The original Cat People (1942) is a great film. Simone Simon is delightful, and Jane Randolph, wow, such the little tart in this one.The story is interesting, which is about a race of people who are shapeshifters, and change when they are sexually aroused or angered, which is why Irena won’t sleep with her new husband or consummate their marriage.
Oliver, her husband, sends Irena to a shrink to work out her issues; isn’t it so like a man to tell a woman that she’s crazy. Well honestly, I was hoping it was a figment of her imagination, and I’m not sure that it wasn’t. At points, I was led to believe that yes, she was a shapeshifter, then at the end…I’m not gonna do that.
Check out the original Cat People, I give it 3.5 out of 5 Stars, there’s so much feeling in this film, but I couldn’t give it more than that.
Now I move onto Cat People (1982), yes, a remake. When I watch remakes, I always hope they’ll fill in the holes or make it better; I think that’s the point of doing them, I really don’t know for sure, I normally blame it on the lack of creativity in Hollywood. At least with this remake, some of my favorite musicians are responsible for the score; Giorgio Moroder and David Bowie.
I’m not sure I understand what is happening in the opening scene, is it the story Irena told Oliver in the original? I wondered, then as it progressed, I saw that it was different than that, and really didn’t make sense. One thing that I didn’t understand from the original was that it was called Cat People, when we only ever saw one, well two if you count the gypsy woman in the restaurant.
There were many changes from the original, while there were just as many similarities, even recreating an exact scene. Malcolm McDowell plays a great creeper, Irena Gallier’s brother, Paul, which is a change, there wasn’t a brother in the original. I also expected a Howling-esque scene of transformation, but it was only shown once, and it was quick and effective. There was a major inconsistency that hurt the whole story, and that had to do with Irena having sex; the first time, she doesn’t change until after, the second, she changes during.
I enjoyed both interpretations, but I liked the original better than the remake. And give the remake 3 out of 5 Stars.