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Article

Cat People

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Nastassia Kinski in Cat People
Everett Collection

Cat People

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
R
runtime:
119 minutes
Wide Release Date:
04/02/82
performer:
Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell
director:
Paul Schrader
distributor:
Shout Factory
genre:
Horror, Sci-fi and Fantasy

We gave it a B

Just in case you were wondering, Cat People (1982, 1 hr., 59 mins., R) isn’t about the kind of folks who have the image of their pet tabby cross-stitched on a throw pillow. Rather, it’s about the kind of cat people who have a habit of tearing those types to shreds. Paul Schrader’s remake of the 1942 Jacques Tourneur horror classic, now available on Blu-ray, takes its tonal cues from its predecessor, but focuses more on atmosphere than straight-out scares. Nastassia Kinski plays Irena, a young woman with a pixie haircut and a strange habit of turning into a black leopard during sex. She falls for a zoo curator, inciting the incestuous rage of her feline brother (Malcolm McDowell). It’s a preposterous premise, but the film takes itself just seriously enough to work. Kinski gives her character a sinuous grace, and Schrader unspools his tale of erotic transformation languorously, all set to the slinky tones of Giorgio Moroder’s score and David Bowie’s snarling theme song (which Quentin Tarantino ended up borrowing for a scene in Inglourious Basterds). Unfortunately, the EXTRAS are essentially just kitty litter. B

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