Horror, Slasher

Cat in the Brain (1990)

Comments Off on Cat in the Brain (1990) 24 October 2016

cat-in-the-brain

Studio: Grindhouse Releasing

Theatrical Release: August 8, 1990

Blu Ray Release: July 12, 2016

Director: Lucio Fulci

Not Rated

Review by Travis North

Far removed from his best days, this may represent the last of Lucio Fulci’s good splatter films. If you want to get a recap on the film’s plot, you can refer to the previous review of the dual disc DVD edition here. I’ll take a different spin on the film, and update you on the Blu Ray edition.

If you think back far enough to the old days of TV, well before the so-called new “Golden Age of Television”, networks would try to stretch out a season of a show by throwing together old clips and only shooting about a third of original footage. That’s what you can consider this film. Pretty much all the glorious gore and triumphant titties are recycled from a disparate selection of Italian films, only some of which were directed by Fulci. That’s kind of nice because otherwise you may have a hard time tracking down some of the other titles. It still feels like a cheat though. At least it’s an almost non-stop parade of effects, which is what you really want in a Fulci film anyway. Let’s face it, coherence was never a strong suit in Italian genre films. Cat in the Brain would be perfect to have running in the background of a Halloween party.

There is some good news and some disappointing news in regards to the Blu Ray. The good news is every bonus feature from the DVD has been ported over. Even better, new interviews have been added, as well as a CD of the soundtrack, extended liner notes (which do a great job of breaking down where all the footage comes from), a heavy weight postcard of Fulci, and a nice glow in the dark cover. I assume the “easter eggs” came over as well, but I’ll be damned if I am going to waste my time trying to find the stupid things. Those may have been the dumbest feature to ever happen to DVDs, with steelbooks coming in second.

Now I have to point out one issue I had with this release, and that was the picture. I honestly thought I might have accidentally put on the old DVD instead of the Blu Ray. Referring to the previous review, grain was a complaint there as well so obviously the source material wasn’t in great shape and pulled from various sources. On Blu Ray it is just amplified to a ridiculous amount that things look horrible. Going back to the DVD, you can see a few areas where the picture is worse on the old release. Particularly in the sharpness of text, with most of the larger fonts in the titles showing some ringing around it. But the softer picture actually is much more pleasing when compared to the Blu Ray, at least to my eyes. You certainly give up some detail, but I was much less distracted while watching. I think it will come down to viewer preference.

Given the fact that this movie will never look pristine due to the composite nature of the film, my critique seems like a minor point. If this were Zombi or The Beyond I might have had more of an issue with it. When you weigh out this disc it will probably stand as the definitive release, pleasing any Fulciphile, so it is still recommended.

Movie Rating: ★★★☆☆

Blu Ray Rating: ★★★★☆

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