STEPHEN KING WEEK: Cat’s Eye (1985)

Cat’s Eye takes three Stephen King stories, “Quitters, Inc.”, “The Ledge” (both from Night Shift) and “General,” an original story. The three tales are connected by a cat, who is involved in the first two stories but becomes the main character in the final part of the film.

That cat starts as a stray who is chased by Cujo and is nearly run over by Christine (this film is literally Stephen King fan service, also featuring references to The Dead Zone and Pet Sematary). He hears the voice of a little girl asking for help, but he’s captured by an employee of Quitters, Inc.

That’s the title of the first story, an exploration of “What if the Mob helped people quit smoking?” James Woods and Alan King star here and the rules for quitting cigarettes are simple. The first time you get caught, you get shocked. The second time, your wife gets shocked. The third time, your Downs Syndrome daughter (Drew Barrymore, in one of three roles) gets shocked. Oh yeah and they rape your wife. Finally, they just give up on you.

“The Ledge” follows Cressner (Kenneth McMillan, Baron Harkonnen from Dune) catching Johnny Norris (Robert Hays from Airplane!) and his wife in an affair. Cressner is a better man, so he challenges Johnny to walk around a building.

“General” pretty much saves the film, the tale of Amanda (Barrymore) and an evil gnome who tries to take her soul. General is the cat we’ve been following for the entire film and he’s trying to save her, but her mother thinks the cat just wants to kill her bird. This part of the film is quite literally a Loony Toons movie brought to life, with the grotesque troll matching wits with our heroic cat (Frank Welker does the voices for both).

This film is part of the Dino De Laurentiis era of King movies, with the producer asking King to write a role for Barrymore, who he loved in Firestarter. It’s a throwaway movie, to be honest, with some fun effects at the end. It’s directed by Lewis Teague, who also was in the chair for The Jewel of the Nile, Cujo, Navy Seals, the Dukes of Hazzard TV reunion and the aborted Justice League of America TV movie.

It was also the very first episode of our podcast, which you can listen to here!

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