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Strays (1991) - Blu-ray Review

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Strays (1991)

They have nine lives, we have one!

Strays begins with a full moon.  The dark night expands as we drop to the ground and, rather suddenly, we are running through the night.  The POV is that of a cat.  Close to the ground and beyond slinky as we cross the ground toward a house.  Once inside, we pass an empty feed bowl and make our way into the living room, springing onto the fireplace mantel.  There is an old lady (Eve Brenner) sitting in a chair.  She sees us and smiles.  Suddenly, the entire room fills with the sound of hungry cats.  Knowing just what to do, she gets up and heads to the kitchen, then the cellar (because that’s where cat food is stored).  DINNER TIME!  Yum, yum, MEOW! 

"If you get a wild hair up your ass when you get some cat scratch fever, you might check this one out. "


Except something is waiting for her.  Something fierce and something that is hungrier for more than ONE can of cat food and as it approaches, she is knocked into the basement and devoured.

Written by Shaun Cassidy (yes, THAT Cassidy) and directed by John McPherson, Strays is a bizarro made-for-television movie about a horde of cats that terrorizes one family who has just moved from Chicago to an isolated farm house one hour outside of the city.  If it sounds hilariously awful that’s because it is.  While sometimes ominous, the fact that a pack of wild cats work in unison to take down a family creates some pretty funny situations as this family and their daughter can’t figure out how to leave the house quickly enough.

Starring Timothy Busfield as Paul Jarrett and Kathleen Quinlan as Lindsey Jarrett (both of these actors can be quite great, but they are simply awful here), the film is quick to point out just how broke this family is upon the purchase of their new home.  Paul’s clients aren’t paying and the house is a bit of a money trap. 

When a home inspector stumbles upon a bunch of rats in the basement, he practically flees in terror.  Weird, considering he probably faces these vermin every single day.  Finding people to come out and look the house over is hard.  There’s something dark and ominous going on here and might just have to do with the pack of wild cats living in the cellar. Strays (1991)

The cats manage to get the family’s car stuck in a ditch and then, as Busfield comes down with cat allergies, the cats plot to take out the family dog.  With plot inconsistencies and hilarious moments that see a 4-year-old IN A CRIB that is filled with cats, Strays quickly goes off the rails BIG TIME, especially when the cats – ancient and mangy  – manage to do some supernatural stunts as they kill, kill, and kill again.

With a subplot involving Lindsay’s sister, Claire (Claudia Christian), trying to put the moves on Paul, Strays and its Cat Pack puts the motion in the ocean, especially when Lindsay (pissed that Paul won’t stop her sister’s advances) decides to keep the killer cats, as this horror film swaps hair-raising antics for hysterical ones time and time again.

Strays is now on blu-ray thanks to Scream Factory.  If you get a wild hair up your ass when you get some cat scratch fever, you might check this one out.  Just have plenty of beer.  You are going to need it.

2/5 beers

Strays (1991)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- July 16, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

With a new 2K scan of the original interpositive, Strays stays dark most of the time.  Edges are strong and colors are strong.  But, being a made for television movie (I think it appeared on USA Network at the time), the production values are low.  Paul’s office looks bare and rented.  Black levels are solid and skin tones are natural.  Shadows are defined and the film has a new depth previously unseen.  Audio wise, the DTS-HD MA 2.0 mono soundtrack is clear and the dialogue is never lost or hard to hear.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

A trailer is all there is.

  • Trailer

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 2/5 stars
  Video  2/5 stars
  Audio 2/5 stars
  Extras 2/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

2/5 stars

Strays (1991) Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: R for violence and terror..
Runtime:
83 mins
Director
: John McPherson
Writer:
Shaun Cassidy
Cast:
Kathleen Quinlan, Timothy Busfield, Claudia Christian
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
They Have Nine Lives. We Only Have One.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Those old bones from our attic turned out to be from his wife."
Theatrical Distributor:
International Film Marketing
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 23, 1987
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
April 23, 1987
Synopsis: TV star Mary Page Keller (Pretty Little Liars) appears alongside Andrew Stevens (10 to Midnight, The Fury) as a couple terrorised by an age-old curse in this much-underrated late-80s offering from director Richard Friedman.

Keller plays Kate Christopher, a singer who moves into an old colonial mansion with her son and psychologist boyfriend David (Stevens). But when they make a strange and gruesome discovery in the boarded-up attic, it soon becomes clear that the mansion carries with it a dark and blood-stained past – and one that is about to terrorise them in the present.

Strays (1991) Blu-ray

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