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Cat in the Brain
Cat in the Brain
Actors: Lucio Fulci, Robert Egon, Brett Halsey, Paul Muller, Maurice Poli
Director: Lucio Fulci
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
UR     2009     1hr 35min

The most VIOLENT movie ever made! Starring Godfather of Gore Lucio Fulci Acclaimed Italian horror maestro Lucio Fulci, director of ZOMBIE and THE BEYOND, stars in this blood-soaked epic as a director being driven insane by...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Lucio Fulci, Robert Egon, Brett Halsey, Paul Muller, Maurice Poli
Director: Lucio Fulci
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Grindhouse Releasing/ Ryko
Format: DVD - Anamorphic
DVD Release Date: 03/31/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/1990
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1990
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 15
Edition: Director's Cut
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Fulci on Fulci
Nicholas Ehst | Phoenix, Arizona | 06/24/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I'll begin this review by warning everybody that it will only focus on the content of the film, not the DVD itself (which is still 2 months from release at the time of this review). This being an Image Entertainment release though, I feel safe in my assumption that the sound and video quality will be at least acceptable.This is in a way Fulci's autobiography. Fulci on Fulci if you will. A look (sort of) into the mind of one of the Italian Cinema's most controversial and prolific filmmakers, at least that was the idea. This movie can only be taken on one level, gore munching fun. Unfortunately all of the potential of a poignant look into the mind of the maestro is absolutely wasted, and what's left is a somewhat 2 dimensional story. A director of violent movies (Lucio Fulci) tries to cure himself of all the mental anguish having created such pieces of horror celluloid bestows upon him. In his hunt for absolution, he finds himself in the office of one of the most ludicrously acted doctors this side of Brian Yuzna's The Dentist, who takes it upon himself to live out every murderous fantasy he's ever had and pin the wrap on Fulci.This idea in itself would have still made for an interesting movie, if not an incredibly deep one, but as anybody interested in this movie probably already knows, only around of half of the movie is actually a new film. Most of Cat in the Brain (or Nightmare Concert as it is also commonly known) plays as sort of a Fulci's greatest hits, being made up of gory highlights from many of his lesser known latter films (and a few movies that he didn't actually direct). It's not unlike, if Lucio's career had been a television series, this would be his end of the 5th season "flash back episode".Even though many have taken issue with the somewhat plaguristic leanings of this movie, the idea itself still kind of works. The problem is the execution is such that the viewer's head is left absolutely spinning. The film cuts from story, to random gore, to story and back again, allowing the film to get to the point where even the most rabid of gore hounds will be tapping his foot and wondering "When is the blood gonna stop, and the film gonna start again?"Interestingly enough, through all of this mayhem, Fulci proves to not be all that bad of an actor (his 8,000,000 Hitchokian cameos more than likely got him ready for the role), but unfortunately for the film, he is the only one who appears very fit for the screen.This film will more than likely only be truly enjoyed by Fulci (or eurohorror) enthusiasts, and while others might enjoy it, they probably won't be able to sit through repeated viewings. But if you are an admirer of the late maestro's work, then there is no reason to not own this "ode to himself". And besides, where else but in a movie made by Fulci, about Fulci would we see multiple Italian beauties swooning "Look, it's the director Lucio Fulci, maybe I can be in his next movie." From the sound of it, she probably has never seen what most often happens to girls in Fulci's movies."
You Can Throw Away That Cruddy VHS You Paid $400,000 For!
Stanley Runk | Camp North Pines | 03/28/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Those saints at Grindhouse have finally given us Cat In The Brain, and being the cool guys they are, have given the DVD excellent treatment. There are a bunch of interviews(two with Fulci himself), Fulci's appearance at Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors, trailers, galleries and the whole shebang. A very nice package with a groovy hologram cover.
Hows about the movie? It won't quite tickle you like Fulci's classics, but it's quite good. As I'm sure you know(about 100 times over)Fulci is playing himself in this film. He's become quite disturbed and disillusioned by his constant shooting of violent films, and the lines between his work and his life start to blur(some of these scenes are really well done). He goes to a wacko psychoanalyst(but aren't they all?) for help, but the Doc takes advantage of Fulci's predicament to go on a murder spree for some odd reason(his wife being a hoochie momma may have something to do with it, or maybe he's just having a slow day). For the Doc, Fulci will make the perfect scapegoat. He convinces Fulci under hypnosis that Fulci is the one committing the crimes during his horror movie directing induced episodes, while the Doc is really the one doing the deed(the huge grin worn by the Doc as he stalks his victims is funny yet sinister at the same time).
That's your plot, folks. A Woody Allen movie gone mad!! It's more in the giallo vein, except there's really no mystery going on, only a question of what's real and what's in Fulci's mind. And it is a gory one too, as you might have guessed. Yes, there is footage from some of Fulci's lesser known films, as well as Bianchi's Massacre, but I didn't find this so appalling and distracting as some did. In fact, I think it actually fit what was going on pretty well.
It's cool to see Fulci doing something a bit different and poking fun at his career. Though still brutal, gory and kinda comically dubbed like many of his films, it's like nothing else he's done before. I'd actually suggest this to the critics(including Roger Ebert) who had probably only seen Zombie and/or The Beyond and feel Fulci is nothing more than a hack horror director. Oh hell, who am I kidding? They already have their minds made up. But regardless, Fulci fans have never given a hoot about what other people say, so it's all good. Obviously this is recommended for the Fulci fan, though that really goes without saying.
Thanks again, Grindhouse."
Not classic Fulci, but better than most of late day flicks
Dave. K | Staten Island, Ny | 04/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)


*** ½ Out of 5

Release Date- August 8th, 1990

Running Time- 95-Minutes

Rating- NR

Screenplay- Lucio Fulci, Giovanni Simonelli, Antonio Tentori

Director- Lucio Fulci

Starring- Lucio Fulci, David L. Thompson, Malisa Longo, Jeoffrey Kennedy, Paola Cozzo and Brett Halsey

Released in 1990 Cat in the Brain, which also goes under the title Nightmare Concert came out when Lucio Fulci had clearly seen better days. After the release of The New York Ripper in 1982 Fulci seemed to really lose it and started a major decline in his career and depending on who you talk to that decline started with Ripper though I would disagree. At this point in his career with release such as Murder Rock, Aenigma and Touch of Death Fulci's best days were far behind. Zombi 3 as poor as it was for me is one of the only late day Fulci movies I did however enjoy; if for anything for the so bad its good quality.

Cat in the Brain is the only other late day Fulci movie I liked; after Cat in the Brain, Fulci would release three more movies, but for me this is the last movie that he made and would have made the perfect swan song. Despite popular belief Lucio Fulci was much more than a gore director with his movies such as Don't Torture a Duckling and Seven Notes in Black, Fulci was a filmmaker who can tell a story and create scenes with suspense and tension. Even though Zombi started his splatter era it's also a movie driven by suspense and tension and some really great atmosphere. And while some of these qualities were in his splatter flicks of the 80s they were more of a showcase for over the top, but excellent gore F/X.

Cat in the Brain is a movie by a director who is past his prime, but still has that one movie left in him. While this isn't one of the best movies of his career it is the best of his late day movies and besides Zombi 3 this is the only one worth watching. The plot is simple; Lucio Fulci sort of plays himself a director named none other than Lucio Fulci who is a horror filmmaker and from all the violent movies he's made he's starting to have trouble separating reality from fantasy.

Cat in the Brain is also sort of a highlight reel of Italian cinema as most of the gore scenes are footage from other Italian horror flicks including some of Fulci's movies. But believe it or not the gore scenes from Fulci's movies aren't his more popular works, but his lesser movies like When Alice Broke the Mirror, which is better known as Touch of Death. All of Brett Halsey's scenes are actually shots from Touch of Death and they were the only good scenes from a rather poor movie.

The screenplay by Lucio Fulci, Giovanni Simonelli & Antonio Tentori was fairly interesting; the concept was very good, but the execution was slightly off. There's no real development to the characters and it's never really explained by Lucio Fulci is starting to have a breakdown in gripping reality and fantasy, well it is explained actually, but I should say not enough was done with it. At times the script never really moves forward and often enough it just seems to repeat itself with different words. But as a whole the script was fairly decent, but the concept as excellent as it was just never got enough depth. And when it comes to the writing I'm not sure how it worked; since some footage are from other movies I don't know if that's why some writers are credited or if they actually worked with Fulci on the script.

The motivation for the killer is never really made clear and these were the flaws. Now I suppose these flaws are typical in horror and even with Fulci's previous movies, but Don't Torture a Duckling and Seven Notes in Black were actually well written and Fulci can deliver with the writing even if his movies aren't really known for that. But with Cat in the Brain the concept again was brilliant, but it just never really gets too deep into the characters.

As director Lucio Fulci is a bit uneven; compared to his last few flicks and what came after, Cat in the Brain seems like a masterpiece, but it's far from that. The pacing of Cat in the Brain is a little off and there are some slow moments as well as some that don't really work well. At times the film can be slightly sloppy, and while the production values aren't great they are by far better than his last few. Cat in the Brain was a fitting movie for Fulci to make at this point of his career, but had this been made in his prime back in the 70s or early 80s it probably would be among his best work if not his best movie, but seeing as this film was released at the downside of his career it actually came out fairly well even despite some sloppy scenes. Bottom line is Cat in the Brain doesn't showcase why Fulci became an Icon in the horror genre, but again for a film at the downside of his career it turned out well.

The major positive point about this film is it feels like a Lucio Fulci flick. That's actually the problem I had with some of his work after The New York Ripper; a lot of his movies post Ripper didn't feel like Fulci. But Cat in the Brain does have the look and feel of a Fulci movie. As I stated earlier Fulci could deliver a suspense and tension filled movie and I'd actually say his work in the 70s is every bit as strong as anything Dario Argento or Mario Bava did, but Cat in the Brain does lack in that area, but I have to say the movie turned out well for the most part. Don't expect something along the lines of Don't Torture a Duckling or Zombi 2, but for what it's worth Fulci does manage to put together an enjoyable if not flawed film. Cat in the Brain can be a bit slow at times and maybe even a bit boring, but if you stick with it despite all the flaws by the end the movie just might win you over like it did with me.

The acting is quite weak, but that's to be expected, but Fulci actually delivers a fairly good performance. Cat in the Brain is a very personal movie of a tortured soul and that's what Fulci was in real life and that does often show in some of his movies though fans have made his movies seem deeper than they actually were. But Lucio Fulci actually does rather well with his role and his performance again really wasn't bad at all the rest of the cast however was forgettable with except Brett Halsey, but his scenes, which again are taken from Touch of Death only involve the gore scenes and nothing else.

The gore in Cat in the Brain is mostly footage of other movies, but unless you know the movies or know the footage is from other flicks you wouldn't even notice. Normally you can always tell when the footage is lifted, but it's edited into Cat in the Brain rather well and won't even notice it unless like I said you know the movies. There is a really great scene that was a clear homage to the shower scene in Psycho and I don't know what movie it was from, but it was one of my favorite scenes and Fulci shows he can still shoot a gore scene as well. There is one kill scene towards the end of the movie, which was shot for Cat in the Brain and it's one of the best of Fulci's career.

Overall Cat in the Brain was a fun if not flawed movie by Lucio Fulci; while there is no doubt this is one of his better late day movies it's not on par with most of his movies from the 70s and 80s. Some elements of the movie come out a little silly and sloppy, but as a whole Cat in the Brain makes for a fun watch even if it takes time to get going. This would have been the perfect movie for Fulci to end his career on and while he would do three more movies after this for me this was the last movie by Lucio Fulci.

The DVD was released by Grindhouse Releasing and once again they prove without a shadow of a doubt they are by far the best company for horror and cult releases. The DVD is loaded with extras with a great in depth interview with Lucio Fulci. Cat in the Brain just might be their best release yet. Grindhouse Releasing often takes a long time to finally release a movie and sometimes we get delay after delay and while they aren't the most active either, but no company can compare with their releases. Grindhouse Releasing always goes all out on movies that won't be huge sellers. Thank you Grindhouse Releasing for all you've done for horror and cult!"
Nothing Special
D. R. Clarke | 08/15/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Well, not quite as bad as I had been led to believe, but not good either. Fulci plays himself as a director haunted by violent scenes from his own (and other people's) films, and ends up going to a psychiatrist for help. As it turns out however, the psychiatrist is a real life psycho, trapped in a loveless marriage, and uses Fulci's problems as an excuse to go on a murder spree with the intention of ultimately framing Fulci himself for the crimes. While Fulci does a reasonable job playing himself, the psychiatrist provides one of the worst performances I have seen on screen for many a year, being alternately wooden or over the top hammy. But I guess the primary reason people watch this film is because of the much hyped gore sequences. Well, while it is true there are numerous such scenes in the film, I am afraid much of the gore is of very poor quality - with dodgy rubber prosthetics and cheap looking severed heads. I am afraid I felt myself nodding off between the scenes of carnage, which is surely not a good sign."