Starring: Shô Mineo, Yûya Matsuura, Ayane, Michael Aaron Stone, and So Yamanaka
Director: Reiki Tsuno
This film has been reviewed by Quentin and Paige as part of Bitesize Breakdown's coverage of the 2023 Fantasia International Film Festival.
Written and directed by Reiki Tsuno, Mad Cats is a bizarre and quirky movie that somehow manages to be engaging throughout, particularly as the movie does a fairly good job of blending its tension and ridiculousness. Everyone in front of and behind the camera seem to embrace the silliness that is occurring onscreen, which allows it to be that much more enjoyable. But I must admit, this foreign flick will have you scratching your head a lot, leaving you to think “what the eff am I watching?”
When a movie’s logline includes “…taking on a pack of vicious monster cats determined to execute unscrupulous pet shop owners,” you expect two things: silliness and… well, monster cats. Mad Cats certainly has the silliness, self-awaringly leaning into Japan’s specific brand of campy humor (not unlike what Hot Fuzz did with British humor). However, saying it has monster cats would be like saying Kill Bill has monster snakes because of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. There are no cats; it’s just a gang of women acting like cats, which was very disappointing. Still, I chuckled enough at the absurdist humor, so not a total loss.