Saturday, October 12, 2013

31 Days of Halloween - Day 12 - Movie 1

A bestselling French author returns to Paris after time spent in the tropics. Recovering from tropical fever and suffering blackouts, he begins to suspect that he may be the mysterious, murdering Catman that the police suspect him to be.

I'd wondered why The Catman of Paris (1946) had fallen into obscurity. Having now seen it, the answer is not such a mystery. The Catman of Paris is not without its charms, a well dressed werecat who is well spoken is one of them. As a police procedural it's pretty sloppy. After the first murder, the police immediately leap to the conclusion that either some sort of supernatural werecat is responsible or that the murderer is the famous author, or both. An elaborate scale model miniature of the crime scene, including detailed tree and working lights is created for some reason, mainly so a normal sized cat can walk through it to trick the audience into thinking they're seeing a giant cat on the real street. The movie actually does a fair job of working its red herring, and trying to develop its cast of characters a bit. There is a bizarre montage of negative image stock footage that's used whenever the author has one of his blackout spells, that confounds me with some of the choices in imagery.  The biggest problem for me is that Carl Esmond, as the lead is a bit of a stuffed shirt, making him a bit boring and unlikable, so its hard to sympathize with his plight.

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