Cat People (1982)

cat people poster 1982 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Interesting modernization of the story

Some of the effects are weak

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Cat People

Studio:  RKO Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror/Romance

Release Date(s):  April 2, 1982

MPAA Rating:  R


Most uncomfortable Christmas ever

Irena Gallier (Nastassja Kinski) has come to New Orleans to meet her brother Paul (Malcolm McDowell) for the first time.  When he disappears on the first night, Irena finds herself strangely drawn to a panther caught that morning in a brothel after attacking a prostitute.  Meeting the zoo curator Oliver Yates (John Heard) , Irena experiences love for the first time, but soon learns when her brother’s return that love is impossible.  Irena and Paul are Cat People.  When they experience love or lust, they are transformed into savage panthers and can only revert back by killing.  Irena finds herself in a race against her nature…can she defeat the beast inside of her?


Hey, lady….I don’t like you like that…

Directed by Paul Schrader, Cat People is a remake of the 1942 classic horror film of the same title.  The movie had many divisive reviews with some critics really enjoying it and other disliking it.  The film also received nominations for Gold Globes for its David Bowie theme song “Cat People” and its score.

The original Cat People was one of those little gems of a horror film that is all atmosphere and little glam and glamour.  This Cat People ups the visuals by making it more intense and outwardly visuals, but it still manages to capture the story for a unique and different, adult style horror film.


Nastassja Kinski is hot!!!

Cat People is a dark story.  The movie has a lot of damaged people in it and everyone, even the killer Malcolm McDowell has some moments where you are sensitive to him (like when he didn’t really want to kill the tourist).  You can tell when watching the movie that unless there is some strange divine intervention, that there is going to be no happy ending.  With this, it does just become a story where it is free to surprise the viewer with how the darkness ends.

The cast is quite good and has a lot of fun players.  You have Nastassja Kinski as the damned Irena and the always creeper Malcolm McDowell and her incestuous brother Paul.  John Heard plays the man caught in the middle who doesn’t understand anything that is going on around him.  Annette O’Toole plays the best friend who is really in love with Heard and has some great tense moments in the recreated swimming pool scene.  In addition to the main characters you have Ruby Dee, Ed Begley, Jr. (hands off to him), and John Larroquette in a small role.


So, I just generally dream of cats in trees

This version of Cat People ups the visuals.  While the first film is a great noire style film, this movie deals a bit more with the transformation, has some great shots of the leopard, more gross out scenes, and some very cool Africa visuals which deal with Irena’s dreams and the origin of the Cat People…paired with the nice soundtrack, it is a great experience.

I have to say I enjoy both the original Cat People and this version.  This version does amp up the sexual tension that wasn’t allowed in the original (which did creatively deal with the subject in its own since because it couldn’t talk about it).  Cat People is an odd, creepy and tense movie that leaves the whole cast hurting for resolution in the end.

[easyazon-block align=”center” asin=”B000069HZO” locale=”us”]

Related Links:

Cat People (1942)

The Curse of the Cat People (1944)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response