Having seen the original, Paul Schrader's re-imagining is an embarrassing mess. Such a silly, stupid, cheeseball movie that is incredibly underwhelming. While the movie is well crafted and at times visually arresting, save the David Bowie track and fun make up fx, there is literally nothing here to find yourself invested in. Paul Schrader is not a good director and this is a prime example why. A total waste of time.
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.
Das ist eine absonderliche Idee: Vor langer Zeit als die Erde mit blutorangem Wüstensand bedeckt war und auch noch ein paar Leoparden faul in den dürren Bäumen hingen, da schloss die menschliche Rasse einen Packt mit den Katzen: Sie opferten ihre Frauen... die ganze Rezension sowie die für uns wichtigsten Filme der 80er Postmoderne auf der Seite unserer Videothek cinegeek.de
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
I can't help but be concerned about how much stress the animals in this were put under in order to "perform". Anyway, this was pretty good considering it is literally about werecats. Some really awesome practical effects throughout and plenty of hot bouts of sexual frustration.
If you're willing to soak in the alien, Moroder-soaked atmosphere, you will find wonders to behold. It's all pitched somewhere between an '80s version of Sternberg (with Kinski as Schrader's Dietrich, natch) and pure horror-camp (with McDowell chomping down the scenery). The ultimate transformation scene is quite effectively brutal, and Kinski is, ahem, not overly burdened by clothing. What more do you want?
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.