War Cat

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“Time to put this cat out, permanently. “

There aren’t many times I agree with censorship, but the British Board of Film Classification rejected this movie entirely when it was submitted in 1987. I’d like to thank them for saving the public from this appalling piece of dreck for 25 years, even if I think they were probably confusing it with Abel Ferrara’s Ms. 45, which was also known as Angel of Vengeance in the UK. I can’t believe they actually watched this, as it’s so entirely harmless, the only threat it could have posed to the public at large would have been from the wholesale gnawing off of limbs, by viewers desperate to escape the ordeal.

I’ve seen a few Mikels movies now, in and out of our genre here: none have been great, few have even reached acceptable, but this was truly the bottom of the cinematic barrel. In Mikels’ defense, it was a troubled production, to say the least, with original director Ray Dennis Steckler being fired two days into shooting. Producer Jeff Hogue “came up with new ideas almost every day,” according to Mikels, and the cast included Poynter, who had been a cocktail waitress at a Las Vegas casino wuth no acting experience at all. It’s remarkable anything ended up getting released at all.

The story, such as it is by the time all this was endured, focuses on a militia group out in the desert, under Major Hargrove (O’Hara), and to a significantly lesser degree, on Tina Davenport (Poynter), who is writing a book on her deceased father, who just happened to be a soldier. This attracts the attention of some of the more brutish members of Hargrove’s survivalists, who end up kidnapping Tina and taking her out to the camp. Hargrove is annoyed by this, having recently spent a significant chunk of the running-time killing a biker gang, but agrees to Tina’s proposal to give her a chance. Rather than killing her outright, he lets her go, to provide a training exercise for his men, by hunting her down. Of course, her military background means they’re in for a nasty surprise.

It’s nowhere near as interesting at that may sound, not least because the hunt only takes place in the last 30 minutes or less of the movie, and is so badly put-together and executed as to suck any life out of the concept. Up until then, you’ve got to endure an endless stream of scenes that redefine “turgid,” and don’t develop storyline or character. Not even entertainingly bad, just incredibly boring: avoid, at all costs.

Dir: Ted V. Mikels
Star: David O’Hara, Jannina Poynter, Macka Foley, Carl Irwin
a.k.a. Angel of Vengeance

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