LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Cat in the Brain - Blur-ray review
By James Whittington, Friday 23rd February 2018
Lucio Fulci, a man who never resisted to cross the line in horror cinema went through a lean period in the late 80s. His work was suffering from ever reducing budgets and it seemed as if his inspiration was lacking. Cat in the Brain, also known as Nightmare Concert, I volti del terrore and Un gatto nel cervello is a patchwork piece, assembled from little pieces of other movies with Fulci playing the lead to save money. But this is a meta-movie that is ripe for reappraisal.
Lucio Fulci is Lucio Fulci, a filmmaker with a reputation for gruesome horror films. His body of work has started to plague his mental state, and he is haunted by the grotesque set-pieces his mind has conjured up during his career. His psychiatrist, Egon Swharz (David L. Thompson), uses a hypnotised Fulci as an avatar to carry out his own disturbed fantasies, in hopes of ruining the master's reputation once and for all.
Disturbing, gory and very violent, Cat in the Brain was truly Fulci's last hurrah, taking some of the juiciest moments from his movies such as Sodoma's Ghost, Touch of Death and Massacre and adding this "director going mad" story around the pieces. It's a smart idea and Fulci delivers a perfectly decent take of a director on the edge of insanity. Its not perfect, it is at times stilted, the quality of re-used material is variable in quality and Fulci is not a natural actor but this doesn't detract from the piece. David L. Thompson as Schwarz chews up the scenery like there's no tomorrow, looking like a demented Christopher Lee and its very surreal and disjointed, but this can be said of most of Fulci's work. Many will prefer Wes Craven's take on such a movie, his New Nightmare was very well done but it didn't have the grindhouse feel that this has.
Fulci followers will love this release, it's the best transfer I've seen of the movie which was originally banned when submitted to the BBFC some years ago. 88 Films seemed to have cleaned up the print as best they could and the soundtracks (one dubbed into English and one in the original Italian with English subtitles which is better) are nice and clear with the latter seemingly stronger on the bass. Talking on sound the score from Fabio Frizzi is as good as you'd expect, lots of synth stings and bass hooks and highlights from past works.
The extras include Brain Food: Analysing Late Day Fulci - which is an excellent new documentary on the misfires and masterpieces of Lucio Fulci's late period career featuring Cat in the Brain screenwriter Antonio Tentori, legendary film critic Kim Newman, Dark Side magazine editor Allan Bryce and respected writer Callum Wadell, Fabio Frizzi: Live in Hollywood - Oct. 2, 2015 which has the grandmaster performing a piece from the movie and the original trailer.
Cat in the Brain is another excellent release from 88 Films, canít wait to see what they unleash next!
For more info click here.
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