5.7/10
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51 user 72 critic

A Cat in the Brain (1990)

Un gatto nel cervello (original title)
A horror film director is stalked by a mad psychiatrist/serial killer bent on killing people to model the killings after the director's gory death scenes from his movies.

Director:

Lucio Fulci

Writers:

Lucio Fulci (story), Giovanni Simonelli (story) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lucio Fulci ... Dr. Lucio Fulci
Brett Halsey ... The Monster (archive footage)
Ria De Simone ... The Soprano (archive footage) (as Ria Desimon)
David L. Thompson ... Professor Egon Schwarz
Sacha Darwin Sacha Darwin ... Woman in Oven (archive footage)
Jeoffrey Kennedy Jeoffrey Kennedy ... Inspector Gabrielli
Robert Egon ... Second Monster / Himself (archive footage)
Malisa Longo ... Katya Schwarz (as Melissa Lang)
Shilett Angel Shilett Angel ... Filippo the Producer
Paola Cozzo ... Nurse Lilly (as Judy Morrow)
Adriana Russo Adriana Russo ... Nightmare Victim (archive footage) (as Layla Frank)
Jessica Moore ... Nightmare Victim (archive footage) (as Georgia Moore)
Paul Muller ... Nightmare Victim (archive footage)
Marco Di Stefano ... Nightmare Victim (archive footage)
Maurice Poli ... Nightmare Victim (archive footage)
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Storyline

Dr. Lucio Fulci is a director of splatterfilms. He stages a gestapo-orgy like it was any other movie scene. But he is influenced by these things more than he likes. He is hunted by bloody visions day by day. Is Fulci still normal? He asks a psychatrist. He doesn't know that the psychatrist has much bigger problems than Fulci himself. The psychatrist uses Fulci's visions for brutal murders in real life... Written by Matthias Luehr <mluehr@htwm.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for horror violence/gore, a strong scene of sexuality and some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

8 August 1990 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

A Cat in the Brain See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Executive Cine TV See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original script was 49 pages long and contained no dialogue. It consisted of descriptions of bodily mutilations/imagery and sound effects that would compliment them on screen. See more »

Goofs

The footage being played back of a woman getting her eye gouged out has a different scream than the first time. See more »

Alternate Versions

German video version was cut down to 67 minutes but still got a "Not under 18" rating. See more »

Connections

References Psycho (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Even in his declining health Lucio Fulci still proves that he can make a great splatter.
13 June 2007 | by K_TodorovSee all my reviews

"Cat In The Brain" is a series of extremely violent sequences knitted together by a plot that feels more like an overview, describing director Lucio Fulci's most notorious years of film-making. The movie could also be seen as a dark comedy of sorts, effectively spoofing the various claims that violent cinema causes violence in real life. Fulci goes further than that, he casts himself as the star, the central figure of the film thus showing the audience who is the man behind all the cinematic gore. "Cat in The Brain" is not about presenting a clear story and following it. Instead it pokes fun at some of the clichés that have been surrounding the horror genre for years.

Lucio Fulci plays himself as a horror director struggling to keep his humanity intact. Years of violent film making have finally began to reach him. It starts slowly, steaks and meat in general begin to disgust him, his colleagues assure Fulci that all he needs is some rest. But that doesn't help and soon the grotesque ideas for his movies begin to overwhelm his daily thoughts. In an attempt to find a cure for his dangerously maddening mental state Lucio starts going to the local psychiatrist. Unfortunately that does more wrong than good and Fulci is thrown into an even bigger mess, as the psychiatrist turns out to be a psychopath, who mimics the murders from Fulci's films in real life.

The film retains all the trademarks of Italian splatter cinema, good or bad they are all here. So any comments about the acting or the technical aspects and budget constrains are quite irrelevant as to the quality of the film. It is a visual experience, no doubts about it. Fulci throws in an incredible amount of violence easily surpassing pretty much everything he's made. Amputated by chainsaw limbs, cannibalism, child murder, decapitation, these are just some of the many grotesque acts witnessed in "Cat In The Brain". Some of them are obviously recycled from a few the director's less profile movies but they don't stand out of the context, and actually feel quite at home here. As I noted before the movie exists much better as a satire of the genre rather than a serious piece. The way some of the violence is presented does help establish that idea. Such sequences shortly after climax are rejected by the reality in the film, as they are revealed to be actually scenes inside a movie that Fulci's character is directing. This sort of "film in film" presentation lessens somewhat the impact of the gore. But in no way does it make it an easy to watch film. Oh no this is far beyond and above the levels of gore found in mainstream horror, and gorehounds will in no doubt be satisfied with that fact.

Lucio Fulci was a very polarized figure. People either hate his work or love it. "Cat in the Brain" won't convince any of Fulci's detractors in the opposite but it is nevertheless an interesting part of his filmography. One that fans should really check out.


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