Most of us fall into the category of cat or dog people, and to be honest, Stephen King’s relationship with both haven’t always been great. At least on the page that is, it we use Cujo and Church from “Pet Semetary” as examples.
However, there was one film that he wrote that very much put the cat in the most heroic of plot points. Cat’s Eye was first released in 1985, and as it celebrates its 35th anniversary today, we thought it would be fitting to look at 35 fun facts about this lesser known Stephen King movie!
1. The opening minutes contain a plethora of Stephen King references. We see General the cat being chased by a St. Bernard (Cujo), then they both almost get by a red Plymouth Fury (Christine).
Later in the film James Wood’s character is watching The Dead Zone on TV and even remarks, “Who writes this crap?” Then finally, we see a character reading “Pet Semetary” towards the end.
2. Originally, the movie contained a brief prologue which helped explained General’s role and why he would be involved in these different stories.
The studio demanded it be cut however, much to the dismay of director Lewis Teague. Some audience members complained that the cat’s connection didn’t make sense (because they didn’t get to see the prologue).
3. Director Lewis Teague was no stranger to Stephen King, as he had previously directed Cujo.
4. According to Teague, famed actress Patti LuPone was originally supposed to be in it. Ultimately she wasn’t able to, which Teague describes as a whole ordeal.
5. “Quitters, Inc.” and “The Ledge” were both featured in King’s short story collection “Night Shift”. This same text also included other stories like “Jerusalem’s Lot”, “Sometimes They Come Back”, “The Lawnmower Man”, “Children of the Corn”, and many more!
6. Initially, “Sometimes They Come Back” was going to be a segment in this film, but producer Dino De Laurentiis, felt that should be its own movie, which of course it would be one day.
7. It was the second time that De Laurentiis had produced a Stephen King adaptation, the first being The Dead Zone. He would go on to produce Silver Bullet and Maximum Overdrive as well.
8. The final story General, was not based on any previous work, and was an original story written by King specifically for the movie.
9. Cats were worshipped in Ancient Egypt, and seen for their mystical qualities. So General in many ways is based on his feline ancestors.
10. There have been in fact, many news stories of cats even saving their owners by fighting off burglars, and alerting/waking them up when there was a fire.
11. General is a typical tabby cat, complete with the “M” on his forehead. Many people mistakenly refer to tabby as a breed, when in fact it’s merely a coat type.
12. The production wound up using a total of 12 cats for General. This is because they had to use treats to get the cats to do their tricks, and after so many takes, one cat would get full, so they would switch them out with a new one.
13. Each cat was trained by animal trainer Karl Lewis Miller, who would also go on to work on such films as Babe and Bruce Almighty.
14. Cat’s Eye marks the feature film debut of Charles S. Dutton, who would also go on to star in another King adaptation, Secret Window 19 years later.
15. Known more for writing novels, Cat’s Eye marked the first time that King adapted his own novel into a screenplay.
He would go on to write the film adaptations for Pet Semetary and The Shining TV miniseries. It was the second screenplay he had ever written, the first being Creepshow.
16. Speaking of Creepshow, the trailer for Cat’s Eye states that it was King’s first anthology film. And while it was the first to be based on his previous stories, his first anthology film was of course Creepshow, which he wrote and George A. Romero directed.
17. Many fans have speculated that Drew Barrymore’s character Amanda possesses the shining. How else would she be able to psychically project herself to send a message to General?
18. Drew Barrymore was cast after King loved her performance in Firestarter a year earlier.
19. She also pops up as Alicia, James Woods’ daughter in the Quitter’s, Inc. story (in a wig and glasses of course).
20. The school he picks her up at (St. Stephen’s) is actually the First Presbyterian Church of Wilmington, NC. It still stands and operates to this day.
21. Woods and Barrymore would also play father and daughter in 2001’s Riding in Cars with Boys.
22. “Quitters, Inc.” was also adapted into a Bollywood film titled No Smoking in 2007.
23. James Woods actually did quit smoking cigarettes in 1993. Fortunately for him, it wasn’t as brutal an ordeal as it was in this movie!
24. During The Ledge sequence, there’s an issue of Penthouse visible on the table. It was the July 1976 issue, which is where this story was first published.
25. “The Ledge” also served as inspiration for a vignette in the iconic “V for Vendetta” graphic novel in 1982.
26. Many have pointed out that composer’s Alan Silvestri’s score sounds similar to his famous Back to the Future theme.
27. Partially shot in the same NC studio as Maximum Overdrive, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Manhunter.
28. Special effects were done by Carlo Rambaldi (Alien and ET) and Jeff Jarvis (Poltergeist, Firestarter).
29. “Every Breath You Take” is prominently featured, and if you listen to the lyrics, it lines up perfectly with the General segment.
30. Because of limited budget, they couldn’t license the original Police version of the song. Instead they used a cover by Sting.
31. The troll was voiced by Fred Welker, a well-established voice actor most notably known for voicing Megatron and Shockwave in the Transformers franchise, as well as Scooby-Doo in many recent versions.
32. In his review with Roger Ebert, Gene Siskel incorrectly referred to the troll as a gremlin.
33. Ultimately, Cat’s Eye was a moderate financial success, grossing $13 million on a $7 million budget.
34. Remains one of the few King adaptations to be rated PG-13, along with Dark Tower, Secret Window, 1408, and Hearts in Atlantis.
35. The movie has its own theme song, aptly titled “Cat’s Eye” and performed by Ray Stevens.
Which of these did you already know? Which ones surprised you? Let us know in the comments below. And for more lists, reviews, rankings, and other fun horror content, follow Halloween Year-Round on Facebook and Twitter!