Cat's Eye (1985)

   
Directed by: Lewis Teague

Written by: Stephen King

Starring:

Drew Barrymore .... Our Girl, Amanda
James Woods .... Richard 'Dick' Morrison
Alan King .... Dr. Vinnie Donatti
Mary D'Arcy .... Cindy Morrison
Kenneth McMillan .... Cressner
Robert Hays .... Johnny Norris
Candy Clark .... Sally Ann
James Naughton .... Hugh

Release Date: Theatrical: April 12, 1985

*Images courtesy at: www.horrordvds.com

 

 

 

Rating:

 

A stray tabby cat is on a journey to save a little girl named Amanda (Drew Barrymore) from peril as she seems to communicate with the cat along it's journey but the cat always runs into all sorts of trouble along it's way.

First there's New York City where a mafia type of doctor named Vinnie Donatti (Alan King) uses the cat to show people what will happen to them if they don't quit smoking in the chapter Quitters Inc. as his centre is all about to quit the crave of nicotine.
A man named Dick Morrison (James Woods) wants to quit smoking so badly and goes to the centre but realises he's in danger after Vinnie tells him that his wife will be put in danger if he smokes one cigarette after their meeting and then his whole family too.
He doesn't get any privacy at home even as Vinnie's people stalk him wherever he goes.

The cat manages to escape and then travels on a boat to Atlantic City where a millionaire mobster named Cressner (Kenneth McMillan) keeps the cat in his building while he forces a fading tennis pro named Johnny Norris (Robert Hays) who is also Cressner's wife's adulterous lover, to walk a narrow ledge around his high-rise penthouse apartment in the second chapter called The Ledge.
Johnny is close to death while doing so but he has to keep moving while Cressner is taunting him along the way.

Then the cat makes a clean getaway on a vehicle going to North Carolina in which the cat reaches Amanda's house as she is nearly killed by a little murderous troll by trying to steal her breath while sleeping in the chapter The General.
First Amanda's budgie is killed and her parents thinks it's the cat's doing so the cat is taken to a shelter home and nearly about to be put down.
But then, the troll is about to take Amanda's breath away like this little creature planned to do and the cat manages to escape the shelter home and will Amanda be rescued in time before it's too late????

 

A brilliant horror anthology making it a one story line leading to different surroundings of the film which involves a cat travelling to see everyone's story.
This was a total Stephen King tribute type of film using similar types of character and other King type of material.
Although the performances are great and so is the direction the stories are awfully bland.
There's an impressive beginning with a beautiful tabbycat opening it's eyes with the opening credits. Also good shots on the dog Cujo chasing after the cat and the car Christine rolling by as well.
There is a nice shot on the cat pawing at a store window with an image of the little girl Amanda speaking to the cat inside of the shop.

A strange moment in the chapter of Quitters Inc. with Richard 'Dick' Morrison feeling unsure about going into a place to quit smoking encouraged by his friend as this looked well done and fairly comedic too. Also good timing with the dark comedy when he enters the office and we see a patient crying which adds some nice touches to someone whom is forced to quit smoking as well as later on seeing this guy's wife looking wrecked up later on adding some perfect twisted elements as well as adding a mystery that this place isn't a good one to be in. For sure looked off the wall without a doubt.
Then we spot both Richard 'Dick' Morrison and Dr. Vinnie Donatti having a discussion to quit smoking in an office together as there's good shots on Vinnie as you get the impression that he's the head of a MAFIA by how he discusses stuff as this makes you cringe a bit leaving a psychological feel to everything especially feeling that there's no escape or having a change of thought by committing to his service. Nice add on's to him using a mechanical device to lock the door behind Dick which adds to more twisted moments into this chapter. There's a nice shot on Vinnie pounding on some cigarettes and acting crazy about it.
There were funny shots on the cat in a room where it is acting in a frenzy with the shocks it's receiving on the floor making out it's dancing to the music that's played in the booth yet it looks disturbing too as I hate animal cruelty but with what we see with the dark comedy seems to show that nothing terrible is gonna happen to this feline.
A nice camera shot on Richard sitting on a couch looking disturbed by what happened with his discussion as well as good flashback moments on Vinnie holding the cat looking down talking darkly on what's going to happen if he lights a cigarette adding nice horror to this as well as a true look at a mob boss and his typical moments on giving threats to whom he's talking to.
There's a nice discussion between him and his wife Cindy about quitting smoking and his fearsome expressions of what can happen to her as well as a psychological feel wondering if he will keep his will power alive which isn't an easy task as well as not wanting anything to happen to her as she looks like a happy person.
There's a good shot of him walking around at night in the house during a thunderstorm looking for some cigarettes and then stares at a closet after he hears a sound as the camera pans on the closet nicely which looks creepy as you feel too scared to find out what's going to happen if he opens the closet doors.
When he spots muddy footprints on the floor the next day looked truly creepy knowing that he is watched every 24 hours to make sure that he doesn't light up a cigarette as the story really gets rolling.
We spot a nice heartwarming moment when Dick picks up his daughter from catholic school as you think to yourself that harm can come to her if he lights up a cigarette as she was a very happy little girl. Plus some good interactions between him and Vinnie who is spying on him which the moments looked quite dark.
A nice setting at a party showing people smoking cigarettes as well as seeing hallucinations off it around the room with smoke blowing out of people's nostrils and ears. It looked quite creepy and comedic at the same time.
We have a great shot on a friend of Richard's acting crazy with smoke coming out of his ears as well as cigarettes hanging out of his mouth.

Perfect suspsenseful moments when Dick tries to rush home after screwing up as we spot a good deserted kitchen with food burning as this certainly draws in your attention greatly knowing that his wife was kidnapped by Vinnie's henchman. Also things looked rather intense when we spot his wife in that room with the electric shocks as well as perfect action fighting and struggling with Dick against Vinnie and his goon as you watch carefully wondering if he will kill these two for torturing his wife.
There's a good twisted discussion between Richard with Vinnie by being pleased about everything in the end as if Richard himself were brainwashed that what went on was a good thing.
Quitter Inc. was the most twisted tale of them all involving a mafia type of people forcing people to quit smoking which really creeps you out about having an addiction. It is very unreal and psychological.

The Ledge is a peer pressure fear of heights which is scary itself by what this person does to risk his own life and gives you the chills too. A funny beginning on this chapter with the cat trying to cross a busy street and cars speeding by as well as close up shots on this feline hissing due to all of this. Plus a nice moment with Cressner betting money with his wife and friend the cat will make it across the street. It for sure makes you watch carefully hoping this cute tabby will be fine.
A perfect surprising moment with the main character Johnny Norris realising the ushers are at his vehcile and then beat the crap out of him as this looked truly powerful to watch.
Plus we spot a perfectly suspenseful moment when Johnny is forced to walk on the side of a tall building as well as Cressner taunting him with his housecoat in which this makes you watch carefully if he will lose his balance. Perfect shots looking down on the street which is a long way down as well as great close up windy night shots on Johnny carefully walking along and at times almost slipping as this really makes you cringe while watching all of this happening. Also more cringing moments with Cressner taunting him catching him by surpruise through a window or above a ledge as he honks a toy horn at him as this for sure makes you jump a bit yourself by watching this imagining that you were in the picture with him. Also a good shot on him dropping this toy which shows a long drop as well as this objects looking broken when it hits bottom imagining with what will happen when someone falls off themselves. Plus there's a perfect shot on a pigeon stalking Johnny as well as constantly pecking on his ankle as this also draws in your attention of any matter that will cause him to fall and well put into the story as well.
Also what really looks terrifying is when he is on a lighted sign of the building and it's about to fall off and he hangs on for his life with great camera shots on this making it hard to watch imagining if this was you in his position big time. Also a good shot on the cat watching making out that it wants to help this poor fellow. This scene looked suspenseful and well done.
A perfect action packed moment with Johnny shooting one of Cressnar's goons and then turning the tables on him as this was a perfect vengeful situation and perfectly put in for a horror anthology such as this one.

The General is the best chapter with a child's fear of monsters coming after her at night and it suddenly really happens. Very imaginative indeed and a cool thought of a cat protecting you. Nice camera shots on the unseen troll running into the home as well as spotting the cat trying to chase after this thing along with great happy moments on the little girl Amanda excited about the cat and asking her Mother Sally Ann if she can keep it. Perfectly written in since it's common for a child asking for a house pet.
Many cute moments with the cat trying to catch a bird outside when Amanda tells her Mom the cat wouldn't hurt her budgie as this offers good timing that this cat would kill birds.
Perfect camera shots rolling along Amanda's bedroom walls at night as well as neat special effects on the troll breaking through the wall to get in with neat cute shots on this creature getting into mischief as well as perfect dark moments on him climbing the cage of the budgie as well as good shots on the budgie looking scared inside. This for sure makes you feel upset knowing this little beast will pursue to kill this cute bird.
We also see great battles with the cat trying to attack this troll from causing harm to this child as well as perfect suspenseful shots on this troll throwing a blade at this cat as well as a funny moment on the troll managing to crawl back into the wall and making a mocking meow when Amanda wakes up asking for the cat. This will make you chuckle a great deal.
Nice cute shots on cats at an animal shelter home as well as feeling upset that the cat in the story is about to be put down making you hope it will escape and save Amanda in time before the troll makes his next move on her when she is sleeping.
Great close up shots on the troll using his powers to try and take the breath away from Amanda while she's sleeping. Plus great energetic moments with the cat saving the day trying to attack the troll as well as good shots on Amanda looking sick and weak. But the real fun begins is when the troll is caught on Amanda's toy record playing and she gets the cat to play it faster which looked exciting to watch.
Great moments with her parents discovering that Amanda was telling the truth and making sure she doesn't tell anyone about what had happened or about the troll. This was well put in with a sudden imaginary scary moment that had actually happened.
A nice still shot on the cat staring right at Amanda while she's sleeping making you wonder if something deadly will happen here as it's a true teaser for sure.
This chapter was really more funny and darkly cute than it is scary but done in a great fashion regardless. You do feel bad for what happens to this troll as he seemed to cute but yet he was trying to kill this poor child so he got what was coming to him in the end.

Bottom line is that at first I found this to be anaverage anthology but it grew on me like most Stephen King films do and it borrowed elements from his previous anthology of Creepshow but done in a much better fashion and truly psychological too. The plots were very simple and not lagging or complicated at all making the stories easy to follow. It's really cute seeing the cat in action too. The film was pretty funny and spooky mixing the elements in together pretty well here. A shame another anthology sequel followed this one like Creepshow did.

The acting is very good in the film for it's time as we get a chraming performance by a very young Drew Barrymore (Amanda) as an innocent little girl in the film as this was her second Stephen King flick after Firestarter and of course it all goes back to her fame in E.T. She does well reacting happy after spotting a cat and acting eager to keeping it which looked believeable. Also does well crying after spotting her dead bird which she really brought out her emotions greatly here. Also does well acting sick or weak as well as showing some energy with her screaming or acting anxious while trying to stop the troll while talking to the cat which she shows alot of great enthusiasm while doing this.
James Woods
(Richard 'Dick' Morrison) is wonderful as someone trying to have will power in order to quit smoking and shows some good fearful expressions in a certain scene on what might happen to his wife. Also does well choking out his words as well as acting nervous with his humor too really getting into this. He also does a great job acting anxious or acting paranoid as well as acting perfectly irritable as he brings this totally to life as if he's really trying to quit smoking. Also really knew his blocking whenever he struggles against others which he brings this to a great pace.
Alan King
(Dr. Vinnie Donatti) lived to play a bad ass mafia type doctor who forces people to quit smoking or they face nasty consequences caused by him as he brings his role across strongly intimidating. He really knew how to say his speech about what is going to happen if he tries to smoke one cigarette. He has a perfect gruff type of voice as well as really knowing on how to react violent or getting intimidating with his dark humor too. All of this was dead on plus had the perfect looks for this part too.
Mary D'Arcy
(Cindy Morrison) comes across wonderfully as an innocent housewife which makes you want to protect her from danger.
Does well acting happy while talking to her onscreen husband too. Really knew how to freak out with a scene of her in the shocking room showing her crying emotions as she brings alot of great energy within this.
Kenneth McMillan
(Cressner) played a great goofy but bad ass mobster in the film as he is full of character and a real ham. He had the perfect burly and elderly type of looks. Plus shows a great entertaining and outgoing charm during the beginning of his performance on betting with the cat crossing a street. He made his performance believeably likeable here but yet someone not to trust either. Also knew on how to act childish while taunting someone just acting like a perfect big kid within this. Plus knew on how to act scared choking on his words during the end of his performance too.
Robert Hays
(Johnny Norris) knew his stuff by acting someone whom is troubled and bothered in which he reacts well to being beaten up or having shocked reactions. Also was great by acting freaked out while walking along a ledge of a buiilding. Plus was great with his fearful aggressions crying out to the one taunting him. He rolls in with the punches perfectly when he gets vengeful as he brings this to a perfect pace and acting perfectly cold blooded.
Candy Clark
(Sally Ann) comes across well as a closed minded mother almost seeming wickedly too.
Shows a great stern attitude and doing a good job by being strict as well. Also did a good job speaking her mind which was also totally believeable. Plus was great with her wicked charm trying to call the cat over for food while planning to trap it in a box as she really knew on how to be cold.

There is a brief shot of a decapitated head in The Ledge.
A troll is cut up by a fan in The General

We have some good stompin synthesizer composing by the likes of Alan Silvestri as he has an effective scoring to the film as well as great icy chiming sounds throughout most of it having that perfect 80's horror feel which is what I like. There's also deep playing too as it's just as fitting along with the odd bonging sounds to top it off mixing everything superbly. We hear ghostly and errie types of sounds perfect for a horror anthology. Also during the last chapter some perfect plucking sounds for the troll spying on the house and acting sneakily. Great powerful heroic music too during the battle between the cat and the troll.

In Quitter's Inc. we have the song "Every Breath You Take" by the Police in a room where people are smoking which is perfect. It also plays in The General on a little kids record player.
We also have "Twist & Shout" performed by the oldies artists
Phil Medley and Bert Russell as it is being played in the room where the shocking treatments happen with the cat.
Next is "96 Tears" by R. Martinez with the shocking room where the wife is being tortured.

There's a great closing song during the rolling credits called "Cat's Eye" by Ray Stephens as it gives that total 80's feel to it with nice dance beats sounding energetic with a great pop feel to it.

Richard 'Dick' Morrison: [after being offered a cigarette at a party] Why don't you shove them up your ass, Hal?
Drunk businessman: What? Lit?

[Hugh and Sally Ann believe a cat killed their pet canary when it was actually the handiwork of an evil troll]
Sally Ann: Polly got in one good peck before the cat killed her.
Hugh: I certainly didn't realize Polly had such a big pecker.