Saturday, January 31, 2009

CAT PEOPLE (Paul Schrader, 1982, USA) CAT PEOPLE is a beautifully photographed erotic thriller that tries a little too hard to take itself seriously and ends up eliciting a few sniggers and guffaws. Irina and Paul are siblings separated at birth but joined by an inescapable curse: when they make love they transform into a black panther and must kill to become human once again. Paul has incestuous desires to quell the terrifying curse and Irina has eyes only for zookeeper Oliver…but Irina must deal with Alice first. The HD-DVD looks absolutely fantastic and delivers the beautiful cinematography and deep color that make this film really stand out and worth your time. The story itself is rather bland and there are some major plot holes: for example, how did the police, Oliver, and Alice come to be at Irina’s house investigating her brother for murder? There seems to be some missing scenes here and I suspect Schrader edited this for time constraints. The ending is just rather silly where Oliver gets it on with Irina AFTER she killed and mutilated his best friend…I guess that’s a turn-on for any guy: My wife and I laughed out loud! It is sad to see such beautiful animals caged in tiny cells and I’m glad many zoos have created natural habitats for their exhibits. This film falls somewhere between two and three stars for cinematography alone but I can’t recommend it as a whole. (C-)

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