Cat's Eye (1985)
By: J.R. McNamara on February 9, 2010  | 
DVD
Madman (Australia). Region 4, PAL. Region 4, PAL. 2.35:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0. Portuguese Subtitles. 90 minutes
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Lewis Teague
Starring: Drew Barrymore, James Woods, Robert Hays, Alan King, Candy Clark
Screenplay: Stephen King
Country: USA
External Links
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Anthology films of the horror variety are something I never avoid. They really are a blessing to those of us lucky enough to have a short attention span. The problem with anthologies is the connective tissue: sometimes the links work, like the comic in Creepshow, and sometimes they don't, like here, in Cat's Eye.

Cat's Eye follows a cat, named at various times 'Lucky' and 'The General', who travels around America, like a feline Littlest Hobo, looking for a mysterious ghostly girl who calls for his help and taking part in various tales written by Stephen King.

The first tale, based on King's Quitters Inc. from the Night Shift collection, shows Dick Morrison (James Woods) as a man desperate to quit smoking, who tries a company called Quitters Inc. Quitter Inc. have an interesting way to help you quit smoking, if you smoke once on their program, they electrocute your wife, the cat used as an example of how the 'electrocution room' works; a second time, they electrocute your kids; a third time gets your spouse raped; and a fourth time… well, only 2% of the clients have made it to the fourth time, and it seems they find themselves …well, ventilated. This tale follows Woods on his harrowing journey to quit smoking while under constant stress.

The second tale is based on King's The Ledge, again from Night Shift, and features Robert Hays as a tennis coach, Johnny Norris who is leaving town with a local, well connected gambler's wife. The gambler, Cressner, played by Kenneth McMillan, kidnaps and makes a bet with Hays that if he can circumnavigate the penthouse suite of his building on the thin precarious ledge around it, he is free to leave town with his wife. Is it a fair bet, or just a dangerous one?

The last tale, the deplorable The General, featured in 'Screamplays' (a collection of horror film scripts), sees the cat come to the rescue of the girl, played by Drew Barrymore, whose family is being terrorized by a…wait for it… 9 inch high troll. Ridiculous.

One thing I have to say about this film is the collection of pre-80s names that have been forgotten over the years: the aforementioned Robert Hays and Kenneth McMillan, not to mention others like Alan King, Candy Clark and James Naughton. And let's face it: Drew Barrymore and James Woods have to be a major draw card.

The problem with this film is one that I have had with some others released around this period: it tries too hard to be safe. These three stories could have been real hard hitting, but director Lewis Teague softens them, obviously for a younger market, and turns them into prime time mush that really has no impact at all.

One thing that really irritated me about this film was the fact that it force feeds King down the throat of the viewer. The film opens with the cat running from Cujo, past Christine, and James Woods' character watches The Dead Zone on TV. I am sure that I remember when I first saw this in about 1986 that the young horror fan in me thought the spot-the-King stuff was cool, but as an adult it seems ham-fisted and lame.

Which is a pretty good description of the whole film.
Video
It's a fairly vibrant picture, but it suffers from an occasional bit of grain and print damage, but at least it is presented in 16:9 widescreen.  
Audio
The audio is only presented in stereo 2.0, so don't expect anything too special.
Extra Features
Absolutely nothing.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
It's a silly anthology film of the horror comedy variety that neither fills one with terror or guffaws. It has some moments that may wrinkle a small smile from the edge of your mouth, but the scariest thing was the appearance of a Cabbage Patch doll. Now those things are freakin' scary!!

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