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As the actor who appears to be the most miscast early in the movie, John Heard ends up giving the best performance of the lead trio. With so much intensity and presence, he seems an odd choice to play the milquetoast Oliver, but as his obsession with Irena grows, the role and the actor converge to make you go, "OK, now I see it."
The difference between a horror film and what 'Cat People' aims for can be seen by comparing the transformation sequences to those in 'An American Werewolf in London' (1981). 'Cat People' shows some of the change from human to panther raised spine, altered face, colored eyes without feeling the need to embrace them to the extent of Rick Baker's classic work, which showed David Naughton's change to werewolf form in excruciating Adidas Originals Black And Blue detail. The "ick" factor is usually limited to a pool of skin for the police to find.
Even though there are several jump scares including a knowing nod to the "Lewton Bus" pioneered in the original movie it's not really horror, or at least no more so than something the Brothers Grimm might have written. As the advertising campaign's tagline "an erotic fantasy" implies, 'Cat People' is actually closer to the realm of Adidas Neo Cloudfoam Pure
While it's missing a commentary or lengthy retrospective, this Collector's Edition redeems itself with a series of 5 to 8 minute interviews with all the key players, including Schrader, Kinski, Heard, McDowell and composer Giorgio Moroder. Though conducted individually, the interviews cover much of the same ground of casting, production and thoughts on the character (or on David Bowie, in the case of Moroder), giving it a cohesive feel. There is also a film trailer and TV spot if you want a Adidas Neo Baseline Sneaker - Womens
to reunite with her brother Paul (Malcom McDowell), who she hasn't seen since their parents' deaths long ago. Problem is, Paul and Irena are descended from a tribe of 'cat people' who can have sex only with other tribe members or else turn into black panthers who must kill to return to human form.
Malcolm McDowell is still playing notes similar to the ones he played in 'A Clockwork Orange,' but damn if they're not still effective. His character doesn't go through much in the way of development running the gamut from Point A to Point B but even at his craziest, most intense moments he manages to avoid the self parody that would fully bloom with 'Halloween' and 'Star Trek: Generations.'
While 'Cat People' doesn't quite qualify as a New Orleans travelogue, it uses the French Quarter and other locations to build the feeling that there's more than meets the eye, both with the city and with Paul and Irena. Adding to that sensation is a color palette that runs toward the desaturated/gray until a strong saturated color a scout troop, church floor or even a scarf punctuates the scene. It's similar to the famous bathroom scene from William Castle's 'The Tingler,' but not quite so over the top.
As Irena, Nastassia Kinski is the weak link of the three leads, but she still manages to get the job done, conveying Irena's transformation from confused to animalistic as the movie progresses. She's not Meryl Streep or Helen Mirren, but she is better than the phrase "model turned actress" would lead you to believe. ('Tess' and 'Paris, Texas' show that she is actually quite capable of being really good.)
reminder just how badly edited movie TV ads used to be as well as galleries of production stills and marketing.
As a mid range studio picture with few optical effects, the negative for 'Cat People' has aged pretty well. The new transfer Shout produced for this Blu ray has no glaring issues such as tears or stray hairs. While it's not reference quality blacks have a tendency to be more dark gray, and there's a slight hint of edge enhancement it more than gets the job done. As mentioned above, most of the color is subdued by design, but the moments meant to pop do so effectively.
'Cat People' a darkly enjoyable fairy tale
The story is as rich in violence, sex and general weirdness as you would hope from the man who directed 'American Gigolo' and 'Hardcore': Irena (Nastassia Kinski) arrives in New Orleans Adidas Neo Court Suede
fairy tales and mythology, which are also incredibly dark and twisted in their original form.
Complicating matters is Oliver (John Heard), the curator of the local zoo who falls in love with Irena. Her lineage precludes any physical relationship with him, though that doesn't keep her from removing her clothes. A lot. Oh, and it features a peak of adorableness Annette O'Toole and Ed Begley Jr., who coincidentally foreshadows the name of his Spinal Tap drummer.
CST January 23, 2014In 1982, Universal released "remakes in name only" of two classic RKO films, only to have both disappoint at the box office before finding second lives on home video. While John Carpenter's 'The Thing' was quickly acknowledged as a classic in every sense of the word, Paul Schrader's 'Cat People' newly released as a Collector's Edition Blu ray via Scream Factory continues to bite and scratch for every inch of its Cult Classicdom.
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