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book review:  Creepshows: The
Illustrated Stephen King Movie Guide

by Stephen Jones

 
 
October 2002                                                SITE MAP   SEARCH
Cat's Eye
cast: Drew Barrymore, James Woods, Kenneth McMillan, and Robert Hays

director: Lewis Teague

91 minutes (15) 1984
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Momentum DVD Region 2 retail
[released 21 October]

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by Ian Shutter
Opening with in-joke references to previous Stephen King adaptations, Christine (1983), and Cujo (1983, also directed by Lewis Teague), this anthology of three genre tales offers a mix of paranoid phobias, revenge fantasy, macabre humour and special effects, with a wraparound story about a cat's long journey home.
   Dick Morrison (James Woods) wants to stop smoking. The mafia want to help. Tongue-in-cheek sadism (orchestrated by noted comedy actor Alan King as fake Dr Donatti, using an electrified room) provides suitable and adequate motivation for Morrison to quit, when he learns his wife and daughter will be tortured if he fails to kick the habit! In the second chapter, cuckold mobster Cressner (Kenneth McMillan) bets that his wife's lover, Norris (Robert Hays), will be unable to walk all the way around a tall building on its narrow ledge. Vertiginous perspectives furnish a backdrop for some wicked fun at the expense of Norris' fear of heights. In the finale, an evil troll (created by Carlo Rambaldi) menaces young Amanda (Drew Barrymore), and only the brave cat, which appears throughout the film, can save her from death by suffocation. Candy Clark and James Naughton play the little girl's concerned but disbelieving parents.
   Despite a disappointing box-office take, Cat's Eye is actually one of the better King movies, with assured direction and good performances from the varied cast. Excellent camerawork by British cinematographer Jack Cardiff makes the most of the project's $6 million budget, and production values are great considering that this was the first picture to be filmed at new studio facilities (courtesy of Dino De Laurentiis) in North Carolina.
   DVD extras: Dolby digital 2.0 sound plus subtitles in eight languages, German trailer, and a director's commentary. The packaging claims there are also deleted scenes, but these are not on the disc.
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