HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
Stump the Guesser
Sator
Last Warning, The
PVT CHAT
Ascent, The
   
 
Newest Articles
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Cat O' Nine Tails, The
Year: 1971
Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Karl Malden, James Franciscus, Catherine Spaak, Rada Rassimov
Genre: Horror, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: The second film in Dario Argento's "Animal Trilogy" takes us into a world of blackmail, industrial espionage and murder.

Blinded as a result of an accident, ex-journalist Franco "Cookie" Arno (Karl Malden) is out walking with his niece Lori when they overhear a conversation between two men in a parked car. The following day, Dr Calabresi - one of the men in the car - is pushed in front of a train; the first in a line of corpses leading to the Tersi Institute where genetics experts are working on a rare gene pattern that seems to indicate criminal tendencies. Arno teams up with newspaper hack Carlo Giordani (James Franciscus) to follow the nine leads of a most perplexing case, relying on his 'sixth sense' to solve the puzzle.

The Cat O' Nine Tails has long been regarded as one of Argento's weaker efforts, though a recent viewing suggests otherwise. The convoluted plot works brilliantly, characterisation is strong and the murder scenes - while not as graphic as subsequent prime-time Argento - seem overwhelmingly cruel; particularly when the overall context of the film is considered.

Multiple viewings reveal there's more to this film than meets the eye(s); not least the suggestions of incest concerning Terzi and his 'daughter' (Catherine Spaak, looking like a reject from Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls) and, possibly, Arno and Lori. Even the ending is wide open to interpretation, giving rise to speculation that the killer may well have added another two victims to his scorecard. Or maybe not. Add to this one of Argento's most splendid suspense-driven scenes and the presence of the wonderful Rada Rassimov as Calabresi's scheming fiance, and
it's clear The Cat O' Nine Tails is a sorely under-rated work.
Reviewer: Steve Langton

 

This review has been viewed 6301 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Dario Argento  (1940 - )

Italian horror maestro who began his film career as a critic, before moving into the world of screenwriting, collaborating most notably with Sergio Leone and Bernardo Bertolucci on the script of Leone's Once Upon A Time In The West (1968). Argento's first film as director, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) set the template for much of his subsequent work - inventive camerawork, sly wit, violent murder set-pieces, and a convoluted whodunnit murder plot. He perfected his art in this genre with Deep Red in 1975, before proceeding to direct the terrifying Suspiria (1977) and Inferno (1980), the first two parts of a loose trilogy of supernatural chillers that were finally completed with Mother of Tears in 2007.

Since then, Argento has pretty much stuck to what he knows best, sometimes successfully with Tenebrae and Opera, sometimes, usually in the latter half of his career, less so (Trauma, Sleepless, Dracula), but always with a sense of malicious style.

 
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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: