director Lucio Fulci
Lucio Fulci’s A Cat in the Brain is a strange and interesting mess of a film. Compiled somehow by Fulci from pieces of other films he had made, he features himself in a starring role as a horror film director whose work is getting to him.
Shooting limbs getting sawed off and blood spurting and heads rolling eventually leads the filmic Fulci to hysterical hallucinations and delusions of real-world gore. He takes himself to a local psychiatrist to try to cope with the visions, but unfortunately for him, his psychiatrist is a closeted killer himself, who hypnotizes Fulci into believing his visions are real and goes on to commit crimes that Fulci also comes to believe that he has committed.
Considered by some to be the “maestro of gore’s” Fellini-esque 8 1/2 (1963), it’s an odd and still very gory self-reflection of potential real trauma. Did Fulci really have such visions? It would be easy enough to imagine. I had a job in a deli as a meat slicer one summer and dreamed of my hands constantly slicing through fresh and sinew.
Sadly, it’s a kinda crappy movie ultimately, made in Fulci’s later years when he was facing poverty and obscurity. You feel the sincerity but the quality just slacks off. The ending exemplifies this in that the capture of the killer is all off-screen in a rather unusual unfolding of climax into anti-climax. Possibly some compromises led to this?