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Cat’s Eye is a 1985 anthology film from director Lewis Teague (also of Cujo) with a screenplay written by Stephen King. Two of the stories have been pulled from King’s short story anthology Night Shift, but the final tale was created for the film itself, and it aids in the odd framing narrative that helps transition between the stories. As anthology films go, Cat’s Eye is pretty unique – its central conceit doesn’t revolve around disconnected storylines but instead crafts its main protagonist into a cat of all things, and a pretty cool one at that. At Cultsploitation, we’re pretty good friends and we think that dialogues about film are some of the best ways to review. For this Cult Double-Shot, we take a look at Cat’s Eye‘s nine lives (and three stories).
Having never seen Cat’s Eye, I didn’t really know what to expect. I didn’t even realize it was an anthology film until the end of “Quitters, Inc.” But I felt like it was a good thing because that story makes it pretty clear that it would have a difficult time sustaining itself for too long. I thought it was actually the perfect length.
I’ve seen Cat’s Eye a few times over the years and I still get it confused with the Tales from the Darkside movie, involving the killer cat. Thankfully the cat in this flick is both friendly and awesome.
I like the humor in this one and I think James Woods does a good job in this role as the straight man who is seemingly unaffected by this odd smoker’s quit routine, he’s even pretty much unfazed by their threats until they actually start to occur. I think one of the best moments is the scene where he finds the man in rain boots in his closet; it’s both hilarious and chilling.
So the next story in Cat’s Eye is based on the short story “The Ledge,” originally appearing first in the July 1976 issue of Penthouse, which makes me think no one actually read it, and eventually ending up in the Night Shift collection. In the film adaption, we see Airplane actor Robert Hays playing tennis instructor Johnny Norris, who gets a bit too friendly with a rich man’s wife. The rich man/crime boss, Cressner (Kenneth McMillan) captures Johnny and wages a bet with him. He bets that Johnny can’t walk around the very tall building on a very small ledge. Johnny isn’t given much other choice expect to accept the bet and try his best.