HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Moonchild
Verite, La
Guilty, The
Stranger in the House
Redcon-1
G.G. Passion
Chien Andalou, Un
Boar
Bulldog Drummond
First Man
Machete Maidens Unleashed!
Cannibal Club, The
Grasshopper, The
Searching
Human Desire
Climax
Stiff Upper Lips
American Animals
Outlaws
Venom
World on a Wire
Velvet Buzzsaw
Picnic
Dick Dickman, PI
Hunter Killer
30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, The
Race for the Yankee Zephyr
Boys in the Band, The
Brainscan
T-Men
   
 
Newest Articles
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
   
 
  Black Cat, The Fulci's Feline Fright-festBuy this film here.
Year: 1981
Director: Lucio Fulci
Stars: David Warbeck, Mimsy Farmer, Patrick Magee, Dagmar Lassander, Daniela Doria, Al Cliver
Genre: Horror
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Probably the least heralded movie from Lucio Fulci’s “gothic period”, The Black Cat isn’t a classic but will interest fans of Italian horror. Edgar Allan Poe’s famous, much-adapted short story inspires only the climax, but the bulk of the movie is impressively claustrophobic, played in twitchy close-ups between the frightful feline and its mad master, Professor Robert Miles (Patrick Magee). Miles is a paranormal researcher who uses his demonic familiar to gorily slaughter those he feels have done him wrong. Nosy American photographer, Jill Travers (Mimsy Farmer) stumbles onto these mysterious deaths amidst a quaint, English village and teams up with Scotland Yard’s Inspector Gorley (genre icon David Warbeck) to bring the culprit to justice. But is Miles in control, or the cat?

The film strives for ambiguity but winds up just confusing. After the cat lures Gorley into a horrific accident, Miles screams: “No! I didn’t want that!” Then he looks disappointed when Gorley turns up alive. Fulci allegedly cranked this one out with little passion involved. It is a less inspired reworking of Poe than Dario Argento managed with Two Evil Eyes (1989), but there are moments to savour. Mimsy Farmer attacked by rubber bats; a foggy village with superstitious locals straight out of Hammer Films; the beguiling mix of occult lore, super-science and metaphysical chatter; and a victim who cowers when the cat opens a locked door.

Fading sex kitten Dagmar Lassander (seen to far better effect in The Frightened Woman (1969), also available from Shameless DVD) plays Miles’ ex-lover, whose face melts gruesomely while she burns to death. Poor, perpetually abused beauty, Daniela Doria takes her top off and dies foaming at the mouth (yet it’s oddly touching the way she reaches out to hold her lover’s hand).

Performances are all over the shop. Magee glowers mercilessly, while Warbeck is less strident than usual (although he grapples memorably with that killer kitty). Fulci regular Al Cliver (real name: Pier Luigi Conti) plays a Cockney copper in rural England, but biggest offender is Mimsy Farmer as an icy, aloof heroine hard to empathise with. The Black Cat treads the line between Fulci’s excellent, early gialli like A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (1971) and Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972) and the tedious zombie flicks he’s best known for. He conjures on e delirious set-piece where supernatural forces storm Jill’s bedroom, while his recurrent eyeball fetish provides some striking close-ups. Moreover Fulci’s prowling POV shots create a dreamy atmosphere, aided by Pino Donaggio’s surprisingly lyrical score. Plus it’s hard to resist any movie where a cat magically reappears and disappears at will.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3179 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Lucio Fulci  (1927 - 1996)

Italian director whose long career could best be described as patchy, but who was also capable of turning in striking work in the variety of genres he worked in, most notably horror. After working for several years as a screenwriter, he made his debut in 1959 with the comedy The Thieves. Various westerns, musicals and comedies followed, before Fulci courted controversy in his homeland with Beatrice Cenci, a searing attack on the Catholic church.

The 70s and early 80s were marked by slick, hard-hitting thrillers like A Lizard in a Woman's Skin, Don't Torture a Duckling and The Smuggler, while Fulci scored his biggest international success in 1979 with the gruesome Zombie Flesh Eaters. Manhattan Baby, City of the Living Dead, The Beyond and The House by the Cemetery were atmospheric, bloody slices of Gothic horror, and The New York Ripper set a new standard in misogynistic violence. Fulci's last notable film was the truly unique A Cat in the Brain in 1990, a semi-autobiographical, relentlessly gory comedy in which he also starred. Died in 1996 from a diabetic fit after several years of ill-health.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: