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June 17, 2018, 07:42:30 PM
598825 Posts in 46185 Topics by 6135 Members
Latest Member: MichaelMom Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  Cat People (1982) « previous next »
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Author Topic: Cat People (1982)  (Read 1976 times)
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« on: August 27, 2007, 12:07:37 PM »

Ah, the 80s... that was the time when a film produced by a major studio could have as a central plot the risks (and joys) of getting laid.

So true. While today we have to switch channels at late night to get some poorly choreographed PG sex, Jerry Bruckheimer (yep, the guy who produced all those mindless actioners) spent loads of money so Paul Schrader could shot a kinky remake of a 40s horror film.

The plot revolves around a young woman, Irena (Natassia Kinski). She's an orphan who just met her long-time lost borther (Malcolm McDowell), and her body language and image scream naivety and lack of self-confidence. She starts to fall in love with a workmate, Oliver, but their relationship is quickly undermined by both Irena's irrational fears and the progresively deranged attitude of her brother.

To be honest, the film has several important flaws. The script basculates into being an study of sexual repression (most of the main characters suffer it one way or another) and a supernatural thriller. And after two hours you can't tell it's one thing or the other one. Yawn.

But there are so many good things in this film you can't deny it a place on the "Good movies" phorum. To start with, Natassia Kinski and Malcolm McDowell are great. If Schrader was looking for feline-looking actors, he couldn't do wrong with these two, and he doesn't. McDowell is perfect as Irena's deranged brother, a role many other actors would have killed going over the top. And Kinski has still to find a role that suits her better than this one. She is credible as the prudish Irena, but also convincing when she finally fights her inner demons and returns as a sexually mature, self-assured woman. Not to mention she has to do a good deal of acting in the buff, which I'm sure wasn't easy.

Then there's the story. As muddled as the script is, you can't deny how brave the story is. Imagine a sexually charged werewolf story, but with panthers instead of wolves and you'll almost hit the mark. How cool is that? A lot, believe me. Specially with sex being the main topic.

And then there's Paul Schrader's direction. True, the man can't direct horror, as the recent "Exorcist - Dominion" proves, but his failures are better than most people's achievements. His camerawork is both subtle and majestic, well accompanied by one of Giorgio Moroder's best scores. The horror falls short, but Schrader scores whenever he can opt for a more subtle approach (such as the scenes with Natassia Kinski walking through a deserted New Orleans or the several oniric scenes) or when he can focus on the personal struggles of the main characters.


Due to the horrifying nature of this film, no one will be admitted to the theatre.
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2007, 05:21:30 PM »

This movie is a lot of campy fun.  I've always been quite fond of it even though I will readily admit to people that it does have it's problems.  But the casting is so great and the direction is inspired in places. 

I would actually rate it 7.5 out of 10.


"There is no way out of here. It'll be dark soon. There is no way out of here."
Dr. Whom
Bad Movie Lover

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Cthulhu for president! Why choose the lesser evil?

« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2007, 04:16:04 PM »

I saw this one when it came out. It was the first '18+' movie I could get in, and the main motivation was to see Nastassia Kinski naked. I can't remember much of the movie, except that the nude bits were disappointingly short.

"Once you get past a certain threshold, everyone's problems are the same: fortifying your island and hiding the heat signature from your fusion reactor."

Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! ... Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput.
The Burgomaster
Aggravating People Worldwide Since 1964
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2007, 06:17:15 PM »

Val Lewton's original version is far superior . . . check it out.

"Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me the hell alone."
A Very Bad Person, overweight bald guy with a missing tooth, and
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2007, 01:32:20 AM »

This was the first DVD I ever bought, back in January 2001.
It didn't matter that I didn't have a DVD player at the time.
A few months later, I bought a DVDROM, only to find that my '97 Compaq Presario 4716 wasn't fast enough.
It wound up being a great incentive to learn more about hardware & codecs & whatnot, so getting to watch Nastasja's nature walk on the quality of DVD (vice, an old, warn-out VHS) wasn't my only sense of accomplishment.

I just found out earlier this evening that Cat People will be coming out on HD soon
I don't have an HD player. Hmmm... Chicken or the egg? Here we go again.

"Science Fiction & Nostalgia have become the same thing!" - T Bone Burnett
Normal is what people are until you get to know them.
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