Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 1st, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1990
Director: Lucio Fulci
Writers: Lucio Fulci, Giovanni Simonelli, Antonio Tentori, John Fitzsimmons
Cast: Lucio Fulci, David L. Thompson, Jeoffrey Kennedy, Malisa Longo, Ria De Simone, Brett Halsey, Sacha Darwin, Robert Egon, Shillett Angel, Paola Cozzo, Layla Frank, Georgia Moore, Paul Muller, Marco Di Stefano, Maurice Poli, Lubka Lenzi, Vincenzo Luzzi
DVD released: March 31st, 2009
Approximate running time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Grindhouse Releasing
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
The premise for a Cat in the Brain is essentially “a Day in the Life of” … Lucio Fulci (who plays himself in the film). The plot is made up of a combination of clips from other films and scenes shot specifically for t he film to help flesh out a narrative structure. The film’s greatest asset is how the plot mixes fact and fiction. The film is also not one that is easy to digest upon one viewing and some of its subtitles become more apparent with each new viewing. Even though the majority of the death scenes are taken from previous films they all are bloody and brutal. One of the film’s most classic, line of dialog is when Lucio Fulci comments on how the special effects look fake.
Outside of Lucio Fulci’s performance this is not an easy film to gauge since the bulk of the cast only appear in the film via clips from other films. Lucio Fulci does an exceptional job portraying to the tormented director who path perfectly parallels his own journey. One of the film’s most satisfying moments is when Lucio Fulci is walking through a foggy landscape and music from The Beyond plays in the background. Also it is worth noting that the film was scored by Fabio Frizzi whose other collaborations with Lucio Fulci include The Four of the Apocalypse, Zombie, The Psychic, Silver Saddle, Contraband, City of the Living Dead, The Beyond and Manhattan Baby. Ultimately despite its flaws a Cat in the Brain is an entertaining and amusing satire
Grindhouse Releasing presents a Cat in the Brain in an anamorphic widescreen that retains the film’s original aspect ratio. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. Even though there is noticeable grain throughout it is never excessive. Colors and flesh tones look accurate. Black levels fare well and details look crisp.
This release comes with two audio options English and Italian. Both audio options are presented in a Dolby Digital mono. Overall both audio mixes sound clear, evenly balanced and they are free of any audio defects. Removable English subtitles that are easy to read and follow have been included.
Extras on disc one include the film’s original Italian language trailer (1 minute 45 seconds – no English subtitles), the U.S. theatrical trailer (1 minute 58 seconds – English), a extensive stills gallery that plays music from the film in the background and a Q & A session with director Lucio Fulci from Fangoria’s Weekend of Horror – NYC 1996 (22 minutes 7 seconds). Throughout the Q & A Lucio Fulci speaks in his native Italian and his answers are translated into English. Disc one has one Easter egg that can be found on the extras menu page. The Easter egg is a four minute clip of Lucio Fulci singing autographs.
Extras on disc two include bios / filmographies for Lucio Fulci and actor Brett Hasley. Hidden within these two extras are trailers for The Beyond (3 minutes 24 seconds – English language – 2.35:1 letterboxed widescreen), Silver Saddle (3 minutes 12 seconds – Italian language, no English subtitles – 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen), La Pretora (4 minutes 1 seconds – Italian language, no English subtitles – 1.85:1 letterboxed widescreen), Beatrice Cenci (3 minutes 28 seconds – German language, no English subtitles – 1.85:1 letterboxed widescreen), Roy Colt and Winchester Jack (2 minutes 34 seconds – English language – 1.85:1 letterboxed widescreen), Return of the Fly (1 minutes 36 seconds – English language – 1.85:1 letterboxed widescreen), Hot Rod Rumble (1 minutes 31 seconds – English language – letterboxed widescreen) and three interviews clips in which Brett Hasley discusses Touch of Death, Esmeralda Bay and To Catch a killer. The main extras included on disc two include interviews with Lucio Fulci, “Genre Terrorist” (40 minutes 13 seconds – Italian language, English subtitles – 1.33:1 Full Frame) and “The Television Years” (40 minutes 47 seconds – Italian language, English subtitles – 1.33:1 Full Frame) and a lengthy interview with Brett Hasley “Living La Dolce Vita” (45 minutes 59 seconds – English language – 1.85:1 letterboxed widescreen). The two Lucio Fulci interviews are a candid and insightful. The Bret Hasley gives a thorough overview of his career. Other extras include a five minute segment titled “Memories of Lucio Fulci” that includes brief comments from Jeoffrey Kennedy, Sacha Maria Darwin and Malisa Longo about their personal experiences working with Lucio Fulci. Rounding out the extras for disc two are trailers for The Beyond, Cannibal Ferox, Cannibal Holocaust, I Drink Your Blood, The Tough Ones, Massacre Mafia Style, Gone with the Pope, Scum of the Earth, An American Hippie in Israel, Death Game, Family Enforcer, Ice House, Pieces and Mad Ron’s Prevue’s from Hell. An Easter egg can be found on disc two on the interviews menu. It is a brief clip with Lucio Fulci that was conducted at the same time as the other two interviews include on disc two. This release comes with a booklet that contains three text pieces and 3-D cover. Overall a Cat in the Brain gets a definitive DVD release from Grindhouse Releasing that comes with a wealth of extra content most notably the two lengthy interviews with Lucio Fulci.