Cat’s Eye (1985 with Drew Barrymore and James Woods)

USA / 1985

Director: Lewis Teague
Writer: Stephen King

Cast: Drew Barrymore, James Woods, Alan King, Kenneth McMillan, Robert Hays, Candy Clark, James McNaughton, Tony Munafo

An anthology of Stephen King anecdotes, part new material, part dramatisation of two short stories. The disparate elements are threaded together by the fate of a cat. First it is tortured by a strange mobster-run agency (personified by Alan King) whose regime to induce client James Woods to quit smoking entails threat and sadism. Then it is taken up by a cuckolded gambler, Kenneth McMillan, who persuades his wife’s toyboy, Robert Hays, to make a death-defying circuit of the exterior of his penthouse. Finally it is adopted by Drew Barrymore, who is oppressed by a buck-toothed gremlin. Happily the cat sees off this spooky rival.

This is minor King with rather too many invocations of his own myth but there are striking performances, especially from Woods with his cold-sweat-inducing bout with nicotine cold turkey.

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