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DVD: Cat's Eye (1985)
Review Rating:   Good  
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1 (NTSC)

October 8, 2002



Genre: Anthology Horror / Supernatural  
A trilogy of Stephen King's supernatural tales involving a smoker, a luckless gambler, and a child threatened by a troll.  



Directed by:

Lewis Teague
Screenplay by: Stephen King
Music by: Alan Silvestri
Produced by: Martha J. Schumacher

Drew Barrymore,  James Woods,  Alan King,  Kenneth McMillan,  Robert Hays,  Candy Clark,  James Naughton,  Tony Munafo,  Mike Starr,  Charles Dutton

Film Length: 94 mins
Process/Ratio: 2.35 :1
Anamorphic DVD: Yes
Languages:   English (Stereo), French (Mono) / English, French & Spanish Subtitles
Special Features :  

Audio Commentary by Director Lewis Teague / 8 Cast & Crew Bios / Theatrical trailer "Cat's Eye" (1:23) - Anamorphic

Comments :

Along with "The Dead Zone" and "Silver Bullet," "Cat's Eye" was part of several Stephen King adaptations from producer Dino De Laurentiis, and the second King film directed by Lewis Teague, after the underrated "Cujo."

Originally a graduate from NYU, Teague started off making documentaries for a local TV station before apprentice editing at Roger Corman's New World films, ultimately directing his first horror/suspense film in 1980, "Alligator," which was written by John Sayles. Teague subsequently made three films for De Laurentiis, beginning with "Fighting Back," in 1982.

Teague's feature-length commentary track contains several silent gaps, but the director offers enough production details regarding the film's limited but effective special effects, location and studio shooting, and working with legendary cinematographer Jack Cardiff. Fairly straightforward, Teague's recollections also include his views on directing horror films, setting up shock gags, and creating special effects on a limited production budget. The best points include the film's sets, lighting, and clever in-camera effects, and creating stunts with animals that straddle the line between hokey and realistic to avoid offending audiences.

The disc's other extras include filmographies of key cast and crew, and the film's original, witty trailer that ideally captured the ghoulish fun of Stephen King's original anthology script.

Some publicity materials would have been nice, given its association with King, and it would have been intriguing to see Teague's original prologue which was ultimately dropped by the studio. Based on the "old wives tale" of cats that can steal the breath (life) from children, the prologue explained the cat's galloping from city to city as a chase between a feline who witnessed a girl's spiritual theft, and the troll who flees the scene of the crime and attempts to snatch another child's essence (played by Drew Barrymore).

Warner Bros' transfer is flawless, showcasing Cardiff's superb dramatic lighting, with crisp day shots and clean nighttime sequences. Though made in the mid-eighties, the colour schemes of the decade - namely red and blue - are often diffused and muted, leaving only the hair styles and clothes as overt reminders of eighties style.

Alan Silvestri's early synth score is rather dated, though the bizarre effects and wraparound soundscape make good use of the basic surround sound mix, which perfectly balances dialogue and sound effects.


© 2002 Mark R. Hasan

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