24 February 2024
Cat People (1982)
119 min.
Directed by Paul Schrader.
With Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm MacDowell, John Heard, Annette O'Toole, Ruby Dee, Ed Begley Jr., Scott Paulin, John Laroquette.
Chaste Nastassja Kinski learns the hard way that she and brother MacDowell belong to a race of lupine creatures who are transformed into murderous panthers that kill their mates in the heat of sexual passion.

Absolutely no match for the 1942 Val Lewton/Jacques Tourneur classic upon which it derives its inspiration, as director Schrader unfortunately chooses to abandon the original "less-is-more" approach and instead settles only for decorative homages in occasional scenes.

Nudity and eroticism take the place of subtlely and suggestion...with unimpressive results.

Alan Ormsby's screenplay is adequately nuanced, even if the "supernatural" elements tend to make up their own rules as they go along. Still, the whole enterprise does boast watchability due to some superb sound design, interesting art direction and an intriguing cast (especially Kinski, who is fascinating to watch).

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