Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Alley Cat

Los Angeles has a lot of rapists and a stunningly inept justice system. That was my takeaway from this low-budget exploitation item that weaves elements from DEATH WISH and VIGILANTE into the shapely form of star Karin Mani.

A troubled production that saw three different directors putting their hands into it (the “Edward Victor” directing credit is a pseudonym for Filipino filmmaker Ed Palmos, RUNAWAY NIGHTMARE co-star Al Valletta, and ALLEY CAT producer Victor Ordonez), the Film Ventures International release offers enough skin, fighting, and silly dialogue to leave drive-in audiences in joy.

The music score is canned library tracks, some of which were heard in BARNABY JONES episodes. Actors blow lines and look into the camera, plot points are forgotten, and coincidences substitute for drama. I wouldn’t want ALLEY CAT any different. Trouble seems to find poor Billie Clark (Mani) everywhere. First, she puts a beatdown on two dirtbags stealing the tires off her car parked in her driveway. They whine to their boss Phil (Michael Wayne, not the son of The Duke) about getting their butts kicked by a girl, so the three of them assault Billie’s grandparents outside a grocery store.

With her grandmother in the hospital, Billie goes jogging and stumbles upon those same two dirtbags raping a woman. She kicks their asses again, but her cop boyfriend’s corrupt partner tosses Billie in jail for trespassing and carrying a concealed weapon. She gets out of the clink, goes jogging again, and gets accosted by another rapist. She beats his ass too. After a corrupt judge sentences Billie for contempt while setting the rapists free, she is molested by her cellmate (spoiler: Billie beats her up). When Billie gets out of the joint because her boyfriend blackmailed the judge, she runs around the city beating up more rapists, including a fat, stupid drunk.

At least Billie is having tons of sex with Johnny (Robert Torti), the aforementioned ineffectual cop boyfriend, in between beating up bad guys and training for her black belt. Mani appears nude in many scenes, including what may be the longest and dumbest shower scene ever. Mani had a shortlived career in pictures (she had a decent supporting role in AVENGING ANGEL) before marrying a producer of rock videos and giving up the biz. She’s not great at either acting or fighting, but she’s good enough. It’s also a novelty to see an Asian woman beating up white guys in an American production.

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