Lured in by an intriguing title and cover art, along with the presence of a couple of my favorite cult actresses (Sybil Danning and Colleen Camp), I watched this tape...and was sorely disappointed.
This exceptionally muddled thriller focuses on a young man who is convinced that his new stepmother (Sybil Danning), who had been his late mother's nurse, had actually murdered his mother in order to take her place.
The son's animosity towards his new family member is shared by his pet cat, who constantly hisses and spits in Sybil's presence. At least, that's what the filmmakers would have us believe...in fact, it's clear that the cat's hissing and growling are dubbed-in sound effects (the cat's mouth is closed the whole time!). Nothing in the cat's body language suggests hostility (no arched back, no fur standing on end)...at times, it even seems affectionate towards its supposed nemesis. Even when Sybil is "attacked" by the cat, it's obvious that she's simply holding the indifferent animal up to her face. Now, it's perfectly understandable if the film's budget didn't allow for an animal trainer, but it really shouldn't be too hard to get a cat angry.
The rest of the performances are little better than the cat's. Sybil Danning has proven capable of delivering memorable performances elsewhere, but her shrill, forced hysterics in this movie are simply embarrassing. Frank DeKova, as Danning's wealthy, easy-going husband, fares the best, but has too little to do before being taken out of the picture. Likewise, the talented Colleen Camp is given nothing to work with in her role as the stepson's concerned girlfriend.
One final note: One major plot point, the fact that the main character has a brother, is not even mentioned until well over an hour into the movie! Advice to aspiring screenwriters: If you're going to spring a plot twist, you need to lay the foundation much earlier in the movie (just a subtle, casual mention would do) so that it doesn't just seem to come out of nowhere.
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