Monday, December 19, 2011
CAT PEOPLE (1942)
Producer Val Lewton is responsible for a bunch of neat little 40's horror flicks like I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE and a few Boris Karloff titles. He's probably one of the most famous producers in classic horror films and this is my fav from his filmography. This is the kind of movie I hated when I was a kid because it deals more with characters relationships and not enough monster action but watching it as an adult I can appreciate the subtlety and subtexts that are apparent throughout the movie. Most of the reviews I've seen for this over the years point out the comment that it makes on the sexual repression of women and a woman's fear of her own sexuality but to me this movie always seemed like a thinly veiled metaphor for a lesbian who tries to become a member of the "straight" world and since it was made in the 40's this couldn't be made very clear without it being censored out of existence. Of course this might not have been the original intention at all and I'm just putting a modern spin on it. Either way it's all done with a really noir-ish, moody atmosphere and you do get a little cat-lady monster action in the big finale.
There was a sequel to this made a couple of years later and a remake in the 80's. I've never seen either one but I remember the trailer to the 80's version playing on TV when it first came out and it seems like they had no trouble embracing the sexual ideas only hinted at in the original. Gotta check that out sometime.