Paul Schrader directed one of the ’80s best exploitation flicks with his 1982 remake of Cat People. I mean, you’ve got Nastassja Kinski getting naked in New Orleans, and sleeping with men whom she then kills. After turning into a panther. Good times.
Not exploitatey enough for you? It gets better. Kinski can reproduce only with her cat-person big brother, played by Malcolm McDowell at his sleazy/creepy best. It all has something to do with an ancient Egyptian curse, but nobody is looking too deeply at the plot.
Instead, go for the gore, the gratuitous nudity, and the Southern Gothic horror. And don’t miss the soundtrack by Giorgio Moroder, done up in Early Electronica. It’s aged much better than most soundtracks of the era.
For the title track, Moroder teamed up with David Bowie. Bowie released his version as the penultimate track on the mega-selling Let’s Dance. That cut is straight-up rock, and is actually the lesser for it. What the song really needed for greatness was what Moroder’s remix gave it: A slinky-creepy-haunting sound to live up to the name “Cat People.”
So here’s the official video for you. But if you really want to experience Cat People in all its kinky glory, you can buy the movie in HiDef from the iTunes Store. I know what I’m watching this weekend.