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Cat People is a 1982 erotic horror film directed by Paul Schrader and starring Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, and John Heard. The film co-stars Annette O'Toole, Ruby Dee, Ed Begley, Jr. and John Larroquette. Jerry Bruckheimer served as executive producer. Alan Ormsby wrote the screenplay, basing it loosely on the story by DeWitt Bodeen, the screenwriter for the acclaimed 1942 original. Giorgio Moroder composed the film's score, including the theme song which features lyrics and vocals by David Bowie.

Plot

Irena Gallier (Kinski) meets her older brother Paul (McDowell), a minister, in New Orleansmarker. It is the first time they have met since their animal trainer-parents died, and Irena was sent to a series of foster homes. Paul's Creole housekeeper Female (pronounced feh-MAH-leh) (Dee) helps Irena settle into her brother's home, but Paul himself disappears. That same night, a prostitute walks into a fleabag motel to meet a john — and is instead mauled by a panther. The police capture the panther, aided by a team of zoologists: Oliver Yates (Heard), Alice Perrin (O'Toole), and Joe Creigh (Begley).

The next day Irena finds herself in the zoo where these scientists work. Drawn to the newly-captured panther, she befriends Oliver and takes a job in the gift shop nearby. Shortly afterward, the panther's violence turns deadly and it escapes. Soon, Paul turns up and tells Irena of their family's werecat heritage. When a werecat has sex with a human, it transforms into a panther, and only by killing a human can the werecat regain human form. He also tells her that their parents were actually brother and sister. Only sex with a sibling prevents the transformation; the werecats are ancestrally incestuous. On the run from her dangerous brother, Irena takes refuge in a sexually-frustrated romance with Oliver, afraid of what might happen if she consummates their passion.

Eventually, Paul (in panther form) breaks into Oliver's house, intent on killing him so he can have Irena to himself. Oliver has been waiting, however, and instead kills Paul. While performing an autopsy on the cat, Oliver discovers that the panther's body is a hollow shell; Paul has literally disappeared.

Irena is trapped. If she takes a human lover, she will have to kill to regain human form. Eventually, Irena makes love with Oliver, transforms into a panther and flees, sparing Oliver's life. She escapes, but is later trapped on a bridge by police. Shortly after Oliver arrives at the scene, Irena sees him and jumps off the bridge and escapes. Oliver realizes where she is headed and confronts Irena at a secluded lake house, she having regained human form by killing the house's caretaker. Irena tells Oliver she didn't kill him because she loves him, and begs him to let her "be with her own." Oliver realizes that he cannot live without her, so he ties Irena's arms and legs to the posts of the bed and proceeds to make love to her, knowing what she will become.

We then see Oliver at the zoo working. By this time, he and Alice are romantically involved. He walks to a cage that contains a black panther, casually hand-feeding it and stroking its fur; it is clearly implied that the panther is Irena.

Cast



Nominations

  • Saturn Awards - Best Actress - Nastassja Kinski
  • Golden Globe Awards
    • Best Original Motion Picture Score - Giorgio Moroder
    • Best Original Motion Picture Song - Giorgio Moroder (music) and David Bowie (lyrics)


Soundtrack

The theme song "Cat People " was performed by David Bowie, who wrote the lyrics to music composed by Giorgio Moroder. The song was released as a single in 1982, and in 1983, Bowie included a re-recorded version of the song on his album Let's Dance. Bowie performed the song live regularly during his 1983 "Serious Moonlight" tour.

Track listing

All tracks written by Giorgio Moroder except where noted.

Side one
  1. "Cat People " (Moroder, David Bowie) – 6:43
  2. "The Autopsy" – 1:31
  3. "Irena's Theme" – 4:20
  4. "Night Rabbit" – 1:58
  5. "Leopard Tree Dream" – 4:01


Side two
  1. "Paul's Theme (Jogging Chase)" – 3:51
  2. "The Myth" (Moroder, Bowie) – 5:11
  3. "To the Bridge" – 2:50
  4. "Transformation Seduction" – 2:44
  5. "Bring the Prod" – 1:57


Personnel



References



External links




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