CONFESSIONS OF A PSYCHO CAT (1968) – The Dungeon Review!
Most of the DVDs I will be watching (and have already watched) for Stepping into Something Weird and The Films of Michael Findlay have (and will) come from my DVD service Zip. I was not able to get everything I wanted through Zip so I purchased some downloads directly from Something Weird and bought a few DVDs for my collection. One of the films I bought was a blind choice but sounded so good I decided to take a chance. Bloody hell am I glad I did! Before I even get started on a review for the little piece of awesome called Confessions of a Psycho Cat I would like to firmly criticize the cover of this DVD.
Exciting? Absolutely. Evil? Sure. Exotic?! Why is that word in there? What detail of this film could be considered Exotic? There are a lot of words beginning with the letter “E” they could have used alternatively that would have made sense. Eclectic, Extraordinary, Edgy, Egregious, Efficacious, Engaging; just to name a few. A minor complaint in fairness but the unforgivably erroneous “HER BED WAS HER LAIR” is nothing short of devious! The main character Virginia hates people. At no point in Confessions of a Psycho Cat does Virginia lure anybody into her boudoir. Her bed most certainly was not her lair! As a matter of fact I don’t think we ever even get a shot of her bedroom. Virginia Marcus is far more interested in hunting human beings than making friends with them; never mind making them her lover! Sheesh! The film’s alternative tagline “She’s One Crazy Kitty!” Now THAT is an appropriate tagline! My girl Virginia is indeed a crazy kitty!
Confessions of a Psycho Cat opens with Virginia taking her brother to the airport. Her brother is going on a yearly safari; a vacation they usually take together. This year however Virginia has to stay behind due to a nervous breakdown.
After that long-winded rant Confessions of a Psycho Cat’s post title sequence goes right into several minutes of nudity and sex. The sex scenes in the film were allegedly added a few years after the film was made. Confessions of a Psycho Cat was originally intended to be a straight up horror thriller. The sexy subplot, if you can call it a “subplot” involves the friends of one of Virginia’s victims. I will get into that in a few seconds.
“It’s that dumb Buddy. He’s so unreliable. He should have been here an hour ago. He’s probably doing something stupid right now.”
Buddy is a friend in the loosest sense. He is actually the groups drug dealer and is himself an addict.
What Buddy was doing was being hunted!
Than we get a segue into more sex.
Buddy shows up to the party with a bullet in his leg. A small group of his chums gather around him and he tells them the story of how and why he was shot.
Buddy “the addict”, Charles Freeman “the actor” and Rocco “the wrestler” each receive mysterious notes to meet at the residence of Virginia Marcus. Virginia offers the men $100,000 if they can stay alive in Manhattan for 24 hours. The challenge? Virginia intends to hunt each one of them down. It’s a safari in Manhattan! “When you receive the cheque the game is on.” Why this particular trio of men? They each committed a murder that they were acquitted of. Virginia looks at it as a sort of public service and at the same time an entertaining game. The balance of Confessions of a Psycho Cat details the hunt with a lot of unnecessary sex scenes randomly scattered throughout.
I can not lie, I would love to have seen what Confessions of a Psycho Cat looked like without the added sex scenes. Eileen Lord who plays Virginia Marcus gives a show stopping performance! She is truly magnificent! She has a great look and fantastic expressions; shouting, yelling and laughing hysterically. She just wanted to go on safari goddammit! It is one of those epic crazy performances that linger in the mind. She never holds back the emotions going from reasonable to insane regularly. The first thing I did when the film ended was look up Eileen Lord on IMDB and I was shocked to see Confessions of a Psycho Cat was her only credit! What a crying shame! This film is worth watching just for her character and her brilliant performance! She is not the only highlight of Confessions of a Psycho Cat though. Virginia’s three victims were all perfectly chosen.
Good old junkie Buddy! Buddy may or may not have been played by Frank Geraci who I could not find any information on. Frank Geraci would have been at the right age to have played Buddy based on the small amount of names listed on IMDB. The film itself does not give credit to any of the actors or actresses. It notes Camera, Sound, Lab, Sound Transfer, Props, Location, and Script Girl (Script Girl?!). And getting their own credited highlight was Bill Boyd who wrote the script and Eve who produced and directed. Eve apparently is a pseudonym for Herb Stanley. There was not an actor or actress listed however. In any case, back to Buddy; he was a top-notch junkie. The dark circles around the eyes, the hollowed cheeks, the sunglasses indoors, the feet on Virginia’s coffee table, the tweaking out. He amused me and he also gave Ms. Virginia Marcus a run for her money.
Charles Freeman “the actor” may or may not have been played by Dick Lord. And frankly sir, I would have stuck with Richard with that last name; but to each his own. Dick had only one other acting credit listed under his name and I could not find a picture of him on Google or anywhere else. In any case, the Charles Freeman character is great! Sort of a washed up actor sort who is looking to get his career back on track. A murder is bad for the career even if you are acquitted. Evidently they reenact each one of the men’s acquitted murders and Mr. Freeman’s is definitely the highlight. He has a great leading man of the 50s look that suited the part well.
The only other character besides Virginia from the cast of Confessions of a Psycho Cat who I can confidently note the performer; Rocco “the wrestler” played by boxer Jake “Raging Bull” LaMotta! Oh yes, Jake LaMotta plays the wrestler and Virginia is particularly relentless with her taunts where he is concerned. He gets himself in quite the lather that inevitably results in his downfall. His and Virginia’s final confrontation is one of the cherry on top moments of the film that will have you shouting Toro! Needless to say LaMotta’s role was not a stretch but nonetheless…perfectly cast.
The sex scenes are filler and rather goofy filler at that. Some of the participants actually looked bored and some of the acting by this group was hilariously bad. The keyword being “hilarious”. I didn’t hate the sex scenes. They are an attractive 60s-licious bunch of folks who spend their screen time nude or partially dressed and cough out some pretty silly nonsense that certainly gave me a chuckle. The Pièce de résistance was Rocco’s hooker pictured in the two images above. Her scene was one of the added bits and she was clearly not in the same room as Jake LaMotta. There is no way Rocco would have let that crazy dame in his room. Her dialog was priceless.
“What you bring me up here for anyway? All you’re doing is reading that silly little paper. I came up here to have some fun. What’s the matter? Don’t you like me? (Takes off bra and examines her breasts) I never had any complaints before. Can’t you tell I’m a girl? I think I look pretty good. I think you’re putting me down. I’m sexy and that’s what I came up here for…sex.” She than starts kissing her own reflection and really goes at it, tongue and all for a good minute plus. Classic sixties sexploitation fun!
I thoroughly enjoyed Confessions of a Psycho Cat! While Virginia and her trio of victims was certainly the highlight and definitely the film’s best performances, the clumsily added sex scenes were quite amusing. The film had the deck stacked against it when some Einstein decided it would be more marketable as a sexploitation flick and it is a damn shame that seemingly no one will ever get to see the original vision of Confessions of a Psycho Cat. That said, the superb story and characters of the central plot make up the majority of the film and there are a dozen memorable well-executed scenes. The black and white photography and the sets and props are quite excellent. Especially outstanding is Virginia’s intimidating trophy game room! If a woman offered $100,000 to hunt me down safari-style in that room I would have to take a pass. Based on how entertained I was despite the senseless (but amusing) additions this film thrilled me to no end and I am giving it a perfect score. I am so very pleased I added Confessions of a Psycho Cat to my collection and I look forward to repeat viewings in the future!
For more images from Confessions of a Psycho Cat click here.
Dungeon Rating: 5/5
Directed By: Herb Stanley
Starring: Eileen Lord, Ed Garrabrandt, Frank Geraci, Dick Lord, Arlenne Lorrance, Jake LaMotta