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Cat in the brain ( lucio fulci, 1990 )

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Posted 27th April 2009 at 11:46 AM by Pete
Updated 16th September 2010 at 05:17 PM by Pete

Lucio Fulci directs and stars as a film maker called er... Lucio Fulci. During the shooting of his latest film Fulci is being overcome by macabre visions including Nazi orgies (actually a clip from Ghosts of Sodom), decomposing bodies, Cats clawing in his head. After smashing tins of red paint, he decides to go and see a psychiatrist, professor Egon Schwarz (David L. Thompson). Unfortunately for Fulci, Schwarz is a homicidal maniac who plans to use him as a scapegoat for his own vicious crimes.

Cheaply shot on 16 mm and blown up to 35 and edited together with scenes from Fulci films past. Cat is one of the most controversial movies in Fulciís filmography with many people pointing out the fact that a lot of the violence in the film is aimed at women. For this reason, the film was banned in the UK for a while (Tartanís proposed video was rejected in 1999). A lot of criticism has also been directed at the terrible acting, the bland cinematography, poor special effects, use of footage from other films (Ghosts of Sodom, Touch of Death and Andrea Bianchi's The Murder Secret) and shoddy score by Fabio Frizzi. But what these people forget is that in 1990 the Italian horror industry had all but dried up and Fulci was no longer able to make movies like Donít Torture a Duckling, Zombie Flesh Eaters, The Beyond, Black Cat etc. Fulci had to make do with what he had (which wasnít much) for this reason Cat in the Brain is a better film than it is given credit for. Sure, itís nowhere near as good as the films already mentioned but itís a darkly comic masterpiece that deserves reapprisal.

If you are a Fulci fan who has never seen it run out and buy it NOW! Newcomers are better off starting with of his earlier films.

DVD:

The UNCUT uk dvd from Hardgore / Shriek Collection has a bland full frame transfer which is free of damage but a bit dark. The audio is a bit low but is perfectly listenable.

On the extras front we get a small stills gallery, some mixed reviews from Jay Slaters excellent book Eaten Alive! Italian Cannibal and Zombie and trailers for other Hargore product.

Girnhouse in the USA have just released a remastered SE.

USA DVD: UK DVD:
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  1. Old Comment
    Peter Neal's Avatar
    Apparently, Fulci's director is actually called "Fulvio" in the Italian language version.

    I really like "Nightmare Concert"/"Cat in the Brain", but as you wrote, I'm just glad I didn't see this as my introduction to Fulci.

    In fact, the splatter of "Touch of Death" works so much better here than in the movie it got originally shot for!
    Comment with Quote permalink
    Posted 27th April 2009 at 04:40 PM by Peter Neal Peter Neal is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Great review loops. Im actually a fan of this film.

    BTW, Is that the same Jay Slater who wrote the VIPCO notes on the jackets.?

    Well done mate.
    Comment with Quote permalink
    Posted 27th April 2009 at 11:19 PM by vipco vipco is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Pete's Avatar
    Yes, Jay Slater worked for VIPCO buying the rights for a lot of their movies.

    Have you read his book VIPS? If you love cannibal movies its a must.
    Comment with Quote permalink
    Posted 28th April 2009 at 10:17 AM by Pete Pete is offline
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