Cat in the Brain (1990)

The Fulci clip show.
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Cat in the Brain - The Fulci Clip Show

Cat in the Brain (AKA Nightmare Concert AKA Un gatto nel cervello) is a peculiar movie from the twisted mind of "The Master of the Eye Gag" Lucio Fulci about a horror movie director called Dr. Lucio Fulci convincingly played by Lucio Fulci! The movie portrays the torment that constantly plagues someone who has to deal with creating bloodfilled gore movies on a daily basis and likes this to a metaphorical black cat living in the brain (or an unrealistic looking Sesame Street audition-failure kneading a brain like substance with its claws). Being a horror movie about horror movies there are plenty of opportunities to fill the screen with gore for the flimsiest of reasons but disappointingly we are not presented with Fulci's best, well, we are but we've seen most of it before. As expected form the Italian master of horror the movie is very graphic and the human butchery leaves nothing to the imagination, but the storyline is weak and not substantial enough to make a compelling watch. The majority of the gore is spliced from other movies and the main reason for watching a Fulci movie is to see new Fulci-gore.

Dr. Lucio Fulci a doctor turned horror movie maker is finding his demanding work schedule a bit hectic and is obviously blurring the lines between his gore filled days and his life out of work. Having lost his appetite for steak tartar due to cannibal scenes and unable to sleep through the sound of chain-sawing because it reminds him of dismemberment, Dr. Fulci decides that he maybe needs to get his head shrunk by a doctor and luckily a psychiatrist lives just down the road.

Having booked himself an appointment to see Dr. Schwarz, Fulci heads back to the set to continue work on "Ghosts of Sodom" just to throw a little bit of Nazi sadism into his already troubled mind, but the eroticism of fruity looking Nazi boys is too much for his fragile psyche and Fulci soon has a "senior moment" in front of the Munich news crew, smashing up the place and trying to de-clothe the female reporter.

Back to the shrink it is but it turns out that Dr. Schwarz's research into Fulci's movies has had an effect on his mind too. Hypnotising the horror master and convincing him that he will commit heinous crimes, Dr. Schwarz allows Fulci to leave the session with no memory of what has just transpired and sets off on a killing spree. With Fulci convinced that he is the mad killer his mental state deteriorates and he dithers around believing that the trail of corpses that follow him are his doing and leaving the viewer to wonder if they really are.

As one of Fulci's later movies Cat in the Brain lacks the innovation of his earlier works but is still a fine example of the vivid and detailed gut-letting that made his zombie movies such towering successes in the world of horror. It is an unusual concept for a director to make a fictional autobiography and it is as if Mr. Fulci had some demons of his own that would only be returned to their fiery depths by documenting these ills. Not his best work and a million miles away from the zombie classics that are most commonly associated with Lucio Fulci, Cat in the Brain is a demented look into the traumas caused by a constant exposure to traumatic movie making. Compared to the majority of horrors this is an innovative and disturbing piece of horror but compared to legends such as Zombie and The Beyond, Cat in the Brain is a slight detour for Fulci and demonstrates that whatever the subject, even if it is himself, he is still a sick movie maker.
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Categories: Italian Horror Movies

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