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Author Topic: A Cat In The Brain / Un gatto nel cervello (Lucio Fulci, 1990)  (Read 11611 times)

Paul

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Now here’s a curio. Wes Craven was lavished with acclaim for his NEW NIGHTMARE and the SCREAM series, allegedly injecting the horror genre with a post-modernist edge. Lucio Fulci on the other hand had the reputation for being a misogynist hack, the epitome of this argument manifesed itself in his gruesome NEW YORK RIPPER. However, it was Fulci that started the self-referential horror bandwagon, four years before WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE.

A CAT IN THE BRAIN (aka NIGHT MARE CONCERT) features Fulci playing himself – a tortured filmmaker, suffering from insomnia and haunted by imagery from his movies. His psychiatrist (Italian exploitation regular Brett Halsey) decides to view the director’s films in an attempt to get to the root of the problem. Subsequently, the psychiatrist is transformed from a mild-mannered analyst into homicidal antagonist. Fulci is immediately put in the frame for the psychiatrist’s killings and sets about trying to clear his name…

First and foremost, A CAT IN THE BRAIN is a very cheap and extremely gory film. What elevates the film above anything of Fulci’s other late 80s/early 90s offerings is a distinct level of humour that had never been seen. The film is also a biting critique of the media violence debate and who better than a prim and proper psychiatrist being reduced to a hissing murderer after viewing some horror movies? Absolute genius.
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"Allow me to explain. Your mother is a whore, your father is a damn thief, and your grandfather is a notorious fag... and as for your sister..." - Yodlaf Peterson

Gary B.

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I see humor in almost every Fulci film I've ever seen (especially from Zombie onward).  He's definitely a master of surreal horror, and black comedy.  I imagine him laughing while sitting behind the camera at the absurdity of most of the things going on in the frame. 
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Paul

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I see humor in almost every Fulci film I've ever seen (especially from Zombie onward).  He's definitely a master of surreal horror, and black comedy.  I imagine him laughing while sitting behind the camera at the absurdity of most of the things going on in the frame. 

There is a lot of humour in Fulci's film's but I don't think it was any more evident than it was in CAT IN THE BRAIN.
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Gary B.

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that's definitely true!
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Paul

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that's definitely true!

I think the film is a lot smarter than most give credit for - yeah, it's really rough around the edges and the liberal "borrowing" of footage from his other films tiresome, but at its core, there's a great message -a quick stab wound to the side of those that believe people commit violent crime after being influenced by the media.
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"Allow me to explain. Your mother is a whore, your father is a damn thief, and your grandfather is a notorious fag... and as for your sister..." - Yodlaf Peterson

Gary B.

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It helps if you've never seen the other films where the footage is stolen from, like I hadn't before watching this one. 
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IL COMMISSARIO

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Sage Stallone's Grindhouse Releasing are supposed to be releasing this along with a PIECES special edition at some point hopefully before time ends.
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Paul

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Sage Stallone's Grindhouse Releasing are supposed to be releasing this along with a PIECES special edition at some point hopefully before time ends.

they're supposed to be releasing ROMA A MANO ARMATA too.
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vigilanteforce

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It helps if you've never seen the other films where the footage is stolen from, like I hadn't before watching this one. 

I don't believe the footage was exactly stolen- it was definitely licensed as they were all productions involving Fulci. However these films were truly terrible, their only reason for existing was probably being edited into NIGHTMARE CONCERT. I have Andrea Bianchi's MASSACRE which is dreadful and so is Fulci's own TOUCH OF DEATH. Still need to get GHOSTS OF SODOM (where the Nazi sequence was taken from) and Leandro Lucchetti's BLOODY PSYCHO aka SNAKE HOUSE which also has a bad reputation. No matter the recycled footage, this still has to be Fulci's goriest film- couldn't believe what I was seeing first time I watched it via a cut Italian VHS.
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Gary B.

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I didn't literally mean 'stolen'.  I guess 'borrowed' would have been a better word.
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Paul

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I didn't literally mean 'stolen'.  I guess 'borrowed' would have been a better word.

that's the terminology I used. I suppose it's a bit impolite to refer to a ded guy as a thief!  :-\
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ecc

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How do the Dutch and Italian editions compare?  Both are anamorphic widescreen (don't know the aspect ratio of the Dutch disc but the Italian one is 1.66:1 anamorphic from some screencaps I've seen) but the Dutch disc is cheaper.  The Italian disc has Italian and English audio options but I'm guessing the Italian audio is incomplete since the ending sequence was not part of the Italian edit and the interview is unsubtitled.

The Hunchback

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it was Fulci that started the self-referential horror bandwagon, four years before WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE.



But José Mojica Marins got there nearly 20 years prior to either Craven or Fulci with his film "O Exorcismo Negro" where his creation (COFFIN JOE) threatens to harm his family during a holiday.
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Nanni Vitali

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But José Mojica Marins got there nearly 20 years prior to either Craven or Fulci with his film "O Exorcismo Negro" where his creation (COFFIN JOE) threatens to harm his family during a holiday.

Yes -- and I would go as far as to say that Marins did it even earlier in 1970's AWAKENING OF THE BEAST, which imagines a medical experiment where the subjects are injected with LSD and monitored for how a poster of Coffin Joe influences their behavior/fantasies.

Staying on topic... which IS the best current release of CAT IN THE BRAIN (which I've not yet seen...)
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vigilanteforce

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I have the Italian disc and am quite happy with it.
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