29 April 2011 | Chase_Witherspoon
Big cat diary
A sleepy town is thrown into chaos when two big cats are set loose on the community, resulting in myriad problems for the local police chief and his besieged deputies, nobbled by political interference from an obstinate county sheriff, and the spectre of townsfolk ending up as cat food for the marauding predators.
Competently handled and suspenseful, Director Galfas manages to interweave multiple plot threads and develop good momentum, culminating in a thrilling climax and a conclusion in which all questions are satisfyingly resolved. A strong cast deliver an intelligent script, with Tom Skerritt performing his trademark laid back style, harassed at one end by G.D Spradlin as a domineering sheriff living in palpable denial, and the urgency brought to bear by the affable, and mysteriously well informed ex game hunter, Steve Forrest.
Despite the made-for-TV budget, "Maneaters Are Loose" isn't diminished by its small-screen origin, with a well paced narrative, engaging characterisations and well-choreographed big cat attacks, which belie the limited scale. Overall the movie manages to conjure a sense of mystery and speculation that's capable of having you on the edge of your seat.
Aside from the principals, who all deliver first rate performances, Col Potter -Harry Morgan - drops in as a creepy religious zealot with more than the good lord on his mind, and Dabney Coleman in an all-too-brief, but key cameo as the catalyst for the ensuing mayhem. Obscure and not easy to locate on the DVD market, "Maneaters Are Loose" is a worthwhile watch, if you get the opportunity.