Cat Chaser (1989)

Cat Chaser (1989)

Taglines: Passion. Greed. Murder. Tonight they pay.

An American veteran (Weller) of the Dominican Republic intervention (LBJ era) is running a hotel in Miami, and is trying to put the memories of the intervention behind him. He gets involved with a former Dominican Republic general’s wife (McGillis). He then gets duped through a series of intricate plot twists into helping a group of people trying to rip the general off. Based on the novel by Elmore Leonard.

Cat Chaser is a 1989 film directed by Abel Ferrara and starring Peter Weller and Kelly McGillis, based on the novel of the same name by Elmore Leonard. It was adapted from the novel by Leonard and James Borelli.

A three-hour raw cut of “Cat Chaser” was screened at Anthology Film Archives in New York City in the summer of 2014. Ferrara, Weller and others involved are very unhappy with the released version, particularly with the added omniscient narration (Weller refused to provide this narration, which was not culled from the novel, so producers Peter Davis and William Panzer hired actor Reni Santoni instead).

Cat Chaser (1989)

Film Review for Cat Chaser

US veteran George Moran gets involved with a former Dominican Republic general’s wife. He then gets duped into helping a group of people trying to rip the general off.

Elmore Leonard’s novel of sunstruck sleaze in Miami and Santo Domingo is here turned, by ace action man Abel Ferrara, into a slow-paced, somewhat hollow thriller which trips over its confused mysteries and is stuck with lead characters — Peter Weller, Kelly McGillis — who are a lot less interesting than the supporting scumbags who grub around the edges of the plot and mainly wind up pathetically dead.

Leonard’s work has never transferred well to the screen, and this attempt is better than most — Stick, 52 Pick-Up — but still doesn’t have the mix of grit and romance that his best hardboiled novels exude. Look out for a classic shower shooting.

Once again the big screen has a bloody good crack at recreating the essence of Leonard’s writing, but falls just short.

Cat Chaser Movie Poster (1989)

Cat Chaser (1989)

Directed by: Abel Ferrara
Starring: Peter Weller, Kelly McGillis, Charles Durning, Frederic Forrest, Tomas Milian, Juan Fernández, Kelly Jo Minter, Phil Leeds, Tony Bolano, Adrianne Sachs
Screenplay by: James Borrelli
Production Design by: Dan Leigh
Cinematography by: Anthony B. Richmond
Film Editing by: Anthony Redman
Costume Design by: Michael Kaplan
Set Decoration by: C.J. Simpson
Art Direction by: C.J. Simpson
Music by: Chick Corea
Distributed by: Vestron Pictures
Release Date: December 8, 1989