The Black Cat

The Black Cat (1981) aka Gatto Nero

directed by:Lucio Fulci

cast:David Warbeck,Mimsy Farmer,Patrick Magee,Al Cliver,Dagmar Lassander

An exercise in stylish blood spattered Gothic horror “The Black Cat” owes more to hammer horror movies than to the ever brilliant Fulciesque zombie tetralogy and is in any case a refreshing change of pace and a successful experiment for the fans of the Italian maestro of the macabre or a return to form if we must say so, for this film is quite close to the rural horror of “Don’t torture a duckling” .In any case “Black Cat” was one of the most successful attempts of the Italian director to film things other than living dead people creeping around, a thing that cannot be said about movies like  “Devil’s honey” for example.

Robert Miles is a psychic that can communicate with the dead. He also has the ability to control the mind of his cat (who incidentally is black). He uses the cat to take vengeance upon his enemies. A photographer who happen to be working for the local constables begins to notice cat scratches on some of the accident victims that are turning up. She pays a visit to Miles (kitty just happens to be present) and conveys her suspicions of the cat’s involvement in some of the local deaths. Kitty doesn’t like this at all, and it’s his turn to control the mind of owner Miles to take it’s vengeance out.

By 1981 Lucio Fulci must have already felt trapped in a creative corner and pigeonholed. His zombie masterpieces that don’t need to be named here had given him a certain amount of notoriety and then what…Lucio delivered a loose adaptation of a very famous Edgar Allan Poe’s short story.A beautiful one I must stress out.”The Black cat” is particularly gory and over the top for a gothic horror flick ,hence it doesn’t estrange the more hardcore gorehounds, but on the other hand this is a film that is superbly photographed by Sergio Salvati,a film that makes great use of the picturesque English location and on top of it all features a great cast of Eurohorror regulars and a Patrick Magee in a role that will creep you out.

We must also give credit to the cat itself,which is a very central part of the story.The feline friend of ours that has been attributed with evil charisma in other Italian production like:”Crimes of the black cat” or “Seven Deaths in the Cat’s Eye” , is given perhaps more screen time than Dagmar Lassander here and let me assure you this happens for a good reason as the titular animal is a ferocious beast.

Verdict:”The black cat” is an excellent exercise in style by Fulci ,very neatly directed and featuring as many eyes close-ups as possible , it almost gets absurd, but come on it’s a Fulci film what did you expect.It’s a very nice little film if you don’t strictly demand gore from the late,great Italian .

Ιταλοί και γάτες…βαστάει χρόνια αυτή η κολώνια…

Πρέπει να έχω δει τουλάχιστον πέντε Ιταλικές παραγωγές τρόμου όπου στο συμπαθές κατοικίδιο αποδίδονται σχεδόν μεταφυσικές και υπερφυσικές ιδιότητες.Τέλος πάντων ,όποιος ψάχνει λογική στο Ιταλικό σινεμά τρόμου καλό θα ήταν να επαναπροσδιορίσει τις προτεραιότητές του σε αυτόν τον ντουνιά και να αφεθεί στις εκλεκτές απολαύσεις που μπορεί να προσφέρει σε κάποιον το να μη σκέφτεται υπερβολικά κατά τη διάρκεια της θέασης ενός φιλμ τρόμου.

Στο παρόν η γάτα γίνεται αφορμή να δούμε μια όμορφη,ατμοσφαιρική δημιουργία ερχόμενη από την καλύτερη περίοδο του Φούλτσι. Σφηνωμένο ανάμεσα στην κλασσική τετραλογία με ζόμπι (βάζω και το house by the cemetery μέσα) το black cat είναι κινηματογραφημένο εξαιρετικά,έχει ωραία ,βαριά και αδιαπέραστη σε σημεία , ατμόσφαιρα και ένα καστ να το πιείς στο ποτήρι.

Επιπροσθέτως ,επειδή το αίμα (γκουχ!) νερό δε γίνεται η ταινία του Φούλτσι είναι πιο αιματοβαμμένη και λιγότερο παραδοσιακή και ακαδημαική από τα κλασσικά gothic horror ταινιάκια που όλοι ξέρουμε και αγαπάμε.

Δείτε το…


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