Cat's Eye is of mixed success. The short story version of Quitters Inc, which can be found in Stephen Kings Night Shift (1977) collection, is a wonderfully black comic piece, filled with a Roald Dahl-ish glee. However, Kings treatment of it here is flaccid with he and Lewis Teague failing to capture the manic glee that was present in the story. There is a single sequence where James Woods hallucinates giant ambulatory cigarettes to the accompaniment of The Polices Every Breath You Take at a party a song so perfectly suited it could have virtually been written for the film but the rest of the film plays the gag far too straight. James Woods seems embarrassed by proceedings and Alan King gives a performance that is an embarrassment. Quitters Inc later underwent an uncredited remake as the Bollywood film No Smoking (2007).
The Ledge is the best of the segments. Again, the original story (also to be found in Night Shift) is a blackly comic gem and here King and Lewis Teague do capture some of the storys malicious sense of humour. Lewis Teague milks Robert Hays journey around the ledge for some suspense. Although, there is an irritating tendency on Teague part to overblow the drama adding exploding neon signs and with Robert Hays left hanging from and the like. The story is tight enough on its own to work without needing to blow it up.
The General is the only story original to the film. It seems like an outtake from Gremlins (1984), which had been a huge success the previous year. However, this is where Cat's Eye works best, particularly in its marvellous climactic battle between cat and goblin amid scaled sets. The segment should be seen for the single literally breath-taking process-shot with the goblin sitting on the slumbering Drew Barrymores chest stealing the breath from her mouth. Again, there is the tendency toward overkill and Candy Clarks overacting in the segment gets a little too much.
Cat's Eye is largely a disappointing film. The adaptations seem lumbering they lack the lightness of step they had on the page you could almost imagine Stephen King laughing himself to tears at the hilarity as he wrote the originals. The linking story is also forced one never finds out exactly what significance Drew Barrymores ghost is meant to have. In all, one of the more mediocre of Stephen King film adaptations.
Director Lewis Teague first appeared with The Lady in Red (1979) and went onto the modest monster movie Alligator (1980), Cujo (1983), The Jewel of the Nile (1985) and Navy Seals (1990). Into the 1990s, Teagues output has mostly degenerated to television with occasional genre forays like Wedlock/Deadlock (1991) and the tv movie The Triangle (2001).
Other Stephen King genre adaptations include:- Carrie (1976), Salems Lot (1979), The Shining (1980), Christine (1983), Cujo (1983), The Dead Zone (1983), Children of the Corn (1984), Firestarter (1984), Silver Bullet (1985), The Running Man (1987), Pet Semetary (1989), Graveyard Shift (1990), It (tv mini-series, 1990), Misery (1990), a segment of Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990), Sometimes They Come Back (1991), The Lawnmower Man (1992), The Dark Half (1993), Needful Things (1993), The Tommyknockers (tv mini-series, 1993), The Stand (tv mini-series, 1994), The Langoliers (tv mini-series, 1995), The Mangler (1995), Thinner (1996), The Night Flier (1997), Quicksilver Highway (1997), The Shining (tv mini-series, 1997), Trucks (1997), Apt Pupil (1998), The Green Mile (1999), The Dead Zone (tv series, 2001-2), Hearts in Atlantis (2001), Carrie (tv mini-series, 2002), Dreamcatcher (2003), Riding the Bullet (2004), Salems Lot (tv mini-series, 2004), Secret Window (2004), Desperation (tv mini-series, 2006), Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King (tv mini-series, 2006), 1408 (2007), The Mist (2007), Children of the Corn (2009), Everythings Eventual (2009), the tv series Haven (2010-5), Bag of Bones (tv mini-series, 2011), Carrie (2013), Under the Dome (tv series, 2013-5), Big Driver (2014), A Good Marriage (2014), Mercy (2014), Cell (2016), 11.22.63 (tv mini-series, 2016), The Dark Tower (2017), Geralds Game (2017), It (2017), The Mist (tv series, 2017), Mr. Mercedes (tv series, 2017 ) and 1922 (2017). Stephen King had also written a number of original screen works with Creepshow (1982), Golden Years (tv mini-series, 1991), Sleepwalkers (1992), Storm of the Century (tv mini-series, 1999), Rose Red (tv mini-series, 2002) and the tv series Kingdom Hospital (2004), as well as adapted his own works with the screenplays for Silver Bullet, Pet Semetary, The Stand, The Shining, Desperation, Children of the Corn 2009 and Cell. King also directed one film with Maximum Overdrive (1986).