Director – Victor M. Ordonez, Ed Palmos (Campus Beat, Claudia), and Al Valletta
Starring – Karin Mani (Avenging Angel, The Next Step Beyond), Robert Torti (Quantum Leap, She-Wolf of London), Britt Helfer (Raw Force, Street Hawk)
Release Date – 1984
Rating – 3/5
Blu Release – 3.5/5
Vinegar Syndrome has been bring exciting releases to us month after month for years now. They quickly became one of my favorite companies and I’ve been a dedicated fan for sometime now. Their horror releases are what brought them to my attention but their exploitation and action flicks are the releases that really pull me in. When Vin Syn announced their VSA line I was all about it. I couldn’t wait to get some of these forgotten action flicks in their special edition big box inspired sleeves.
Last month Vin Syn announced the release of the 1984 crime flick Alley Cat along with Champagne and Bullets as the newest additions to their VSA line. CaB was weird but enjoyable but I put Alley Cat off to check out some other releases. However, after spinning the first volume of Televised Terror I decided now was the time to check it out.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a female martial artist (Mani) who is being terrorized by a group of gangsters. After she fights them off from stealing her car, they attack and kill her grandmother. The judge in the case places her in jail after an outburst during their trial and when she is freed she decides to server out her own form of street justice. **Spoiler Alert**
Alley Cat has a lot going on and I liked it for the most part but I will be quick to say that I will never watch this one again. It was entertaining for the most part but it’s a one and done scenario for me. I wanted to love it but the film was missing a lot of the elements that made 80s action flicks memorable.
The acting in this one is alright but it’s not as fun and cheesy as most of the action films from this time is. Mani delivers the best performance of the film and absolutely nailed her performance. I liked her fight scenes and the way she delivers dialogue is great. With that being said, her character was not that well written or memorable. Her character’s only personality trait was that she could kick anyone’s ass. Aside from that she was very generic and fell into the background of the story. The supporting cast is similar. The characters are not that well written and fall into generics.
The story for this one is just cheesy enough to make it fun but so unoriginal that you will not be able to watch it over and over again like you can so many action flicks of the time. We have a woman who is the target of a group of thugs and must fight to protect herself and her grandfather. You can switch up the characters but the story is still the same as so many others from the late 70s to the 90s. The lack of memorable characters and action sequences makes this one a little below mediocre.
Finally, we get some blood and a lot of fight scenes but this one doesn’t have any memorable deaths. We do get a shower scene with Mani and a few other female prisoners that stands out but nothing for you sick horror fans. Overall, Alley Cat is a fun generic action flick that doesn’t have that bang we are looking for but it does have it’s own charm. This release from Vin Syn looks absolutely fantastic and so does the artwork to accompany the blu.
Region A Blu-ray
Newly scanned & restored in 4k from its 35mm original camera negative
“Walking the Alley” – an interview with co-director Al Valletta
“We Hustled” – an interview with actor Robert Torti
Original theatrical trailer
Limited edition of 5,000
Reversible cover artwork
English SDH subtitles