Catman 2 suffers from a complete lapse of logic. This disregard for ordinary human thinking is contagious. After seeing this complete abortion of a movie, I set off to discover the rest of Godfrey Ho’s filmography. There’s no reason anyone should ever see a movie like this and the idea that this particular piece of crap drove me to seek out more information about this guy is maddening.
The plot of Catman 2 is incomprehensible. I’d be committing a thought-crime simply by recounting it, but I’ll take a swing anyway. Some cult gets their hands on a nuclear bomb. Or something like that. Catman and his buddy are out to stop them. Somewhere else, this guy named John who may or may not be a criminal is sprung from prison and on the run. Everyone seems to be looking for him but he’s always a step ahead of them. At some point, John is captured and forced into some kind of dirty dozen group of specialists for some reason. John is later joined by some army guys and for reasons unknown they blow some shit up. Then Catman and pal fight a bunch of pasty white nerds with minor martial arts skills. In between these major plot developments, there’s a girl who occasionally wanders into the scenery. A handful of sweaty mustachioed guys wring their hands and make jokes about raping her. Then she beats them up. Small armies shoot guns at one another in the jungle and no one ever gets shot and finally, every single scene results in a fist fight. Every. Single. Scene. There’s, no lie, a fight scene every couple of minutes. That would be fantastic if there were some kind of choreography and stunt work happening, but this is far too much to ask of this movie.
It’s immediately clear that what you’re watching is not actually a movie by Godfery Ho. It looks to be a nameless Thai action movie from the early 80’s with 15 minutes of Catman cut into it. After a little research on Godfrey Ho, I found that this is his particular M.O. Between the mid 80’s and mid-90’s he was responsible for, roughly, 90 movies, sixty of which featured the word ninja in the title. You name it. If you can work ninja into the name somewhere, he has probably made that movie. The Ultimate Ninja, Thunder Ninja Kids, Ninja Terminator. Catman is more of a half-assed attempt at a super hero movie, but there’s a quick scene with ninjas. Granted, they just stand there holding machine guns, but they’re in the movie.
Believe it or not, there is actually a prequel to this movie, which I haven’t seen, called Lethal Track, which explains the origins of Catman and his archenemy, Reverend Cheever, who is mentioned in passing in this movie despite the desciption on the box saying that he’s in it, but the description is best ignored since Catman is really only in this movie for a few minutes. He appears here and there to move along the central plot about the nuclear bomb but even that makes no sense. It seems like Godfrey Ho had some leftover film from his first Catman movie and decided to cut a sequel out of that footage and some from another movie. The dialog in the “John” plot is all made up. I can guarantee that what you’re hearing in that movie is not what is actually going on. This is what brings about the Roger Corman comparison. Corman could make three movies out of a few hours of footage and some recycled sets from previous movies. They may have been cheesy but they always had a likable quality to them. Godfrey Ho doesn’t really have that going for him, but the unbridled madness at work here is too hard to turn down. It makes me wonder if while cutting the movie, he commented to himself, “This is going to be so sweet!”
If you’re paying attention, you can sort of pick up on what Ho intended the story to be. Catman is incidental, it’s best if you don’t even think about him. The John portion of the “story” is the important part. The people he’s running from are probably supposed to be from the Church of Cheever, some kind of evil cult. He manages to infiltrate them, gather evidence against them and then destroy them with Catman facing the final wave of them down at the end in a totally improvised climax where Catman emerges, seemingly, from the ground in his Catman getup to fight Reverend Cheevers followers. Catman’s sidekick gets hosed in the back with a machine gun and then gets up only to open his jacket to reveal a bullet proof vest that looks suspiciously like a wife beater tee. Once the big bad guy is dead, Catman and sidekick comment on how they were all assholes and exit stage left, whereupon the DVD stops spinning and goes to black. No credits, no menus. Nothing. It just stops.
I’ve seen a ton of really awful, nonsensical movies, but the stream of consciousness nature of this movie made me feel a little crazy when it was all over. I sat for a while on the couch giggling for reasons unknown and then pondered some alternative, much more descriptive subtitles for this movie:
Catman 2: What the fuck does John have to do with any of this
Catman 2: Everybody wants to rape the ugly chick
Catman 2: Everybody fights!
Catman 2: Catman isn’t really in this movie
Catman 2: What the hell is going on here?
Consider me a Godfrey Ho fan. The absolute lack of thought in this movie is infectious and I’d really like to see more. Coming soon will be my thoughts on Robovampire, Thunder Ninja Kids, The Ultimate Ninja and Ninja Terminator.