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December 10th, 2006, 05:20
The Cat People (1982)
The newer one, with Nastassja Kinski and Malcolm McDowell. I cant say that I didnt like it, but I was certainly disappointed. One of the strengths of the original 1940ish version was the ambiguity of the "cat people" curse. Was Irena really cursed, one of a long line of cat people who transform into a pather and devour their human mates, or simply just neurotic? That's what gave the before-it's-time psycho-sexual thriller it's edge, it was up to the viewer to decide. That edge is nonexistent in the 80's version, it's clear that we have supernatural forces at work here, complete with full-on transformation scenes and strangely catlike things she does even while in human form. It's just overkill that destroys all the mystery. I'm suprised there wasnt a scene of her sharpening her manicure on Malcolm Mcdowell's furniture!

Another sticking point with me was the cheese factor, which is rare for a cheese lover such as myself. Now, for a film that takes itself as serious as this film does, there is no room for cheese. While the former version was made in a low-tech and often times horribly acted era for film, especially for the horror genre, it was the newer version which made me laugh out loud twice.

"Irena" calls a woman's voice behind the growl of a panther. "Mom?" says Nastassja Kinski. I'm sorry, there's just no way I could keep myself composed there! Then at another point, as Nastassja is getting it on with her lover, she makes this weird face and lets out a big "HISSSSSS".

Hilarious! I even checked the subtitle just for kicks and it said [hisses], cracked me up even more!

And while I'm ranting, I have to say that Simone Simon (there's a name for ya) was far more sympathetic than Nastassja. Kinski aguably doesnt even know she's a "cat person" 'til like 3/4 thru the film, where Simon is sure she is from the get-go, and it torments her the entire time. But then again, is she?

Good question, and one that should have went unanswered, in this Tiger's opinion!
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