Lily C.A.T. is a science fiction/horror anime film released in 1987.
Famous Japanese artist and illustrator Yoshitaka Amano is co-credited for character design and monster design as he created the gruesome forms of the alien. Main character designs were created by character designer Yasuomi Umetsu. Carl Macek, best known for producing and story editing Robotech, produced the English version of the film. Initially released in the 90s on VHS by Macek's now defunct Streamline Pictures, the DVD rights were obtained by Discotek Media in 2013.
Visually and thematically, the film has many aspects in common with the American science-fiction/horror film Alien, as well as The Thing and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The film is set in the 23rd century, when companies are now surveying distant planets for mining rights. The Sincam corporation is investing a relatively new planet and has hired the Saldes (a deep-space cruiser), to shuttle company surveyors to check it out. The employees consist of Hiro Takagi of the Japanese division, Dick Berry of the Australian division, the president's daughter Nancy, Dorothy Van Fallah, Morgan W. Scott, Jimmy, and Dr. Harris Mead while the crew consists of Captain Mike Hamilton, his subordinates Dular, Walt, and Carolyn, as well as the mechanics Guy and Watts. In addition, Nancy has brought her cat Lily on board. The ship allows its passengers to go into hypersleep for 20 years and only biologically age one year.
On the way, the ship's computer detects debris flying through space and collects a sample, but the extraterrestrial matter gets loose in the ship while the crew and the surveyors are in cryogenic sleep. The ship crew learns that two of the surveyors are imposters, but the real trouble starts when Morgan is found dead from a mysterious infection. Dr. Mead, Lily, Guy, and Watts soon follow from what appears to be a bacterial infection, which dissolves the body, but leaves the clothes intact. During this, Berry attempts to discover who the imposters are by checking their backgrounds.
The bacteria quickly evolves into a hostile life-form capable of mimicking the form of its human victims, the now visible bacteria attacks and kills Dorothy while checking to see if she is infected. To make matters worse, the computer controls have been overrun by an unknown being, which results in the deaths of Dular and Walt.
While searching for Dorothy, Hiro suggests to look in sickbay where they find her dissolved like the rest of the victims. After Hiro gives an explanation for the bacteria. With this however, both Hiro and Berry are revealed to be the imposters; Hiro was really a medical student who murdered three men and Berry was the detective determined to bring him in. Berry quickly handcuffs him, though Hamilton warns Berry "there will be nobody to welcome you except a computer keeping records of a crime that happened 40 years ago".
The survivors soon confront the bacteria, which results in Berry getting injured from the recoil of his shotgun. Hamilton and Jimmy create flamethrowers to deal with the bacteria, though Jimmy and Carolyn are quickly killed. Hamilton manages to survive and discovers that a robotic replica of Nancy's cat is responsible for taking over the ship. Hamilton quickly realize that Sincam wanted to study the bacteria and didn't care about the human crew. Back in sickbay, Hiro states that he killed the three men because they were responsible for the death of his sister after putting her through drug abuse and prostitution; his selfish actions prevented the police from stopping the criminal operation for good and Berry from being promoted.
Hamilton, Hiro, Berry, and Nancy flee to the main bridge, where Berry dies from the infection. In a fit of defeatism, Hiro attempts suicide, until Hamilton reveals a shuttle he stored. Hamilton then proceeds to destroy the ship by letting out the hydrogen and setting off a lighter, while Hiro and Nancy make their escape onto the planet below them; the remaining bacteria burns up in the atmosphere.