Cat People (1942)
Directed by: Jacques Tourneur. Written by: DeWitt Bodeen.
Plot: Guy (Kent Smith) marries a gorgeous, mysterious, foreign woman (Simone Simon), who believes that she will turn into a large jungle cat and kill her partner if she has sex. Turns out she’s right.
Review: Of course, it’s not quite that frank, but it does get the point across effectively without showing any explicit sexual content. Weren’t the forties awesome? I think so.
Anyway, this movie is pretty creepy. It keeps everything sort of to itself, if you know what I mean - there’s no graphic horror or anything (unlike the Universal horror pics of the time). It’s very subtle (I'm sorry, I have to put the word subtle in italics now. That's just the way it's got to be).
And Simone Simon’s character is very likeable. I felt bad for her. She came to this country minding her own business, happened to marry a dude and then he goes around cheating on her. She did not deserve this. And the guy is obviously a total asswipe.
I mean, the fact that he would even marry her when he he had a thing going on with the other chick just points out how much of a lousy asswipe he is. Bastard. “Yeah, sure” you may say. “You damn feminists always blame the guy” But dammit, it’s his fault. I mean, he ignores his best friend because he's trying to get a piece of the sexy European babe's action and then when she won't put out he runs back to plain Jane there. Piece of shit.
Not only that, but when our heroine gets sent to a psychiatrist (Tom Conway), by her prick husband no less (I think that's what happened, but I don't strictly remember), he turns out to be a total slut too. Bastards are everywhere.
So yeah, this is one of those chick movies I guess - about how most men are asswipes (notice the word ‘most’) and of course women will probably turn into murdering cat monsters and rip the shit out of their competition if you cheat on them. It’s true. That will definitely happen. Watch out.
Yes. Moving on, this movie is uber atmospheric and just creeps along like a creep in the night (in a good way…), but it’s also weirdly fun to watch. I kind of wish I had a copy of it, actually, just as a comfort thing (I haven’t watched most of the movies I own, I just like knowing they’re there. That makes me very happy for whatever reason).
But the fact that the character is extremely appealing is what makes me the most happy when watching this movie. I really liked her. I felt sad when she inevitably got killed (I think she got killed… actually, now I can’t remember). But yeah. This is probably one of the best werewolf movies around. Woo woo.
Favourite Part: Tom Conway, even though he was a slut. I still like him. He makes me smile. Go figure.
Other versions: There is a remake from the eighties starring the lovely Nastassia Kinski which I have not seen.
Sequels: Curse of the Cat People, which interestingly does not go down the path of horror. It is kind of like a kid’s movie or something…
Click here to read my original review (February 2nd, 2007).
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