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Ah, I didn't feel like it was out of nowhere, but maybe that's because I'm such a Lovecraft fan, I thought that was what the whole movie was about. And really, I think it's structured that way, they keep saying throughout that if the scenario doesn't work, it's
WARNING: "spoils the entire movie" spoilers below
literally the end of the World.

But the fact that they chose to go there rather than let off the gas is one of the many things that makes the movie truly special. I mean, how many Horror movies end with,
WARNING: "spoils everything" spoilers below
"Yeah, everything goes to shit and the World literally ends"?
Maybe Demons and a few others. It's a big-boy/girl move in my opinion.
And then the funny dialogue that goes with it:
WARNING: "so spoilery" spoilers below
"I'm sorry I almost shot you. I probably wouldn't have."
"Oh, that's ok. I'm sorry I let you get attacked by a werewolf and then ended the World."

I mean, if the movie is too slick or winking for you like it is for crumbs, I can kinda let that go (I was thinking of crumbs when I said it might be too meticulously funny for some), but to me, the ending is just balls-out and leaves me with this huge shit-eating grin.
That's a fair reading. Again, it's been a while since I've seen it, so I'm not, like, confident in my dislike of it. It's just a vague memory I had when I first watched the film.



So, so far, Tentacles has definitely slightly improved enough that it isn't a torture to continue. Still terrible, but at least now there is a little more to keep the audience's attention beyond Shelly Winters giant sombrero.


Also, it sure sounds like a theme from the soundtrack was either liberally borrowed from or outright lifted for the Amer trailer (which to this day is still one of the greatest trailers I've ever seen). So that was also at least another something to benefit from not bailing



Ah, I didn't feel like it was out of nowhere, but maybe that's because I'm such a Lovecraft fan, I thought that was what the whole movie was about. And really, I think it's structured that way, they keep saying throughout that if the scenario doesn't work, it's
WARNING: "spoils the entire movie" spoilers below
literally the end of the World.

But the fact that they chose to go there rather than let off the gas is one of the many things that makes the movie truly special. I mean, how many Horror movies end with,
WARNING: "spoils everything" spoilers below
"Yeah, everything goes to shit and the World literally ends"?
Maybe Demons and a few others. It's a big-boy/girl move in my opinion.
And then the funny dialogue that goes with it:
WARNING: "so spoilery" spoilers below
"I'm sorry I almost shot you. I probably wouldn't have."
"Oh, that's ok. I'm sorry I let you get attacked by a werewolf and then ended the World."

I mean, if the movie is too slick or winking for you like it is for crumbs, I can kinda let that go (I was thinking of crumbs when I said it might be too meticulously funny for some), but to me, the ending is just balls-out and leaves me with this huge shit-eating grin.

WARNING: spoilers below
The Thing. I'm pretty sure that final scene of them just sitting there waiting for the world to end is channeling the end of The Thing.



Victim of The Night
This is the greatest thing ever.
I had this problem which was that I did not actually like to EAT Boo-Berry cereal but I loved the character so I would make my mom buy the cereal and then I wouldn't eat it and she'd get pissed and refuse to buy any more.
I love that the voices are parodies of Lugosi, Karloff, and Lorre. Just wonderful memories.

But, honestly, who pours milk in the bowl before the cereal?!



I had this problem which was that I did not actually like to EAT Boo-Berry cereal but I loved the character so I would make my mom buy the cereal and then I wouldn't eat it and she'd get pissed and refuse to buy any more.
LOL

But, honestly, who pours milk in the bowl before the cereal?!
Hey, the dude's dead, cut him some slack.



Victim of The Night

Arguably Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur's most famous film, Cat People is the story of Irena, descended from a group of Serbian villagers who, around 1500 C.E., had become satanists and witches and then fled into the mountains as cats when the Emperor came to slay them. She believes that if she is ever aroused to passion she will transform into a great cat and kill her lover. Somehow this level of crazy does not discourage the very nice man who falls for her and he continues to struggle and fight to make her happy and to marry her.
Will Irena turn into a panther like the ones she sketches at the zoo? Will she kill her nice husband and possibly her rival who is in love with him and actually isn't crazy? Or is Cat People just an allegory for a man in a relationship with a Cluster B Personality Disorder woman? You won't know until you see Cat People.
This is a bit of a challenging movie in that the set up is very long and very little actually happens for the first 43 minutes of the movie. As much of a Lewton/Tourneur fan as I am, and remembering a fondness for this film (though more than a decade has passed since I last saw it), I was getting pretty bored and restless before the iconic stalking scene finally arrives and the dark side of Irena's (totally Cluster B) personality emerges. It is a great scene, replete with Tourneur's evocative shadows and the interesting idea of having no music at all during the scene, just silence and footsteps.


Very effective.
But the most exciting scene of the film and the first one that suggests real Horror comes when Irena's rival for her husband's love (you really can't blame him), Alice, goes for a swim and Irena drops by for a visit.


This is the best scene of the film, probably, and was recreated (as was the stalking scene if I remember) by Paul Schraeder in his 1980s remake of the film (which is either totally Rifftraxable or really awesome, depending on your point of view).
There's a lot of Christian mumbo-jumbo in this about sin and living a good Christian life and whatnot that I really could have done without and makes the film very of its time and very exclusive to Christians but I guess one has to endure that sort of thing sometimes if one's going to watch old movies. The psychiatry aspect is a lot more interesting. The Nice Man convinces Irena to see a psychiatrist, played by Tom Conway from I Walked With A Zombie (and the Falcon series), and man is he something. Arrogant, condescending, and ultimately professionally inappropriate, he uses his position to engineer a potential affair with Irena. Lucky for him he carries a sword-cane. This particular vein actually allows the movie to become almost edgy for its time, which it needed to recover from the long buildup.


Well, I'll tell ya, as someone who has been the victim of multiple women with Borderline Personality Disorder (as have two of my closest friends) I was really struck by how strongly this film suggested to me that this was just that story with a panther in it. A good, kind man who describes himself as “never been unhappy” attracts the attention and is strongly “drawn to” a woman who has fantastic ideas, mood swings, jealousy, and magical thinking and refuses to work with her psychiatrist and makes him miserable, nearly ruining his life? Sounds pretty textbook.
But it's an enjoyable film and the second half really takes off and gives the audience some suspense and even a little action. I'd have to admit that after revisiting this, I would prefer to watch most of Tourneur's other genre films ahead of this one, including The Leopard Man, I Walked With A Zombie, Night Of The Demon, and even Out Of The Past, and I think I actually prefer Lewton's Curse Of The Cat People. I know that Cat People is considered their "classic" and that I'm "supposed to" prefer it to The Leopard Man... but I don't.
Still, it's a nice enough film and it's canon and I can live with that. Something I would probably watch every five or ten years though as opposed to I Walked With A Zombie, say, which I watch about every other year.



Post Script -
I find it really odd that the score to this film, during the suspenseful scenes, is almost identical to A Nightmare On Elm Street. The "One, Two, Freddy's Comin' For You" melody and the derivations of it that are used to create fear and tension in scenes from that movie (like Tina's death-scene, outside) sounds exactly like the score during suspenseful scenes here. Like so much so that there are only two possibilities. One is that the music is a pre-existing piece that was used as the basis for the suspenseful themes of both films. The other is that Craven straigh-up ripped it off. That said, I cannot be the first person to discover this so the latter seems unlikely or there’d be dragging all over the internet over it. Still, there is no way the filmmakers did not get the music from this very famous Horror movie that they would definitely have seen.
I think it's really strange though that there is no comment about this anywhere on the internet that I can find when they are so obviously the same music.
The more I try to research this, the more puzzled I become. Elm Street composer Charles Bernstein doesn't mention any inspiration beyond a nursery rhyme or skipping rhyme and never talks about Cat People. Even if they are derived, totally unknowingly, from the same source, they are just too damn similar for this to be wild coincidence.
Anyone with any insight, it would be appreciated.



When you said you were going to cover the counterpart to Catman of Paris, I was thinking Werewolf of London. Plot twist!
This is perfect, because the movie I had planned for tonight appears to be a straight ripoff of Cat People. Should be interesting.

"Beernt deernt dern dernnnnnnnnnn....."
(That's the Cat Scratch Fever riff, of course.)



Why are the films based off Thomas Harris's novels not listed as horror when they are?



And I need to rewatch the 1981 Cat People and watch the older one for comparison.



Victim of The Night
When you said you were going to cover the counterpart to Catman of Paris, I was thinking Werewolf of London. Plot twist!
This is perfect, because the movie I had planned for tonight appears to be a straight ripoff of Cat People. Should be interesting.

"Beernt deernt dern dernnnnnnnnnn....."
(That's the Cat Scratch Fever riff, of course.)
Oh, you were right, I am going to cover The Werewolf Of London. And An American Werewolf in London. I just had to cover this one first. Between were-creatures and European capitals, we're gonna be totally covered.



Victim of The Night
Why are the films based off Thomas Harris's novels not listed as horror when they are?
Well, I guess it depends on how you feel about the genre. I do not consider them Horror. I would watch them in a Thriller month but not a Horror or Halloween one.
That's just how I personally parse things.



Fun fact: there is a statue of a male chimpanzee in Prague that has golden...umm, let's just say that it's anatomically correct. Google if you dare!



Fun fact: there is a statue of a male chimpanzee in Prague that has golden...umm, let's just say that it's anatomically correct. Google if you dare!
I have googled this and have now decided that I will NOT be watching the Man-Chimp of Prague after all.



I have googled this and have now decided that I will NOT be watching the Man-Chimp of Prague after all.
I guess that wasn't such a fun fact after all.
Oh well, there's plenty of other man-chimp-based horror out there. Shakma and Monkey Shines, for instance.



Cat People is very good. Looking back, I feel like I underscored the film. Definitely need to rewatch it one of these days.
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