Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Cat in Heat, The Middle class people have no feelings
Year: 1972
Director: Nello Rossati
Stars: Eva Czemerys, Silvano Tranquilli, Anthony Fontane, Renato Pinciroli, Ada Pometti, Attilio Duse, Ennio Biasciucci
Genre: Horror, Sex, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Antonio (Silvano Tranquilli) drives his sports car down the motorway, reminiscing fondly about the day he proposed to Anna (Eva Czemerys). He arrives home to find the front gate wide open and a dead man on his lawn. Anna sits at the kitchen table, shaken and pale, with a gun nearby. She confesses she is responsible and tells her shocked spouse that the dead man was her lover. While Antonio conceals the body from prying eyes and proceeds to clean up all traces of the crime, Anna tells him her whole sad, sordid story.

La Gatto en calore (The Cat in Heat) is not a well-known giallo but features some notable names from the Italian exploitation scene amongst its crew. Assistant director Lamberto Bava and cinematographer Joe D’Amato a.k.a. Aristide Massaccessi both went on to carve significant directing careers whilst the man at the helm in this instance, Nello Rossati had an equally erratic output including spaghetti western sequel Django Strikes Again (1987), the Ursula Andress sex comedy The Sensuous Nurse (1975) and insane genre mash-up Top Line (1988). This obscure effort might be his strongest film. It is far from your usual giallo, being something of a chamber piece, a melancholy, intimate study of a failing marriage and a sad, frustrated housewife, almost a variation on Claude Chabrol’s seminal La Femme Infidèle (1969).

After a compelling set-up, multiple flashbacks sketch in the fine details of the central relationship. Abstaining from bloodshed and with only a modest amount, the tone is unusually sober with solid performances particularly from Eva Czemerys who segues from glamorous desire to haunted shell of a woman with great skill. As the title suggest it all comes down to a sexually unsatisfied woman or, as one character crudely puts it, “cat in heat.” Antonio comes home too tired to make love to his wife, driving Anna to develop an obsession with their neighbour, Massimo (Anthony Fontane), a boorish libertarian would-be artist who spends most of his time either violently abusing or seducing women to the strains of loud classical music. The implication that deep down every woman is gagging for a bit of rough to treat them like crap is undeniably misogynistic but D’Amato’s skilful, psychologically suggestive camerawork vividly conveys the sterile bourgeois lifestyle that either warps or suffocates natural passions. Or as Massimo puts it “middle class people don’t have feelings.”

Massimo embodies the establishment’s idea of a left-leaning twenty-something’s lifestyle: a drug-addicted, self-aggrandising, sexist hippie spouting stale counter-cultural profundities and an artist of no discernible talent. His initially fractious relationship with straight-laced middle class Anna mellows when she finds him beaten up by a couple of jealous boyfriends. Somehow he finds the strength to flirt and harangue Anna about her middle class mores before finally seducing her. As the relationship develops the film segues from maudlin romantic antics including beach-side frolics into increasingly over the top territory once Massimo turns nasty and lures Anna into a satanic menage-a-trois that Rossati films with gusto even though it seems more suited to a giallo like All the Colours of the Dark (1972).

Consistency proves a problem but Antonio’s ongoing efforts to prevent the nosy old doorman from discovering the body are suitably suspenseful and Czemerys’ compelling performance keeps Anna sympathetic. The resolution will strike some as a cop-out but is unusually benign for a genre too often guilty of being overly judgemental and is quietly effective. Gianfranco Plenizzio supplies a lovely main theme but the Wagnerian dirge played throughout Massimo’s midnight orgies induces headaches.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 4058 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

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
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Darren Jones
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: