In this sensual 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) in New Orleans: that when sexually aroused, they turn into predatory jungle cats.
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The film gets deeper as it progresses. Who’d have thought that a B film horror genre would become such a philosophical masterpiece, by the end? I’ve always wondered what Bowie meant by his gasoline. Perfect match!
A jaw dropping blend between Bava, Argento and Zulawski's erotic hysteria. The same year that released a remarkable number of cult masterpieces such as The Thing, Pieces, New York Ripper, Tenebrae and lets not forget Pink Floyd The Wall; Schrader was able to hold his ground among these insane pictures by presenting one of the greatest erotic-pop art horror on a tremendous visual feast
At the top of his game, Paul Schrader takes his usual strict religious themes and subverts them in this delirious, sexy remake of the Tourneur classic. Absolutely gorgeuos visuals, and Kinski is compulsively watchable. On top of that, it is also creepy as hell. Schrader's best film.
A detached take on genre filmmaking which is neither fish nor fowl despite the care taken. Perhaps it’s this ‘over-care’ - notably in the elongated pace - that treats what is essentially trashy like a museum exhibit - this only stalls things into a kind of stasis that the thin story cannot satisfactorily support. Schrader’s typical hot and cold colour pallet adds some visual interest to an otherwise lukewarm remake.
The original is perfect; Schrader's version is not, suffering from a lopsided narrative that tries to combine both the original and a lot of new material. But—sacrilegious as it may sound to remake Val Lewton with lots of blood and boobs—don't skip the rich weirdness this movie adds, changing the focus from empathetic female anxiety to the perverse male gaze. And don't let anyone tell you Schrader can't use a camera.
This film has been forever my all-time favorite for various reasons. Natassja Kinski was quite hot at that time, I also believed in shape-shifting, seriously never cared for eroticism much, cool listening to its soundtrack, and later knew it's like Schrader redoing AMERICAN GIGOLO but as a horror. All this made me think about what Kinski was going through, yet how amazing was this film made. Underrated but brilliant.
Risible, a disaster that is really just best forgotten about, just embarassing on all counts. Poor old Schrader's heavy-handed humorlessness makes this absolutely unbearable -- the best that can be said of it is that we got a good Bowie song out of it.