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Cat's Eye 1985

A stray cat is the linking element of three tales of suspense and horror...

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i liked this movie alot when i was young and still do

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With a screenplay from Stephen King, this trilogy of tales has a distinct feel of the eighties about it. With King's input the stories of course are interesting character studies and the second of the two stories definitely appears in one of his short story collections. All three cat's tails (sorry about that) are connected by the presence of a nomadic tabby; the first "Quitters Inc." is about a man (James Woods) who decides to quit smoking once and for all; the second "The Ledge" concerns a crazed millionaire addicted to making bets and the third "The General" is about the tabby defeating an evil troll who is trying to kill a young girl (a nine year-old Drew Barrymore). Fun references in the opening sequence to Cujo and Christine (also directed by Lewis Teague) make this one for fans of the peerless King, even if it has got a feel of big hair, cheap hairspray and pushed-up jacket sleeves about it.
Where: DVD

one line review: This was the scariest film I saw as a child.

When I saw this on DVD I had to buy it, if only for the nights of insomnia this film had generated in my life. It isn't terribly good. It opens with allusions to Cujo and Christine, and it is a collection of three short stories that are loosely tied together by the same cat. In the first story a man is trying to quit smoking before mob enforced kill his wife. In the second a compulsive gambler bets on the life of the man who his wife is cheating on him with. The third story is the meat of the movie. A young girl is plagued by a troll who lives in her wall and tries to steal her breath in the middle of the night.

I first saw this when I was 9 or 10. It was one of those "free TMN" weekends, and I'd taped the film and then watched it by myself when I was at home sick from school. I don't know for how many years I was terrified of sleeping at night unless I had a cat in bed with me to guard me. The fear this film induced is one of my strongest childhood memories, and I was still somewhat shaken after seeing it.

The first two parts of this trilogy are crap, but the third story is quite scary and the special effects aren't nearly as horrible as it looks like they should be. Still, it is a pretty bad movie, and it wouldn't have had as much impact on me if I hadn't seen it at the age I saw it at.

Much like the Creepshow series, I'm sure there will be a lot of people who argue about which part of the three part Cat's Eye is better. Though in my opinion the first and third segments of the series are the best, w/the third being my favorite; only the first two segments are realistic, but your self in that situation segments.

The first segment, called Quitters, stars a young James Wood as he tries to break the habit of smoking cigarettes. He is just arriving at a Quitters facility that uses a bit of an abstract technique to get you to quite. If you cheat, and smoke a cigarette, someone in your family gets hurt, real bad. Yeah, a Sopranos type clinic that actually reminded me of an old Tales from the Crypt episode. However, this is a very well done segment, as I stated above my second favorite. The cat has little airtime in this segment.

The second segment (The Ledge) stars Robert Hayes as a man who slept w/the wrong guys wife. A betting man captures Robert Hayes character and tells him he has to walk along an edge all the way around a building. If he makes it he will be let go w/no harm and a bag full of money, if not, well he falls. Once again, the cat plays a very small role, and though parts of the scenes are a little sadistic, the drama in this segment is not what I believe it was intended to be.

The third segment, and my favorite (maybe because it's the closest to the Creepshow series) stars Drew Barrymore as a kid who discovers the cat and wants to make it a pet. The cat is needed because a troll has invaded the house, and lives in the wall. Only the young Drew Barrymore and the cat know of the intruder. However, the mother sees the cat as the intruder, and the cause for all the problems. This is the most exciting episode in my opinion, and made the series worth owning.

In conclusion, this may be a very average movie over all, but has some very cleaver aspects, and some enjoyable scenes. Definitely a rent before buying type movie, but worth having for all Stephen King collectors.

Grade: B
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Sunday, October 22nd-Part 1

90. Village of the Damned. (1960) A classic. And another yearly viewing. See it now if you've never seen it. Don't go with the John Carpenter remake, go with this one. Expertly made. Nuff said. 10/10





91. The Deadly Bees. (1966) (not listed with RT) Garbage from Amicus Film Studios. Some of the same cast from Village of the Damned are in this. It's about feuding bee keepers and killer bees that can be directed to attack certain people and things using a sticky substance. Another yearly viewing at this time. Hee hee! Well, the Mystery Science Theater 3000 guys expertly make this stuff hilarious. I highly recommend it this way. 5/10 (MST3K upgrade 10/10)





92. The Fog. (1979) The classic. Yearly viewing. Etc. This just takes me back. I think Carpenter did well with atmosphere on this one. Also, a very nice DVD transfer! 7/10 (nostalgia upgrade 10/10)





93. Exorcist. (1973) A Classic. Yearly viewing. Very high up on my list of fav horror movies (#3, I think). I only have "The Version You've Never Seen" but it'll do. I understand there is more development with the Father Karras character in this version, and that's a good thing. I like that character a lot. I just read that Jack Nicholson, Stacey Keach, and Gene Hackman were all up for that role. They actor who got it had never acted before. He does fantastic! I agree with many fans that the demon faces and spider walk were not necessary; although neither bothers me all that much. 10/10





94. Cat's Eye. (1985) I craved this superior Stephen King anthology. Never disappoints. Not quite as good as Creepshow. I noticed some of the music seemed different. I remember them using original artists for the songs, The Police and Question Mark & the Mysterians. Still, doesn't hurt the movie all that much. There's a story about a guy trying to quit smoking, another about a guy who loves to bet about anything, and finally one about a little monster living in Drew Berrymore's wall. All are a great deal of fun to watch year after year. 8/10 (nostalgia upgrade 10/10)





(to be continued)
Since I can't seem to get in the mood to do some actuall reviews, just giving little comments on these.

Cat's Eye - Cheesy and goofy, but entertaining, with tons of other tongue-in-cheek Stephen King references. I liked it.

Sometimes They Come Back - There were two funny parts in this movie, one which was meant to be and one unintentional. Everything else was very boring.

Chinatown - A big disappointment for me as I had been looking forward to it for so long. Nicholson was great, but the story was forgetable and boring.

Brick - An interesting idea, a great cast, constantly amusing and entertaining. I've been considering buying it.

Robin Hood: Men in Tights - Has a few funny moments, but most fall flat. Definitely not one of Mel Brooks best and not near as funny as it could have been.
"Cat's Eye" is a three-tale anthology film that's funny and frightening in equal parts. It features some of the best screen adapations of Stephen King stories (with a script penned by King himself), framed and linked by the wanderings of a stray cat.

The first story, "Quitters, Inc.", is one of my favorite King short stories. It's the tale of a quit-smoking program that won't allow you to fail to kick the habit once you've entered. I may be spoiling it just a little bit here, but picture what a program run by Old School "I've got an offer you can't refuse" Mafia goons might be light. That's what we have here, and the results are hilarious and scary!

The second story, "The Ledge" is also ganster related. It's a cautionary tale about not to have affairs with other men's wives... particuarly when those men are highpowered New Jersey gangsters and they live in a highrise penthouse. The trip that a man is forced to take around the ledge of a sky scraper gives rise to the movie's scariest sequences... and the "just desserts"ending to this story is damn cool. (I plays differently than I remember the short story being, but it's still good.)

Finally, there is the third sequence, which is really one that's been unfoldinng for the entire film; the framing device of the cat feeds into it, and here we gain insight into a secret supernatural battle that unfolds around us every day. It's a battle for the children of humanity, and it's one that housecats are on the front line of. It's a great little excursion into supernatural horror that works surprisingly well, given that up to this point, the film has been pretty realistic and grounded in reality.

"Cat's Eye" is a superior example of what can be done with the anthology format whe it comes to horror pictures. It's also worth checking out for Big Time Stephen King fans, as it is full of hilarious inside references and sight gags that they will enjoy picking up on. (Watch for "The Dead Zone", "Cujo" and "Christine" references...)


Cat's Eye
Starring: James Woods, Alan King, Robert Hays, Kenneth MacMillin, Candy Clark, James Naughton, and Drew Barrymore
Director: Lewis Teague
Cat's Eye contains more hearty laughs than frightening scenes. A three-part short story. First one is, "Quitters, Inc.": Concurrently, it's darkly funny and strange. Again, James Woods with the wittiest dialogue in this tale. Second one is, "The Ledge": Another funny short story mixed with a little violence. The concept is fairly interesting. The third and last one is, "The General": The very young and talented (but now overrated) Drew Barrymore starred in it. The only tale with a scene that has a minuscule amount of being creepy. When I used the word "creepy", I meant the tiny, evil troll in this tale. ***Minor Spoiler, kind of***The cat eventually becomes a hero.***Minor Spoiler***
Memorable Quote: "Flying shit house"
I loved this 3 story combo film. It had dancing cigarette boxes, decapitated heads and little wall trolls. It showed great suspense and imagination.
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