‘Tubi Or Not To Be’ is a series in which each day a member (or members) of the film world (be they an actor, writer, director, critic, podcaster, etc.) tackles a film from Tubi. The only catch being that the film must be one the viewer has either never heard of or never watched before. It’s an intrinsically silly idea, but one that should prove to be a bit of fun.
Selecting a single film from Tubi to watch is a matter of taste: do you want to watch glorified trash or do you want to watch something that’s legitimately entertaining, maybe even good? In the case of Uninvited, the low-budget killer cat inside another cat horror film, the answer is “yes.”
I only learned about Uninvited a few years ago courtesy of fellow horror fans on Twitter, but even then it was only in passing and usually in GIF form. You know the one: an orange tabby opens its mouth comically large and some kind of animatronic robot cat/rat thing claws its way out.
It’s ludicrous. It’s insane. And it’s amazing.
It will make you want to track down Uninvited and watch it immediately.
Well, praise the gods of low budget American indie filmmaking (and probably astronomical amounts of cocaine) because the film is available on Tubi.
At its heart, writer/director Greydon Clark’s film is about two broke, hard-partying girls who befriend literally every male they meet and wind up on the personal yacht of a creepy rich dude who wants to sleep with them. Or maybe it’s about said creepy guy and his business associates, who are in a rush to high tail it to the Cayman Island’s before the SEC arrests them for dubious business practice (and also murder). Or maybe it’s about a trio of dude bros who are lured by the girls onto the creepy dude’s yacht by the promise of casual sex. Or maaaybe it’s about a genetically modified killer cat that escapes from a lab, is adopted by one of the girls and winds up murdering nearly everyone on the yacht after they become stranded at sea.
The appeal of Uninvited is how utterly silly it is. The narrative of the $200K film barely makes a lick of sense, but audiences willing to roll with the dubious developments and questionable character decisions will find a lot to love. Case in point: this is a film that reminds its audience that the cat is, in fact, a cat by constantly playing meows on the soundtrack, even when the cat is clearly just silently hanging out.
The acting is surprisingly decent (credit George Kennedy, Clu Galager and genre vet Toni Hudson for bringing the chop; Rob Estes…is a bad dancer). And then there’s the 80s fashion! Let’s just say that Clare Carey’s Bobbie and Shari Shattuck’s Suzanne wardrobe aesthetic can only be described as Showgirls-meets-spring break, which is to say it’s glorious.
Then there’s the woefully unconvincing – and utterly charming – practical creature “effects”. When Uninvited’s feline antagonist goes into attack mode, the real life docile puss is swapped outfor a hand puppet that attacks from under couches, behind pipes or springs at its victims as though shot from a canon.
While the pacing lags a bit heading into the climax (blame a lack of cat attacks), Uninvited truly is a “seeing is believing” highly enjoyable late 80s indie gem. Throw on your best Jane Fonda spandex, tease your hair to high heaven and rescue a murderous street cat because Uninvited is a meow-ing good time.