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The Cat
The 1000 Years Cat

Hong Kong 1991
directed by Nam Nai Choi
starring Waise Lee, Gloria Yip, Philip Kwok, Lau Siu-Ming, Ng Wing Mei


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Li Tung can't slep at night due to noisy hammering in the appartment above. When he goes to complain, he finds an absent-minded man (Lau Siu-Ming), a beautiful woman (Gloria Yip) & a black cat. The next day though they are gone,  leaving behind only some cat-entrails. The story evokes the interest of his friend, writer Wisely (Waise Lee), & soon it is found out that the trio (man, woman & cat that is) are breaking into some museums for some mysterious octagons. What Wisely & his friend inspector Wang (Philip Kwok) don't know yet though is that the trio is from outer space & has come to earth to hunt down another malevolent alien creature, that occasionally takes on the form of a giant tentacled mushroom., & they need the octagons as a sort of weapon. However, Wisely & Wang decide that they need to borrow a dog to hunt down the cat, but while Wisely is out with the dog searching for clues, Wang & his fellow police-officers have to face the malevolent alien killer who kills all the officers & uses Wang as a human host. In the form of Wang, the alien then atacks & kills an illegal arms dealer plus company for his rich arsenal. Wisely & the dog meanwhile do actually trace the cat to another museum where a ferocious fight between the 2 animals ensues, almost killing the dog, & the little feline even escapes Wisely, who manages to rip her tail off, though. However, the caat plus her male & female companion then pay a friendly visit to Wisely & tell their story (about being aliens & all), which he is brought to believe with surprising ease. But the friendly visit is soon interrupted when the evil alien in the form of Wang attacks Wisely's place with literally hundreds of weapons (but however much he shoots, he doesn'T seem to be able to hit his target even once), & he ruins & in parts blows up Wisely's home, & even when the male part of our alien trio sacrifices his life for the sake of the others it doesn't slow Wang down all that much, only enough for the others to have a temporary escape. When Wang catches up with them, he is no longer of human form but  a monster powerful (& large) enough to suck in 10-storey buildings, but in an underwhelming climax, the cat takes the octagon, flies into the mouth of the monster & blows it up. Monster dies, everyone else survives, happy ending.


This synopsis might sound much more exciting than the movie actually is, because even though there are some good special effects & a warped story, something just doesn't quite click. It might be because none of the characters is really fleshed out at all, so everything that happens to them leaves the viewer rather untouched, plus they always show the most casual reactions to the most far-out things that happen to them (like "So you're from another planet, why don't we go there on a joyride ?" or "So you are going to fioght this most powerful alien against which us humans are powerless, let us go with you."). Furthermore, a cat pressing buttons or even flying does divert greatly from any dramatic potential the story might have, it just looks completely ridiculous. At least the cat versus dog fight was nice & expertly handled (even involving something resembling animal-martial arts).


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD