• Catman In Lethal Track/Catman In Boxer’s Blow (Eden Entertainment) DVD Review



    Released by: Eden Entertainment
    Released on: November 13, 2001.
    Director: Godfrey Ho
    Cast: Jonathon Isgar, Johanna Brownstein, Kenneth Goodman, Danny Lau, Bruce Fontaine, Mark King, Ken Woods
    Year: 1990/1993
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    Catman In Lethal Track/Catman In Boxer’s Blow – Movie Review:

    Godfrey Ho is a name most often associated with classic Ninja cinema, usually in the form of a Richard Harrison vehicle, or a name most often associated with a couple of Men Behind The Sun rip offs that really didn’t have anything to do with the first film at all. But what many people don’t recognize Mr. Ho for are his two Catman films: Catman In Lethal Track and Catman In The Boxer’s Blow. These two important works of filmic art have yet to really get their due in the halls of the cinematic elite, but hopefully that will all change now that used copies of these films are available online for $0.70 plus shipping.

    CATMAN IN LETHAL TRACK:

    Sam is a super duper secret agent for the U.S. Government. One day, he and his friend Gus are out for a stroll and they see some hoods trying to steal some stuff out of the back of a van. Sam and Gus burst into action to stop the no good punks from getting away with the loot, which happens to be a radioactive cat. You can tell that the cat is radioactive, because it has a radioactive sign on its cat carrier. In the process, the ungrateful feline gives Sam quite a scratch.

    Sam doesn’t think much of his wound until one night when he notices that he has the newfound powers of a cat! He’s got laser eyes like so many cats do, and he can punch things through walls and jump around really fast. So Sam does what any super-duper secret agent who has the powers of a radioactive cat would do – he gets himself a costume with a kitty logo on it and fights crime as…. get ready for it…. Catman!

    High up on his list of bad guys to fight is the minister of the sinister, Cheever, a psychotic priest who holds archaic ceremonies in dimly light lairs where he expels all the pros and cons of sexual perversion. He’s also got an army of goons, many of whom are quite nicely dressed, to do his bidding.

    While all of this is going on, a lot of random people are running around and shooting each other for no other obvious purpose than to fill out the running time of the film to the standard feature length running time of roughly ninety minutes. While some of this footage is quite nonsensical, there is a rather butch eye patched lady running around, and some quality shoot outs as well.

    CATMAN IN BOXER’S BLOW:

    Now that the immediate threat that the evil Cheever posed is out of the way with, his minions have nothing to do to keep them occupied. They head out and find a new man to lead them into bigger and better evil deeds, and they find him in the form of a ponytailed guy who always wears camo fatigues. They ascertain that he is the right man for the job by having some people fight each other, thus proving who is the roughest and toughest of them all.

    When some of Sam’s contacts at the CIA discover that a woman who was once tight with the late Rev. Cheever’s gang has acquired some sort of unidentified and very unspecific nuclear device that may or may not be capable of doing a whole lot of damage of some sort, Catman meow’s back into action with a mighty ‘alley oop’ and brings his buddy Gus along with him for help.

    It turns out that these punks are going to hold the possibly nuclear device for ransom, and if they don’t get the money they want, watch out, baby! Kaboom! Catman and Gus go undercover to infiltrate the gang and save the world, but will they be successful?

    What’s important about these two films isn’t where they came from or which film Godfrey Ho swiped footage from to pad out the running time. No. These things are inconsequential. These films present us with a new hero for the ages. A hero with a kitty kat logo on his chest, who jumps around like an extra from Gymkata and who uses the ‘F’ word a lot. Catman is that hero. He’s a man’s man. He stops bullets using leather wristbands that look like they were stolen off the back of Manowar’s tour bus, and he has laser eyes. He also knows kung fu and his secret identity is same. He has the strength of a cat and can punch through walls much like the Incredible Hulk can. He has a sidekick named Gus who wears a lot of acid washed clothes, and they ladies cannot stop thinking about him because he is too sexy. He’s been dubbed by someone who sounds like Dudley Dooright Of The Mounties, he kind of looks like an older, uglier Justin Timberlake with that frizzy blonde hair of his, but that doesn’t matter – because Catman is bad ass.

    Catman In Lethal Track/Catman In Boxer’s Blow – DVD Review:

    Yuck. Both of these discs were culled from what are very obviously beaten up old VHS tapes. The first film is at least watchable, but the second film is so dark during the night time scenes (and some of the day for night scenes) that you can’t really tell what’s going on. Thankfully, Catman doesn’t need to hide in the dark, so all of the scenes that he appears in (read: the essentialy scenes, the ones you can fast forward to) are watchable, even if they don’t really look good. To top it all off, the image is presented pan and scan -either that, or the framing is just really poor.

    The Dolby Digital Mono soundtracks fare marginally better than the video does. When Catman lets out a mighty ‘alley oop!’ you can hear it, as well as the subsequent yelling and gunfire that is apt to follow such an entrance. There’s hiss throughout the films noticeable in the background and sometimes the levels are off in that the music blares overtop of the amazing English language dub, but you can more or less hear what’s being said at any given time, even if it doesn’t make any sense.

    There aren’t even any menus on these DVDs. They start up, go into a ‘don’t copy this DVD – it’s illegal’ type warning, and then straight into the film. Blah.

    Catman In Lethal Track/Catman In Boxer’s Blow - The Final Word:

    Well, the DVDs look like crap quite honestly, and the audio doesn’t fare much better. There are no extra features or even a menu on either of these babies, and the cover art sucks. But you know what? I love Catman. I really do. And if you appreciate trash the way I appreciate trash, you’ll love Catman too. Start with Catman In Lethal Track, as it’s much better than Catman In Boxer’s Blow, but both films are worth a look for the Godfrey Ho fans out there.