Cat Girl (1957)

An unofficial remake of Cat People, this Alfred Shaughnessy-directed (he wrote Upstairs Downstairs) film is all about Leonora Johnson (Barbara Shelley, perhaps Hammer’s best-known female actress with roles in Dracula, Prince of DarknessThe GorgonRasputin, The Mad Monk and Quatermass and the Pit), who may have inherited a family curse — when angered, she transforms into a murderous cat — along with an ancestral estate and lots of money.

Somehow, Dr. Brian Marlowe is still Leonora’s psychologist, despite them dating years before. I have no idea how he’s able to serve in this role, which feels like a violation of ethics, nor stay married to his wife Dorothy when Leonora continually is either trying to sleep with him or transform into a wolf and kill her. Dorothy is either a saint or a moron, as she keeps forgiving and helping.

If you were at the drive-in in 1957, you probably could have caught this on a double bill with another American-International Pictures release, The Amazing Colossal Man. Shelly would also star in another cat-themed horror movie, The Shadow of the Cat.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

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