Sunday, April 18, 2010
Cat's Eye (1985, Lewis Teague)
Stephen King, the master of literary horror, has so many movies based on his works that it's hard to keep track. Everyone knows the big ones like The Shining, Pet Sematary, Carrie, Salem's Lot, Children of the Corn, etc, etc etc. Then there are the films that don't fit into the horror genre (The Green Mile, Hearts in Atlantis) and made for TV films (many of which King himself wrote the teleplays for). One of my favorite films based on King's work (and one of my favorite films of all time) is Creepshow, the brilliant horror anthology directed by George A. Romero. Cat's Eye is another horror anthology written by Stephen King and directed by Lewis (Cujo) Teague. My wife told me about this film before and how it used to scare her as a kid. I thought I'd give it a shot.
Cat's Eye is a collection of three stories written by Stephen King. The first story stars James Woods as a businessman who decides to quit smoking. He goes to Quitters, Inc. and soon finds himself trapped in a wicked game where if he is caught smoking, his loved ones will pay the price. The second story revolves around a man (Robert Hays) who has an affair with the wife of crime boss (Kenneth McMillan) who loves to gamble. The adulterer is forced to gamble with his life by walking the entire perimeter of a skyscraper's ledge. The final story stars Drew Barrymore as Amanda, a little girl who finds a stray cat and names him General. The cat is not the only new resident in the house though. A mean troll also finds his way in and it is up to General to protect Amanda. Unfortunately, Amanda's mother blames General for the havoc caused by the Troll and throws him out of the house, leaving Amanda vulnerable to the Troll's mayhem.
Cat's Eye was a decent film with some very good performances, with Woods and Barrymore being the most memorable. The second story (The Ledge) was the least interesting of the three but the other two were very good. Though not a very gory or particularly violent film (it's rated PG-13), it has it's fair share of typical King horrific situations. From what I've read (and as my wife will attest), this seems to be one of those films from the 80s that a lot of kids remember being scared by from their childhood. I never had the chance to see it back then but I enjoyed watching it now. I wouldn't rank it up there with King's best but it's still a fun way to waste 90 minutes.