Cat People [HD DVD]
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 strong, however, it bypasses 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.
Paul Schrader, the director of American Gigolo, brought a similar kind of sexual chic to this explicit horror movie. A remake of the beautiful, haunting 1942 Cat People, this version takes off from the same idea: that a woman (Nastassja Kinski), a member of a race of feline humans, will revert to her animalistic self when she has sex. Arriving to meet her brother (Malcolm McDowell) in New Orleans, she finds herself disturbed by his sexual presence. A zoo curator (John Heard) becomes fascinated by her, but he will discover that her kittenish ways are just the tip of the claw. Schrader dresses the story up in a stylish, glossy production, keyed on Kinski's green-eyed, thick-lipped beauty; it's hard to think of another actress in 1982 who could so immediately suggest a cat walking on two legs. Luckily Kinski had a European attitude toward her body, because this film has plenty of poster-art nudity. There's also lots of gore and some wacky flashbacks to the ancient tribe of cat people, who hold rituals in an orange desert while Giorgio Moroder's music plays. Cat People doesn't really make all this come together, but it's always interesting to look at, and the dreadful mood lingers. --Robert Horton
- Aspect Ratio : 1.85:1
- MPAA rating : s_medR R (Restricted)
- Product Dimensions : 6.5 x 5.25 x 0.5 inches; 3.2 Ounces
- Director : Paul Schrader
- Media Format : AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 59 minutes
- Release date : December 26, 2007
- Actors : Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, John Heard, Annette O'Toole, Ruby Dee
- Subtitles: : French
- Producers : Charles Fries, Jerry Bruckheimer
- Language : English (Dolby Digital-Plus 5.1), English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
- Studio : Universal Studios Home Entertainment
- ASIN : B000T5O4BC
- Writers : Alan Ormsby
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This one mostly takes place at the zoo whereas the zoo was shown in only certain scenes in the original movie. There is implications of incestuous relations. Brother character is totally new (non-existent in the original film). I've always though the visual effects are what would primarily separate this movie from the original. However, there are only few scenes (aside from using actual leopards in most of the picture) where the special effects come to spotlight. I was expecting a more impressive transformation scenes (the kind of transformation we see in A Werewolf in London which was fantastic). There is a similar transformation scene but it is not as elaborate and feels like rushed. However, this is still a very good picture and does deliver thrills.
If not anything, you should check out Nastassja Kinski at her sexiest. I must add that Anette O'Toole is also very sexy (I've always thought she was very attractive, she also stars in Superman 3, and the TV mini series of "It" (1990)
Blu ray transfer is very good. I wish there was a director commentary but there isn't. Special Features: New interviews with director Paul Schrader, Nastassja Kinski, Malcom McDowell, John Heard, Anette O'Toole and composer Georgio Moroder, Theatrical Trailer and Still Gallery
It’s a bold, evocative opening. One that baldly establishes the film’s willingness to deviate strongly from the source material, particularly in its heightening of the primordial horny dread—which is Jungian, Freudian, and probably every other -ian in the book—that fuels every kind of were-animal tale. The appearance of Irena’s brother, Paul (Malcolm McDowell), encourages our initially high expectations, as he’s clearly the man to put her in touch with her literal and metaphorical internal animal. Schrader and McDowell aren’t coy about the incest element either, as incest is clearly the modern approximation of the taboo of lying down sexually with jungle beasts. No, it doesn’t make too much sense, but literal-minded sense is perhaps the least necessary, and often outright unwelcome, element of an erotic story.
And then the entire picture...slows down The problem isn’t one of impersonality, as you might expect of a remake undertaken by a respected director for reasons of broadening his audience. Precisely the opposite, in fact: Cat People is very much a Paul Schrader film, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that the filmmaker is drawn to this kind of horror movie, either, as almost all of his films are occupied with the emotional detritus that sex—conventional and outré alike—leaves in its wake. But Schrader, at his best, is a poet of the guilt of sex, not of the joy, and that’s a problem for a film that’s clearly intended as an erotic thriller.
Cat People is still the most erotic film of Schrader’s career, which is to say that it’s sporadically erotic rather than the director’s customary not at all. For a heterosexual male, Schrader is particularly alive to the extraordinarily sensual expressiveness of McDowell’s body at this stage in his career. The actor gives a powerfully insinuating, damn near gleeful, performance that belongs to a much greater film while retrospectively reminding you that McDowell deserved a more stimulating career than he’s ultimately managed to forge. McDowell matches up well with Kinski too, a woman with a correspondingly perfect body who truly suggests his ultimate and only female equivalent. You get why Paul’s so hot and bothered to go to bed with his sister, and it has nothing to do with the convoluted backstory the characters keep jabbering about: At the end of the day, there’s no explaining raw, forbidden hunger.
But that doesn’t stop Schrader and screenwriter Alan Ormsby (best known for grindhouse/exploitation fare) from trying like heck to explain everything away anyway. The film continually goes in circles: Irena wanders a zoo’s corridors exchanging tender expository somethings with potential beau Oliver (John Heard); Paul upsets the apple cart of Irena’s “stable” life with a hedonistic act; Oliver exchanges similarly tender expository somethings with ex and potential future beau Alice (Annette O’Toole); and rinse and repeat as necessary for the majority of 118 minutes. The film never takes off, never plunging into the dark, wild realm it keeps tantalizingly suggesting with the various dream and fantasy sequences. And there’s a fatal lack of narrative rhythm that’s traditional to Schrader’s films: Every scene feels twice as long as it should be, and each scene feels self-contained, isolated from those surrounding it, as well as emotionally flat and markedly uncomplicated by any nuance that might not fit into the grand schematic. Schrader feels that critics (Pauline Karl and Roger Ebert were notable exceptions) weren’t imaginative enough to evaluate his film as its own erotic thriller, rather than as an unsatisfactory remake of a classic. Fair enough, but Cat People is unsatisfying on its own professed terms too: It’s an erotic fantasia reduced to a series of static pictures of people discussing the film’s already obvious themes.
Schrader’s best films—Hardcore, Affliction, Auto Focus—are formally conventional and allow the actors to work through his preoccupations with an emotional conviction that can be revelatory. Schrader is a major talent, but his obsession with deconstructing familiar genres has often gotten in his way, as he throws out the meat of a genre’s framework without substituting anything in its place, and so all that’s left is an emptiness that’s often literal: actors standing around in stripped-down setups attempting to enliven a moment that’s conceptually dead. And would it kill the filmmaker to occasionally crack a joke, particularly in a film that concerns a pair of shape-shifting Adam and Eve human-cat beasts intent on engaging in the ultimate interbestial fuck-fest? There’s no joy or life or danger in this Cat People, no trace of anything that Schrader may respond to in the horror genre, or in films at all. The irony of Paul Schrader’s career as a director may be quite poignant: He’s a man so in love with cinema that he’s choked up when attempting to express that love in his own art, and, terrified of condescending to an art form that means so much to him, he becomes stuffy and self-serious, compromising the vitality he intended to honor.
Top reviews from other countries
The Cat People originated way back in time, when humans sacrificed their women to leopards, who mated with them. Cat People look similar to humans, but must mate with other Cat People before they transform into panthers, Irena Gallier was raised by adoptive parents and meets her older brother Paul for the first time since childhood. We follow brother and sister who seem to be the only ones of their kind left. Irena does not want to be like her brother and falls in love with another man, then the animal starts to show,
This is a fantastic 80's cult classic that's really worth picking up, great story that's well paced out with plenty of really blood violent scenes of attacks and graphic female nudity mainly from the beautiful Nastassja Kinski, the cast is great, Nastassja and Malcolm McDowell are both good leads, there are some great looking practical effects in this movie too with the gore and the make-up, the transformation scenes are very cool what we see of them, this is a bizarre but brilliantly entertaining movie, shocking, brutal, sexy, well worth checking out now it has an awesome Blu-ray treatment.
Blu-ray looks great in HD (certainly better than DVD) (MediumRare Entertainment)
You do get a DVD version included also as a bonus (2-Disc duel format set)
Features include interviews with the stars and makers, commentary, trailer, TV spot, galleries, making of featurettes,
(Some features are on the Blu-ray some are on the DVD)
Blu-ray Region B only, DVD region 2 pal, 118-mins, 1982.
He does have something about him though!
I've watched this movie many times but never owned it on DVD/Bluray...
People that are cats... cats that are people... either way, Gods... and cursed without the love of their own kind!
All the usual sociological critiques are freely available... I just like the movie!
The film features many animals, some of which must have been quite expensive to acquire. The last thing you want though is some terrible CGI elephant. The film has a mixture of sex and violence. The Sound track is very 80s, synthetic tech. One scene I loved was the transformation at the end from human to pantha, some great practical effects.. I wasn't quite sure of the overall purpose or message of the story, perhaps other than sexuality = danger. At parts too I felt the story was just trying to find a way to undress Nastassja Kinski's as a long line of directors before this had been doing.
But enjoyable enough!