Uninvited (1988)

“Written, produced, & directed by Greydon clark”
copyright © greydon clark productions, inc.
heritage entertainment

About three-quarters of the way through this inestimable SF/horror hybrid it begins to seem it was forced into its final form via a harried editing process, because scenes come and go abruptly and transitions cease to matter. It’s also around this time that one begins to notice certain amusing facets of the production, such as the repetitious establishing shots and the obvious discrepancies between the dimensions of the yacht we are to understand the characters are aboard and those of the ship we actually see them aboard. And of course, there are the many, many, many images of the cat. The terrifying, deadly, seemingly ordinary tabby cat. Now, budgetary constraints obviously played some role in this tomfoolery, but that can’t explain everything. Whatever the reasons, this hokey straight-to-video picture could have been a whole lot more satisfying. It just never goes quite far enough in any particular direction – much like the malfunctioning vessel that becomes a virtual … DEATH SHIP.

why did i watch this movie?

Without Warning was interesting enough, but I don’t think it led me here. There’s always the George Kennedy connection.

should you watch this movie?

I’d like to say it’s good for laffs, but its unintentional humor can’t overcome the sense of tedium.

highlight and low point

The overacted yet undersold deaths are priceless – as are the pics of the toy boat representing the seafaring watercraft – but I cannot overemphasize how many scenes in this film feature an ordinary cat doing ordinary cat things. Now, I happen to love the furry little demons the human race unwisely invited to share their homes, but such cinematography is incongruous with the desire to create an atmosphere of ill portent.

rating from outer space: D+

Deadly Intruder (1985)

directed by john mccauley
channel one productions

By almost any reasonable measure, this straight-to-video extravaganza isn’t any good. And yet it manages to project a kooky kind of charm, possibly because some aspects of it are just so … off. Unlike some of the other bad films I’ve denigrated herein, the filmmakers involved in this venture seem to have known what they were doing, but just do not appear to have been very proficient. Take the editing: the cuts interspersing glimpses of the characters’ domestic lives with the mounting terror, etc., are so ham-handed it’s jarring. The dialogue, meanwhile, continually interjects minutiae into random conversations. And then there’s the music, which at a certain point reaches a kind of lunatic insistence that is sorta breathtaking. On top of all that, the SHOCKING twist almost could work, but for anyone who for some reason is paying careful attention, one line rings a few too many bells, even with the painstaking misdirection involved. Classic ending, too. Oh, and one extremely minor character disappears during the climax, never again to be glimpsed or mentioned.

why did i watch this movie?

I could not ignore the creative and descriptive title.

should you watch this movie?

Probably not on purpose, but it is a good way to contemplate the Platonic ideal of straight-to-video.

highlight and low point

I really don’t want to ruin the fun for anyone who might theoretically watch this, but the scene in which an assailant takes his victim on a picnic obviously is unparalleled in cinematic history. The blatantly obvious use of a body double in the nude bathing scene is also top-notch. An early scene in a “police station” that is a glorious example of why-bother set dressing features an extended, juvenile scatology gag.

rating from outer space: C+