And the Olympics go on . . .
AFTER what feels like years of campaigning and controversy, tonight is finally the night when the International Olympic Committee reveals which country will host the Games in 2000. Andrew Sams will introduce a live broadcast (Pearl, 1.25 am) of the announcement taking place in Monte Carlo.
All the talk has been of Sydney and Beijing, reportedly the front-runners in the race. But what's wrong with Manchester? The opening ceremony - complete with whippets, homing pigeons, and clog-dancing to the rhythms of the Coronation Street theme tune - would be champion.
AMERICAN film critics recently voted Cat People (World 9.30pm, Original Running Time 118 mins) one of the 10 sexiest films of all time. Whether it will maintain a semblance of eroticism after Hong Kong's censors have had a crack at it remains to be seen, for director Paul Schrader was certainly liberal with the old lustful nude scenes.
Nastassja Kinski (Maria's Lovers ) is the beauty and the beast here. She plays increasingly bewildered Irena, who's given to metamorphosing into a panther when sexually aroused. Reunited with her long lost brother Malcolm McDowell (Caligula ), she discovers he shares this feline leaning.
He's also violently keen on possessing Kinski sexually and emotionally, though her cat's eyes are only for zoo-keeper John Heard (Home Alone ), whose desires, ostensibly anyway, are more natural.
The film is based on the 1942 classic of the same name. Schrader's version is far more gory and less subtle than the original B-movie, which relied on horrors imagined rather than seen. But - assuming enough of the film has survived the scissors - it remains an intriguing study of sexual obsession.
THERE'S more gore on the other side in The Serpent and The Rainbow (Pearl 9.30pm, ORT 98 mins), directed by horror master Wes Craven, veteran of several nightmares on Elm Street.
The film is loosely based on the real experiences of an anthropologist (Bill Pullman) who studied black magic and voodoo in Haiti while searching for a toxic drug used by voodoo priests to zombify their victims.
This being a Craven creation, the blood-saturated special effects are laid on with a trowel, and extensive use is made of snakes, scorpions, big spiders etc. Less well-developed is the parallel between the mind-numbing effects of the drug, and the mind-controlling efforts of Baby Doc Duvalier's regime, and his murderous Ton Ton Macoute.
CLIFF-DWELLERS and whale sharks are the subjects of two reports on Man's Heritage (Pearl 8.30pm). The first part of the programme looks at the animals who consider clinging to the sheer face of a cliff, a safer place to be than on plain ground where hungry predators lurk.
That's followed by footage of the largest fish in the sea, the whale shark, which can grow up to 18 metres long - let's see Roy Scheider go fishing for one of those.
CATCH Kevin Costner in his pre-superstar days in The Gunrunner (Pearl midnight, ORT 92 mins), but be prepared to be less than riveted - the 1984 movie was not even considered good enough for general cinema release when it was first made.
Costner's character is an idealistic young lawyer who returns to his home in Canada in the 1920s to purchase arms for the Nationalists in China with whom he's been fighting. His search for guns leads him into a seedy nightclub in Montreal's Chinatown, an involvement with a treacherous woman, and the murderous business of bootlegging.