (1991) Reviews and overview of killer cats movie

  

‘They have nine lives. We only have one.’

Strays is a 1991 American made-for-TV horror film about a family terrorised by a clowder of feral cats in their new country home.

Directed by John McPherson from a screenplay written by Shaun Cassidy (American Gothic TV series; The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula).

The Niki Marvin Productions-MCA Television Entertainment (MTE) production stars Kathleen Quinlan (The Stairs; Parallel; Chimera; Event Horizon), Timothy Busfield, Claudia Christian and William Boyett (The Hidden; Bloody Birthday; When a Stranger Calls).

Plot:

Paul (Timothy Busfield) and Lindsey Jarrett (Kathleen Quinlan) buy a remote country home, unaware of the mysterious circumstances surrounding the former owner’s death.

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Convinced the house is the perfect place to raise their daughter, the young couple settles in, little suspecting that their dream home is surrounded by an uncontrollable feral cat population.

However, before they can call Animal Control, a cat marks their bedroom as his territory … and Lindsey finds herself and her child terrorized by swarms of cats in the midst of a punishing rainstorm. Paul returns to find his house in chaos and must battle the malevolent felines for possession of his home and family…

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Reviews:

“The cat attacks themselves are hit and miss; the first victim (played by Gary McGurk) worked for the phone company, and the sight of a cat leaping for his throat actually made me laugh (mostly because the effect was…, well, not effective) [….] when Lindsey and the couple’s young daughter Tessa (portrayed by twins Heather and Jessica Lilly) find themselves surrounded, I was on the edge of my seat.” 2,500 Movies Challenge

” The cats themselves are amusing when they’re on screen but the director has no clue how to really make them menacing. They’re mostly just cute. Even when they’re “attacking” and killing people they’re cute. There’s more “Aww” than “Ahhhhh!!!” Not really a good sign for a film like this.” The Bloody Pit of Horror

Strays ends up being a failure. Even the below average Stephen King movie Sleepwalkers is better than this, so if you are fiending for a horror movie with cats in them then see that one instead. Considering this is a made for TV horror film, it isn’t totally worthless, but I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone.” Cinema Terror

“The attacks are silly, with the kitties looking off-screen at someone probably holding a toy or some food. In one memorable scene, a vent has a pillow stuffed into it to keep the cats out and one claws its way through – but it’s obviously fake cat paws on the end of sticks! People keep trying to look terrified of cats that are just sitting there, but that gets old before the film’s done.” Down Among the Z Movies

Strays is wonderfully entertaining bit of trash. With an obviously decent budget, it’s also quite well-made. The decent production values offset by the insane content is a joy to behold. I heartily recommend Strays to anyone looking for a solid chuckle.” Mondo Exploito

“Maybe if they were rabid or something, but they’re just freakin’ cats! Watch it on YouTube if you’re having a good time and want something to bring you down and bore the sh*t out of you. Otherwise, avoid this one like an overfull litter box…” The Monster Shack

“All elements of the genre are extremely poor here. For a serious horror film, there’s a lot of hilarity that ensues. Cats just aren’t a good topic for a scary movie, and this one was destined to fail the second they put the idea to paper. I will say though that with what they had to work with the filmmakers did a pretty bang-up job.” Scream Geeks

“Not very well regarded horror movie that provokes more laughs than frights, the film wastes Kathleen Quinlan who is a very good actress and tries her best with the dreck that is the film’s script. The idea that 9 lb weighing cats can cause such havoc is a little hard to swallow. The cats in this film are not remotely scary…” What Culture

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Cast and characters:

Kathleen Quinlan … Lindsey Jarrett
Timothy Busfield … Paul Jarrett
Claudia Christian … Claire Lederer
William Boyett … Doctor Lyle Sokol
Heather and Jessica Lilly … Tessa Jarrett
Gary McGurk … Phone Man
Eve Brenner … Old Woman
Michael McNab … Policeman

Choice dialogue:

“Well, it does have a certain charm. In an Amityville kinda way.”

“You got rats. Big rat problem. Chewed up most of your wiring.”

Technical details:

1 hour 23 minutes
Audio: Mono
Aspect ratio: 1.33: 1

Trailer [1080p HD]:

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