Cat People Poster

Release Date: December 18th, 1991

DVD Release Date: January 14th, 1998

R|1 hr 58 min

Plot Summary
In this sensual and violent horror tale, Irena Gallier (Nastassia Kinski) has a dark family secret, one that resurfaces dramatically when she reconnects with her estranged brother, Paul (Malcolm McDowell). Living with her sibling in New Orleans, Irena finds herself enamored with zoologist Oliver Yates (John Heard), even as her brother makes his own advances toward her. It's not long before the dark and dangerous curse of the Gallier clan rears its feline head.

Cast: Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, John Heard, Annette O'Toole, Ed Begley Jr., Ruby Dee, Scott Paulin, Frankie R. Faison

Director: Paul Schrader

Genres: Horror

Production Co: Universal Pictures, RKO Radio Pictures Inc.

Keywords: Intense, 1980s, Love interest, Murder, Sister, Brother, Forbidden love, Rivalry

Ratings & Reviews

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  • Unjustifiably compared to the original film upon its release, Schrader’s Cat People is more of an erotic reinvention of the Bodeen story. Though Schrader keeps the Fangoria crowd at bay with a series of grisly tableaus, he remains less concerned with the body-horrific than he does with the rituals of sex—mandatory and otherwise. show more

  • The opening credits immediately insist that director Paul Schrader isn’t interested in merely reprising your grandparents’ beloved version of Cat People, the 1942 horror film memorably directed by Jacques Tourneur and produced by Val Lewton. Set to the background of a profoundly bright brick red, which is soon revealed to be a desert jungle-scape, Giorgio Moroder’s primal synth score prepares us for an erotic blowout that overtly literalizes the Cat People conceit for the sake of a little soft porn fun. show more

  • Cat People moves back and forth between its mythic and realistic levels, held together primarily by the strength of Kinski's performance and John Heard's obsession. Kinski is something. She never overacts in this movie, never steps wrong, never seems ridiculous; she just steps onscreen and convincingly underplays a leopard. Heard also is good. show more

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Nominated Best Original Song - Motion Picture
Nominated Best Original Score - Motion Picture