• Kelly M. Hudson

The Alley Cat Strikes! (Badass Femme Week Pt. 2)

Billie (Karin Mani) is living with her grandparents, and they’re all in bed for the night when Billie discovers a couple of gang members trying to steal the tires off her car. Being assertive and not a person to take any crap, she goes down to confront them. They laugh at her until she whips out her karate skills and then whips their asses. They run off, tails tucked, to go complain to their gang leader. He tells them he’ll show them how it’s done and later assaults the grandparents, killing Billie’s grandmother. This sets her on a path of vengeance, one in which she meets a young police officer, falls in love with him, goes on to kick a copious amount of ass, cusses out a judge and gets thrown into jail for a month, gets out and finally finds the guys responsible for killing her grandmother. Billie is not one to be messed with.

Alley Cat is a thrilling little movie with a super-low budget and some dicey acting. But it makes up for all of its deficiencies with a great big heart and the energetic momentum of lead actress Karin Mani. In some other world, she would have been in a lot more B-action films. Her fighting skills are great, her acting is more than decent, and she’s really pretty. In any case, Alley Cat falls into line with a lot of female-empowerment movies from the 80s, minus a traumatic rape scene that propels the protagonist forward. Alley Cat is Death Wish with fists and feet mixed with some brash social commentary and sex. The system won’t help an ordinary citizen, of course, because it’s broken AND misogynist AND racist. So Billie has to take things into her own hands and get the job done, the Law be damned.

Here’s a film that knows what it’s about, gets right to it, and never fails to entertain. There’s a ton of action, some split lips and bruised egos, as well as some boobs and butts (male and female). A lot of the fighting takes place in murky, night-time shots, but you can always tell what’s going on. So if you’re looking for something that’s fun, with some vigilante violence, that’s heavy but won’t bring you down, Alley Cat is a good one to choose. It’s currently streaming on Prime.


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