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An Erotic Fantasy For The Animal In Us All.
Cast | Dates | DVD
Special Edition | Foreign Titles | Formats |
Interviews | Notes | Pictures | Quotes | Reviewing
the Original DVD | Reviewing the 20th Anniversary DVD |
Stories | Summary - Official
| My Summary | My Review
| Together Before | Together Again
||Ed Begley Jr.
|Massage Parlor Manager
||John H. Fields
|Indian Village Mother
||Arione De Winter
|Train Station Agent
|Man in Bar
|Detective Ron Diamond
||John C. Isbell
||Roger E. Reid
||Charles Joseph Konya Jr.
||Marco St. John
|Man in Airport
||David Ross McCarty
|First Helicopter Pilot
||Harold C. Hauss
|Second Helicopter Pilot
|Soap Opera Man
|Soap Opera Woman
||Jo Ann Dearing
|Staring man on bus
|Voice of D.J.
||The Black Pope
Directed by Paul Schrader
Written by Alan Ormsby
Filming began 4/6/81
Filming wrapped 7/10/81
Theatrical release 4/2/82
New DVD Release was 8/27/02
Small Cover Scan
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen Anamorphic - 1.85:1
Region 1, Dual Layer
Languages: English, Spanish, French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
• Color, Closed-captioned
• Cat People: An Intimate Portrait by Paul Schrader
• Feature Commentary with director Paul Schrader
• On the Set with the Director
• Special Make-Up Effects by Tom Burman
• Matte Paintings
• Filmmaker Robert Wise on the producer of the original Cat People, Val
• Production notes
• Production Photographs - Slide Show w/Bowie's Cat People Remix
• Theatrical trailer
|1. Main Title; Desert Rites.
||1. Main Titles
|2. Irena Arrives in New Orleans.
||2. Bride of the Leopard
|3. A Circus Surprise.
||3. Brother & Sister
|4. Late Night Visits.
||4. The Beast in Room 3
|5. A Stray Cat.
||5. The Audubon Zoo
|6. Touring the French Quarter.
||6. Irena and the Curator
|7. The Audubon Zoo.
||7. Killer in a Cage
|8. After Hours at the Zoo.
||8. You Can't Escape
|9. Dinner with the Curator.
||9. The Basement
|10. Morning Rounds.
||10. The "Photographer"
|11. A Drink After Work.
||11. Animal Instinct
|12. Leopard Attack.
||12. Made for Each Other
|13. Paul Comes Home.
||13. Killer in the Bedroom
|14. What About the Basement?
||14. The Autopsy
|15. Irena Moves Out.
||15. The Dream
|16. The Bayou Plantation.
|17. Photographers and Sex.
||17. Irena's Lover
||18. The Beast Within
|19. Another Murder.
||19. Free Me
|20. Searching for the Leopard.
||20. End Titles
|21. Family Truths.
|22. An Animal in the Bedroom.
|23. Cat Autopsy.
|24. What Am I?
|25. An Explanation and a Dream.
|26. In New Orleans with Alice.
|27. At Oliver's Place.
|30. Trapped on a Bridge.
|31. Back at the Bayou.
|32. Freeing the Leopard.
|33. Return to the Zoo.
|34. End Credits.
France - La Feline (The Cat)
Germany - Katzenmenschen
Spain - El Beso de la Pantera (The Kiss of the Panther)
CED / LD / VHS - NTSC + PAL / DVD R1
11/03 My exclusive
interview with Lynn Lowry who played Ruthie
- My exclusive interview with screenwriter Alan Ormsby
4/82 - Twilight Zone Magazine
with writer Alan Ormsby & FX man Tom Burman
The film is a remake of the 1942 classic horror film of the
Rated R, 119 minutes - Universal Studios
Final Draft of the script is dated Jan 15, 1981
She originally spelled her name as Nastassia, but changed the I to a J later.
David Bowie had a semi hit singing the theme song.
This was Berry Berenson's (Sandra's) last role - she was on Flight 11 and was killed in the September 11th attack
when her plane was crashed by terrorists into the WTC.
of Lynn Lowry during my interview 11/1/03
Sandra (Berry Berenson) in the health club
trenchcoat / Paul naked on the bathroom floor
Irena about to stab Paul
1981 T-shirt - I'm One of the Cat People/Pet Me...if You Dare!
Cover - Front
DVD Cover - Back
Lobby Cards 1-8
German Lobby Cards 9-16
German Lobby Cards Double Size 1-4
"They told me Cat People was going to be a monster hit, but it was a very sophisticated horror
movie. It did great in the big cities but it was too sophisticated for the
sticks, the small towns; they expect a horror movie to be Friday the l3th."
- Malcolm in Toronto Sun Sunday Showcase 5/23/83
"I think it's a good movie. It was brilliantly designed and had a
great look to it. Some people argue over whether it's better than the
original. I don't know about that, because the original was something
special. But I enjoyed the experience. It was also my introduction to New
Orleans, which I loved." - Malcolm in Starlog 4/95
In late 2000 bought the DVD from Wal*Mart since it was only $9.99 - they dumped them
and then put them out of
print. The main
problem with it was it contained absolutely NO EXTRAS - NOTHING!. What a total waste
of time, why did they bother? It was widescreen, had scene selection, but
that was it. The soundtrack was awesome, but at least it could've had the trailer and director's
commentary. Some music was rescored for this version.
Picture 9 (1.85:1 aspect)
Overall Rating 3.5
I knew that when they dumped the original DVD and put it out
of print that it was a good sign we would see a new version. The truth is, the
20th anniversary (what I call it - they don't call it anything) release got
better treatment than it deserved. A mediocre movie getting a bunch of extras
is surprising. Even more so is the fact they don't even call it a special
edition or promote it at all. Maybe trying to get people
to forget about the pathetic original release? As for the sound and picture it
was the same exact widescreen transfer as the original release. There are no
Easter eggs which would've been fun.
• Cat People: An Intimate Portrait by Paul Schrader
This is a cool feature. It is a little over 20 minutes of Paul talking about
the film from 11/26/00. I don't know why it took them two years for them to get the DVD
together from the time this was recorded. The only thing is there is some repetition
when you hear the audio commentary as both were taped on the same day. One
interesting fact was that it was the first time he had seen the film since it
came out. This might be because he was involved with Nastassja during the
filming and she left him afterwards and that the film wasn't received very well. He
also says this was his last true big Hollywood picture. He likes some of
the effects better than they would be done today in a computer because they
really had to work hard at it. There are also rare shots of the only deleted
scene from the film - when Irena meets her mother in the dream sequence.
Nastassja's real life mother was in a leopard suit with Malcolm. This is like a making of featurette that
nowadays would be filmed as they were making the film.
• Feature Commentary with director Paul Schrader
The only disappointing thing is there is no commentary from Malcolm, Nastassja
or anyone else from the film. Paul does talk a lot though. This is one of the
few commentaries I have ever heard with there is almost no dead air
throughout. He covers almost everything including how it is like to film. He
doesn't touch too much on his relationship with Kinski and sums it up simply
"It complicated my life more than imaginable and that is all I want to say
about that." He says about Malcolm that people can accept British actors
better than American ones for some reason in weird roles. He thought Malcolm
was perfect for the odd dialog he had to say in the film and that in his
coolest scenes he improvised them and Paul let him run with it. Also
interesting is that since it is widescreen during the scene when Malcolm
crashes through the window you can see him before he does, which can't be seen
in pan and scan. Paul didn't notice this until it happened.
• On the Set with the Director
This clip is very revealing. It is 11 minutes of an interview with Paul on the
zoo set in 1981. An unnamed female reporter asks him questions from off screen.
He is very stiff, uncomfortable and even evasive on a couple questions. You
get a great feeling that this wasn't a good time for him with the film.
• Special Make-Up Effects by Tom Burman
This is a short 5 minute featurette filmed recently where the head of the cat
make-up effects remembers the film. He said he had nothing but fond memories
from working on the film because they had to do all the
conventional affects - anything that would work, not like today when it would
all be done on a computer. Some of the makeup they did for Nastassja was felt to be
too grotesque and wasn't even really used. Much of Malcolm's make-up didn't get
much screen time either.
• Matte Paintings
This is a very short feature, around three minutes, but is very cool. It shows the
layers of the film one at a time. The live action, the blue screen, the matte
painting and the finished scene. It shows each scene that needed a painting -
the desert and the zoo, and is set to music. This is something I haven't seen
before on a DVD. Great job.
• Filmmaker Robert Wise on the producer of the original Cat People, Val
This interview runs a little under four minutes and is very boring. The questions
appear on the screen as text and Robert Wise responds. Basically he says
everything Val did was brilliant - he was a brilliant man, brilliant writer,
brilliant producer, etc. Gets very tired, very fast.
• Production notes
This is a few pages of text about the film, nothing exciting.
• Production Photographs
This is the jewel in the crown of the disc. It is a slide show to David Bowie's
(Fire & Gasoline) Remix". This is perfectly done and how it should be done
on every DVD! Each actor gets a set of pictures then behind the scenes photos.
The picture comes up then it is like a cat claw swipes left and right and then
the next picture is there. It is really boring on most DVDs when you have to
push the button to see each picture and there is no music. This is like a music
video and since it is the remix version of the song it clocks in at over seven minutes.
• Theatrical trailer
It is always cool to see the trailers for older films since most of us don't
remember them or haven't ever seen them. It is quite long at three minutes and
really shows you how they tried to sell the film. This goes mostly for the
sexual aspects and must've confused the people who thought they were getting
a horror flick.
Picture 9 (1.85:1 aspect)
Overall Rating 9.5
In an Oakland SlayerCon 2004 interview with James Marsters he
demonstrated Spike's signature "panther walk" and admitted that he
stole the idea from Malcolm McDowell in "Cat People."
Nastassia Kinski stars as Irena, a beautiful young woman on the bridge of sexuality; she discovers
love for the first time only to find that the explosive experience brings with
it tragic consequences. The tremendous passion of this girl's first romantic
love is so string, however, it by-passes the chaos around her - including her
brother's (Malcolm McDowell) extraordinary demands - as it pushes her on to her
own bizarre destiny. With a style as timeless as myth, Cat People is an
erotic fantasy of the passion and terror that surround this girl's first love.
Desire...passion...blood, her lust transforms her into one of the Cat People.
The film opens on many skulls and bones on an unknown red
desert. Then the big, beautiful black
leopards on the ground and in the trees are seen. There is a
village nearby and people live in harmony with the cats. Warriors are then seen leading
a woman up to a tree and they tie her to it and leave here there, presumably to
die. That night one of the leopards goes up to her, stands on her shoulders and
licks her face and most likely mounts her. The next day we see the woman is not dead and is led into a
cave to see the leopard. The close-up on her face cuts to a close-up of a young
woman in the modern day New Orleans airport.
The woman is Irena who is meeting her brother Paul who she hasn't seen since
they were separated as children. She looks around and since she doesn't see him, heads over to a
nearby phone to call him. A man is following her and hangs up the phone before
she can dial. He tells her he is Paul and he takes her back to his place, a Victorian style house in the French corner.
They have dinner with his housekeeper Femolly, an older
black woman who also looks out for Paul. He asks Irena if she knows how their
parents died and what they said about him. She doesn't know, but she has
dreamed of him ever since they were kids. He says he has had the same dreams.
Paul takes her upstairs and explains how he has been searching
for her since they were separated from the orphanage where they both lived. He
unveils a large cabinet filled with family mementos of their parents who were
in the circus and other people she has never seen before. He shows her pictures, juggles and sings a
song they used to sing together. It is now getting late and he promises to show
her the town tomorrow and she goes to sleep. When she falls asleep he changes
into a black shirt and pants and jumps up on the edge of the bed and watches over her like a
Soon after we see a hooker enter a seedy massage parlor and the
manager tells her the John is in Room 3. She goes up and discusses her rules while
she undresses, assuming the whole time the man is getting ready in the
bathroom. She helps herself to money from his wallet and when she finishes undressing
she sits on the bed. She puts her hand into some kind of gooey placenta on the
sheets and then looks down and notices a paw coming out from under the bed and doesn't
think much of it. The paw moves to her foot and she gets up, but the claws cut
through her ankle and she falls to the floor. She makes it out, locks the door
and crawls down the stairs screaming. When she hits the bottom her breasts pop
out of her bra.
The next morning the police and the people from the zoo are
called in. The manager is able to
see into the room on a hidden camera and they are able to see the cat. The police know that no one has left the
room all night and can't understand what happened to the John or how the
leopard got in there. They figure the John ran away when
it came, never thinking that in fact he was the cat. Oliver, Alice and Joe are the
animal control team who work at the Audubon Zoo in town. Oliver and Alice used to be
lovers, but it didn't work out. They watch the cat pacing the room on the
monitor and realize they need to tranquilize it, but not from the door of the
room as there is no way to just grab it with a net. Oliver instead positions a
ladder to climb up to the window from the street outside. The window has bars on it so
he can't get through that way. The cat sees him and attacks, breaking the
window. When it does he loses his footing and almost falls off the ladder. He
is hanging in mid air as many police, spectators and newsmen watch on. He
climbs back on the ladder, gets out his pistol and goes back up. He fires into
the window and scores a hit. This makes the cat go crazy and it tears around
the room and lunges at him, cracking it's skull open on the bars. Oliver is now
able to enter the room from the door with Joe and grab the cat in the net
and cart it back to the zoo.
Meanwhile Irena has given up on waiting for her brother to
come home and
decides to tour the French Quarter on her own by bus where a strange man
watches her. She visits a colorful gospel church and then takes a cab around
where a screaming DJ plays on the radio and winds up in front of the zoo and
orders the lady driver to stop there. She goes in and
finds herself drawn to a new animal exhibit - the captured leopard that happens
to be her brother. She watches with fascination and then starts to sketch the cat.
Inside Oliver, Alice and the rest of the crew are talking in the
and go down stairs to take care of business and talk with some administrative
people. Before Irena knows it she has been there all day and into the night and the zoo has closed with her in it. Oliver is
finishing up his work and hears the cat growling, looks out his window and is
surprised to see her standing there. He goes down to see what she is up to and shines a
flashlight on her. She gets scared and runs, dropping her pad and purse while
she does. He loses her around a corner and finds she has jumped 20 feet in the air into a tree.
Neither of them know how she has gotten there since she doesn't know her cat
heritage yet. He is attracted to her instantly and asks her why she ran. She
tells him that he scared her. He assures her she isn't in trouble and begins to
walk her back. Suddenly she says she feels faint and he puts his hand on her
head and tells her she is burning up. He takes her back up to his office and gets her
some aspirin. She tries to assure him she is all right and that it is just her
metabolism. He boldly asks her out to dinner that night and she
They go out to an oyster bar and she isn't too excited about
the food. He shows her how to eat them and she gets into it. She tells him her story
and how her brother has disappeared and he offers her a job at the zoo. She
thinks that is great, but that she isn't qualified to work with the animals. He
tells her it isn't anything that glamorous, just working in the gift shop. She accepts so
she can be close to the leopard.
The next day Irena starts work and nothing much is going on
and Oliver comes by to visit. Of course Alice doesn't like the attention
Oliver is giving Irena as she still has feelings for him. He lies to her and himself
that he is isn't really interested. After cleaning some elephants, Alice then decides to go meet
Irena and comes
into the shop while she is busy with some cub scouts buying Empire Strikes Back
trading cards. The register won't open and Alice shows her that if she hits it really
hard on the side it will open. After the kids are gone Alice tells her she
wants to take her out for a drink after work and Irena accepts and if she
has any problems with the register again to just remember to whack it.
After work they go to a nearby bar and while Alice goes off to get
drinks there are already two guys hitting on Irena. She chases them away so
they can sit down and talk together. Alice is trying to feel her out and
generally likes her. Just then a strange woman in black comes up from behind
Irena and says something strange to her and leaves. Neither woman knows what it
The next day Irena finishes up doing inventory in the gift
shop and heads over to the animal building while Joe is feeding the animals. He
feeds the lions and tigers without a problem, but when it comes time to feed the
leopard the cat gets agitated because Irena is there. Oliver comes over and affixes a
tranquilizer wand to Joe's arm and he sticks it in the cage. The cat won't fall
for it and it soon gets a hold of Joe's arm and begins to bite. In seconds his
entire arm is ripped off and he is on the floor bleeding to death in front of
Irena. Oliver tries to help him, but it is too late. When they go in later
to put down the cat it is gone, there is only a pile of fur and placenta
on the floor.
That night Irena is totally shaken and lying in bed when
Paul finally returns home. She is so happy to see him and tells him how she saw
a man die that day. He stalks around and explains the family history and how the only way they can love without changing
is to have an incestuous relationship - like their parents did! It is the only
way - they are linked by blood and violence. She doesn't believe him and thinks he is crazy. He goes to hold her and
rips her shirt, but she pushes him away and leaps off the balcony and
spins around and lands on the ground running. He flips up and over the balcony
after her. Paul starts to chase her down the street, but she runs into a police car and
tells him she is being chased.
The police take her back to the house, but Paul is long
gone. They search the house and question the housekeeper. They are stunned to
find out what is in the basement and call Oliver and Alice over to look at it.
It is like a catacomb and there is a cage and the bones of many bodies. It
looks like that was where the cat was kept and Femolly fed people to
the cat. The police arrest her and take her outside. A K-9 unit is out front
and when Irena comes out the dog in the back goes crazy. The cop thinks the dog
has found something and decides to call it in.
Oliver tells Irena she can stay with him since she has no
other place to go and gives her a room downstairs while he stays upstairs.
Instead of going to work the next day because of all she has been through he decides
to take her out. He takes her over to Slidell where he shares a fishing cabin in
the Bayou with an old man named Yeatman. He parks his truck nearby and takes a
large rowboat out of the back as that is the only way to get out to the cabin - by water. Yeatman is there when they arrive and Oliver shows Irena
how to crab soon after.
Meanwhile Paul pretends to be a photographer at a funeral
and gets the interest of Billie, a pretty blond woman, and they go back to her
Oliver is also taking pictures - of Irena at dinner that
night. Afterwards he starts to get passionate and thinks he will score with
Before you know it Paul and Billie are naked in bed together and he has to stop
the sex before he changes. He tells her he really likes her and she tells him the same.
thinks he is having a performance problem she tells him "Don't worry
honey. Momma will make it better." Then she proceeds to please him orally
Oliver and Irena start to get hot and heavy and he opens her
shirt and goes for her breasts She stops him and gets up. He goes over to her
and they start again, but she tells him she can't do it. He admits defeat and
they sleep in separate beds. When he falls asleep she goes out and hunts. She
takes all of her clothes off and tracks a rabbit through the woods with her infrared
cat vision. She catches it, kills it and eats it. When she comes back in,
Oliver hears her and turns on the light. She is covered in blood and screams,
"Don't look at me!" and swats the light away.
Later Paul awakens naked on the floor of the bathroom. There
is placenta on his body and he knows he has changed into the leopard, killed and
changed back. He looks in the mirror, eats some placenta, cleans up, fixes his
hair and goes out to the bedroom to find everything in chaos. The phone is beeping off the hook and there is blood everywhere. Billie's arm
has been severed and she is wrapped in a bloody sheet.
The next day Oliver returns to work and learns that the cat has killed again.
Irena visits Femolly in prison and asks here, "Who am I?" She tells her
not to ask question she already knows. That night Paul returns to Irena by breaking through her glass window while she
is at Oliver's. He tells her she must make love to him and that it is the only
way. He wants to spare her from killing her lover. She knows what he says is
true now, but still won't except it. She runs away and he clears off the bed
and lays down, beckoning her to him. He tells her they have to be like their
parents, but she tells him she isn't like him. He tells her that is the biggest
lie of them all. She walks over by the broken glass and he hands her a big
shard telling her that she will love him or kill him. He holds her and starts
to go down on her, but she stabs him with it in the hand and runs out screaming.
Paul's hand starts to change and soon he is prowling after
Oliver in his house. He is hiding in the dark when Oliver gets close and he is almost fully
arrives to make sure Oliver isn't with Irena in the nick of time to shoot Paul
who has now completely changed into the cat as he lunges for Oliver. Paul flies out the
window and dies on the ground bleeding in the rain. The two go over to the
window to see Irena there over him and then she screams and cries.
Oliver takes the cat back to the zoo and does an autopsy on
it. When he cuts open the stomach he finds a human hand and it pops out
releasing a foul yellow gas. Oliver backs away and when the gas clears the body
of the cat has almost completely disintegrated.
Irena has made up her mind to run away before she too starts
to kill. Oliver pulls up while she is leaving, but can't convince her to stay.
He tells her he loves her. She asks him if he can still love her without being
able to make love to her. He is confused by this and tells her he has looked
for his whole life for something he never thought he would find and won't let
her go. She goes to the train station and gives them what she has and asks how for
it will take her. The clerk asks what way she wants to go and she tells him
north. He says she can get as far as Richmond and she takes it.
On the train she has a dream where she is back in the airport and
walks through a door and Paul is there in the desert. Now he is able to show
and explain to her
their family history first hand. He shows her the tree where their mother was tied up, the
leopards up there, everything. He tells he that they had sacrificed their
children to the leopards and their souls became one with the leopards. They
were gods then. The only way they can mate is with each other or else they have
to kill to become human again. He tells her she must go back. She realizes the
leopard there is her mother. Now there is no denying the truth and Irena
decides to turn around and go back to New Orleans.
The next day Alice is jogging in the park. After a while she
senses she is being followed. A strange man watches her from a nearby building and then we can see an
animal through the bushes chasing her. She runs even faster and when the animal jumps
out on her we see it is only a big dog. She laughs and pets him and heads to a
gym where her friend Sandra works. Alice convinces her to let her use the pool after they are
closed for five minutes. This allows her to strip down to only her panties and swim around
topless in the pool. After a minute the lights are turned out and she starts to
get scared. Cat noises can be heard and Alice starts screaming and calling for
Sandra. Irena appears and turns on the lights.
Alice is yelling at her that she knows what she is up to and wants to kill her.
Sandra appears with Alice's clothes and can't understand why she is acting that
way. Irena assures her she isn't going to kill her and thinks she is just being
crazy. She taunts her to leave Oliver alone because he is hers now. After she
leaves the women see that Alice's clothes are all torn up with claw marks in
When Oliver and Alice are driving to the scene where the
police manhunt is searching for the cat she tries to talk to him, but he is
agitated because Irena has left him. She tells him she isn't worried about her,
it is him. He yells at her to stop. When they meet with the policeman in charge
of the search they argue and Oliver punches him out. Helicopters and men on the ground are
searching everywhere for the cat now.
Oliver is downstairs in his darkroom developing the pictures
he took of Irena when she shows up to seduce him. Before he can say much she
heads up stairs taking off her top and unzipping her skirt. By the time he gets
there she is sitting naked on his bed. He asks her if she is scared and
undresses. They make love and fall asleep. She does not turn into a cat. She
awakes because she hears a fly and swats at it. When she does her hand hits the
bed and claws it up. She gets up and goes into the bathroom and feels the blood between her legs and
licks it off her finger and goes back to bed. Now she changes while he sleeps
and is soon towering over him as the cat. Not wanting to kill him and not knowing what to do
she runs off and stays in leopard form.
Eventually the police track her down and Oliver and Alice
are called to the scene. They have the cat trapped in the middle of a bridge
which is now blocked from both sides with helicopters overhead. When Oliver
arrives the cat looks at him, paces a bit and then jumps over the side into the water and
out of site. Some men fire on her, but she is nowhere to be seen. Oliver runs
off and jumps into his truck knowing where she will head.
He arrives at his bayou cabin only to find Yeatman dead,
hanging from a tree outside. He has his gun ready as he enters to find Irena
standing there. He says that she killed Yeatman. She doesn't deny it because it
was necessary for her to change back to human form and tells
him that she must kill her. He can't do it even though she insists. Since he
won't do it she says he must free her then. She takes off all her clothes and stands in front of a back window so he
can see her. He grabs some rope and ties her to the bed and has sex with her.
She turns back into the cat and gets placed in the zoo
so she can stay close to Oliver. The End
Every time I see the film I get more disappointed. It is
like the last time didn't happen and maybe this time it will be a great film.
Sadly this is not the case. Instead I start to like it less and less for what a failure
it is. There is so much potential that you can feel something special
fighting to break through. Great driven acting by Malcolm, cool lighting, great
use of colors, excellent sets, great ambiance from New Orleans, sex, violence,
the classic beauty of Annette, the beautiful deadly animals and it still
This is a classic 80s film and also one
of Malcolm's most recognized roles, but is a failure for three reasons. The first is that Paul has waited his whole life for Irena to
return so they can intimately be together. He knows the deadly family
secret...so what does he do? That night he just HAS to go out and get a prostitute and
get caught as a leopard!? Why wouldn't he stay with his sister? He could just get hot for
her or make her sexually excited and change to prove it to her. The second
problem is that after he gets caught he spends most of the time as a
cat. He is out of half the film and then gets killed off later. He really only
has five scenes in the film as himself. The welcome, the return, the
photography sex scene, the final confrontation and the dream sequence. He should've been in the film
at least twice as long as he was. After all, his roll was made specifically for
the film and then it was like Shrader didn't know what to do with him. The third reason is that it started out as a horror
film and then tries to be erotic, but doesn't succeed on either level. There
are no scares and the sex scenes aren't arousing since we know they lead to
I am a fan of all the old Universal horror films and was familiar
with the original 1942 Cat People with Simone Simon. Obviously they couldn't
show the cat changes or the sex back then, instead implying it by hiding it in
the shadows. The plots of the two Cat People films are very different and
the1982 version is not a
remake as much as a reinterpretation of the movie. In the original Irena is a
fashion designer who spends too much time at the zoo drawing panthers. There she
meets Oliver who is a journalist and they soon marry. He soon falls out of love
with her because of her paranoia about turning into a cat during sex. He then has
an affair with his partner Alice and Irena goes after her. In the remake since
Oliver is zookeeper it more interesting in that he is
familiar with the animals and he was previously involved with Alice by the time
he meets Irena. Both films have the swimming pool confrontation, but in the
original it leads her husband to force her to see a psychiatrist and become
committed. In the original there is no real proof she is a cat and no one
believes her. In the remake there is no doubt these people are cats.
Usually remakes are failures and are just a complete lack of
originality. What is the point? If it has been done well the first time there is
no need to revisit it. Is there anyone in the world who would want to see an A
Clockwork Orange remake? This is not really the case with this film. The reason is that the
remake says, "Let's do everything they couldn't do in the first one."
Show the transformation, the feeding, the cats, the gore, etc. This makes it a
very different film. When it comes to the changes it was all done right. The
setting of New Orleans is always a perfect backdrop for horror. They also
created the role of the brother for Malcolm which wasn't in the original. In
the original there is just an allusion to the family when a woman calls her
sister. Is she really a cat too, or is it something different?
Overall it is a good solid, film though not the great film
it should've been. It remains a semi-classic of the modern horror genre since
there isn't another film like it. All four of the main characters are shown
nude with Nastassja front and back a few times - which isn't done anymore. This film is a benchmark in Malcolm's career
where he started to take smaller roles instead of the starring roles he had
through the 70s minus Voyage of the Damned. Every film for most of the decade
would be a supporting role. Overall I feel Malcolm was completely wasted as
they couldn't figure out anything for him to do.
He is only there to explain the family history, kill a slut, tempt Irena, then die. My
interest always goes down when I know he isn't going to be on screen anymore
unless it is a flashback. When he is there he is great and has fun with it
improvising all the best parts and it remains the only
remake he was involved with.
1978 - Paul Schrader directed Ed Begley Jr. in Blue Collar.
1979 - Paul Schrader directed Ed Begley Jr. in Hardcore
(Malcolm has been mistakenly linked to this film.)
1983 - Malcolm and Ed Begley Jr. were both in Get Crazy.
1996 - Malcolm and Nastassja both narrated on "The
Pictures © 1982 Universal
This page © 1997-08 Alex D. Thrawn for www.MalcolmMcDowell.net