The Catman of Paris (1946)

Genres - Crime, Horror, Mystery  |   Run Time - 65 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Suave Austrian actor Carl Esmond stars as a 19th century Parisian author who contracts a mysterious illness while traveling in the Far East. Esmond's ailment causes blackouts, which coincide with a pair of brutal murders by what appears to be a half-man, half-cat creature. This anemic period potboiler from Poverty Row studio Republic Pictures cribs most of its sluggish plot from the far superior Werewolf of London, but has none of that film's drive, atmosphere, or suspense. The picture only comes alive during its action scenes -- a brawl in a restaurant and a carriage pursuit -- which is no surprise, as director Lesley Selander and writer Sherman L. Lowe were both veterans of low-budget Westerns. The Catman's unintentionally amusing makeup is courtesy Howard and Theodore Lydecker, who contributed special effects to hundreds of serials, studio films, independent productions, and television series from the '30s through the mid-'60s.