HoiliDANGER! #4: Lily C.A.T. (1987)

HoiliDANGER! #4: Lily C.A.T. (1987)

The DANGER: Infectious "reverser",  an extra terrestrial bacteria which transmogriphies human cellular tissue, transforming its hosts into ravenous masses of tentacles and teeth! Corrosive to space age alloys! Capable of inducing Legionnaire's Disease (?!) by propagating inside the lungs! Lies waiting in the vacuum of space for unfortunate spacecraft!

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A generally well crafted product of Japanese animation, Lily C.A.T. is one of many films to be inspired by Ridley Scott's Alien. The amorphous monster's visual design was provided by the legendary Vampire Hunter D artist Yoshitaka Amano, fulfilling the role that H.R. Giger had for Scott.

Beyond a truly wild twist on the "malevolent android" trope found in the Alien franchise, Lily C.A.T. shows an impressive adherence to science fiction conceits. For one, the hibernation state that travelers on extended space voyages must enter halts the aging process. While this sounds appealing in and of itself, some of the film's most effective moments involve characters expressing the toll that a spacefaring career takes on them. One voyage, and you return to Earth to see that everyone you know has aged by decades. Two or more missions, and your every acquaintance is long dead, and the world has become socially and technologically unrecognizable. You are chronologically alienated.

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Another, smaller detail that shows that the artificial gravity produced by the film's spacecraft does little to mitigate the recoil of weapons. A discharge from a shotgun sends its wielder flying backward, with a bruised torso or broken ribs to show for it. It's impressive to see that the movie keeps this idea alive later in the film, when protagonists using jerry rigged flamethrowers slide backward when deploying them.

The movie features an unexpected subplot about stolen identities, an intruder who is not the alien bacteria, and has some impressive moments of horror and tension. Would make a great double bill with William Malone's Creature.

HoliDANGER! #5: The Deadly Mantis (1957)

HoliDANGER! #5: The Deadly Mantis (1957)

HoliDANGER! #3: Tarantula (1955)

HoliDANGER! #3: Tarantula (1955)