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Mafu Cage (1977)

Lee Grant , Carol Kane , Karen Arthur  |  R |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Lee Grant, Carol Kane
  • Directors: Karen Arthur
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Scorpion Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2010
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,321 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mafu Cage" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Plot Description:

Academy Award winner LEE GRANT (IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, SHAMPOO) stars with Academy Award nominee CAROL KANE (DOG DAY AFTERNOON, WHEN A STRANGER CALLS) in this psychological thriller directed by Emmy winner KAREN ARTHUR (LADY BEWARE, LEGACY) . Cissy (Kane) and Ellen (Grant) are daughters of a deceased African primatologist who kept wild animals in a cage in his living room. Mentally unbalanced, Cissy virtually lives in this exotic 'Mafu Cage', crowded with hothouse plants and strange African artifacts. Ellen is obsessed with the caretaking of Cissy and must keep a constant watch on her sister's unpredictable personality. When Ellen's co-worker, David (James Olson-THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN, RAGTIME), begins making romantic advances towards Ellen, Cissy believes the man poses a threat to the sisters' relationship. The disturbed Cissy ensnares David in the Mafu Cage and sujects him to a series of horrific, and deadly rituals! Also starring WILL GEER (Tv's THE WALTONS) and acclaimed by critics upon its release, Scorpion is proud to present THE MAFU CAGE in its original aspect ratio for the first time!

Special features:

Brand New 16x9 (1.78:1) widescreen from a HD master approved by John Bailey

Audio commentary with director Karen Arthur

Bonus audio commentary with cinematographer John Bailey and editor Carol Littleton

CISSY AND HER CLOUDS: an interview with Carol Kane

SOLAR FLARE : an interview with Lee Grant

VISIONS OF CLOUDS : an interview with Karen Arthur

SHOT AND SLICE : an interview with John Bailey and Carol Littleton

Extensive still gallery

Alternate title sequence

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The negative reviews are for the Legacy dvd release from 2005. That dvd is terrible quality (recorded from a jumpy vhs tape.) The 2010 dvd released by Scorpion Releasing is TERRIFIC quality! I don't know why amazon merges all the reviews together- despite the fact that the movie was released twice on 2 very different dvds.

The 2010 dvd also has deleted scenes, and interviews with Lee Grant, Carol Kane, and the director.

The movie tells the very unusual story of two sisters (Lee Grant & Carol Kane) who live together in Southern California. Carol has a pet ape named Mafu. We learn that Carol has a history of violence and mental illness, and whenever she gets upset, she takes out her frustrations by killing her ape. After she kills one, they just buy another, and she names the replacement Mafu too.

Lee Grant's character has several scenes shot on location at the famous observatory in beautiful Griffith Park (a famous park in Los Angeles.)

I highly recommend this unusual movie. I just wish amazon would make a distinction between reviews for the old dvd (which was terrible quality) and the newer, 2010 dvd, which is great quality.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Out Of Africa... January 29, 2010
THE MAFU CAGE is one of those magnificently strange movies that come along every few years. Cissy (Carol Kane) is a mentally disturbed woman who just might be dangerous. Her sister Ellen (Lee Grant from DAMIEN: THE OMEN 2, VISITING HOURS) attempts to take care of Cissy by herself, after their father's death. They have moved stateside from an unspecified region of Africa, and Cissy is unable to cope w/ the outside world. The interior of their suburban home is a recreation of Cissy's african memories, right down to the livingroom jungle, continuous tribal dance music, and various (doomed) primates. Cissy is lost. She cannot adapt to her new surroundings any more than she can accept her father's demise. Add to this that Ellen is wanting to have a relationship w/ a co-worker (James Olson from THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN), and Cissy's already fragile mind goes into total annihilation mode! I kept yelling at Ellen to call a good doctor for her obviously troubled sister, but then, if she'd gotten help there would be no movie. At least, not a good one. So, Cissy degenerates into mental oblivion, and horror ensues. If you enjoy different, even bizarre movies, then I recommend a trip into THE MAFU CAGE...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
My rating refers to the 2005 LEGACY DVD, not to the movie itself, and not to the 2010 SCORPION DVD (which sounds great).

I own one of the out of print videocassettes of this movie, which I really enjoyed (I'll post a review on the IMDb). One of my favorite horror movies directed by a woman.

I hoped this DVD would be an upgrade. Unfortunately, it's a bad transfer with no extras. Even my 1989 Magnum Entertainment VHS of it is better. For example, just looking at the opening shots of the movie, a dark kite-shaped African hanging has white markings on it in the VHS; in the DVD it is pretty much completely black. When Carol Kane first comes into shot on the VHS, we see her long red hair hanging down off a hammock. On the DVD, her hair and the background are so dark you can't tell the color or even differentiate the two much. The DVD does have the apparently original title "The Mafu Cage," while the VHS has just "The Cage." Even the box art for the VHS is better. But for people who don't want to shell out for a used copy of the VHS ($10.99-$79.95 on Amazon zShops), I guess the DVD will have to do for now. Karen Arthur and her cinematographer John Bailey can't be happy though.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The jungle in my house February 5, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I composed the music for this film
It was my 2nd film with director, Karen Arthur
Recording was done at my house in Thousand Oaks.
Because of the African nature of the story, I used, among other colors, 2 Prepared Pianos [Google John Cage]
I used the pianos to produce "Africn" musical concepts.
We had an Ethnomusicologist in music production and anytime he said, "yes" to any of my musical ideas-----those ideas became part of the score.
The story is disturbing. However, I was excited by the challenge !
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