Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 15th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1981
Director: Lucio Fulci
Writers: Biagio Proietti, Lucio Fulci
Cast: Patrick Magee, Mimsy Farmer, David Warbeck, Al Cliver, Dagmar Lassander, Bruno Corazzari, Geoffrey Copleston, Daniela Doria
DVD released: December 31st, 2007
Approximate running time: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Shameless Films
Region Coding: Region 0 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £12.99
Synopsis: A physic uses telepathy to communicate with a black cat that kills his enemies.
The Black Cat was directed by Lucio Fulci. A diverse filmmaker who adapted like a chameleon with whatever genre was in vogue in Italy at the time. The plot bears many striking resemblances that are undeniably taken from Edgar Allen Poe’s short story. The new additions to the story of the menacing Back Cat are in line with the gore soaked nightmares that Lucio Fulci was directing at the time. Lucio Fulci’s adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s short story adds a new twist to the already diabolical tale. The film’s lead character Professor Robert Miles whose uses a cat as his murder weapon via telepathy. One thing that quickly garbs while watching this film is how grounded the story is when compared to Lucio Fulci’s more fantasy driven horror films like City of the Living Dead, The Beyond and The House by the Cemetery.
Visually cinematographer Sergio Salvati does an amazing job creating a Gothic atmosphere that is reminiscent of the Hammer horror films and Roger Corman Edgar Allen Poe film’s of the 1960’s. The films strongest visually asset is the POV camera shots which represent what the Black Cat is looking at. The film features a remarkable score from the ever reliable Pino Donaggio whose notable scores include Don’t Look Now, A Whisper in the Dark, Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Phantom of Death and Dario Argento’s Trauma.
The Black Cat features a strong cast which includes many familiar faces like Mimsy Farmer (Four Flies on Grey Velvet, Autopsy), David Warbeck (A Fistful of Dynamite, The Beyond), Al Cliver (Zombie, Cannibals) and Dagmar Lassander (The Frightened Woman, Hatchet for the Honeymoon). Patrick Magee is cast in the film leading role as the villainess Professor Robert Miles. Patrick Magee is an accomplished character actor who most memorable performances include Alfredo in The Masque of the Red Death, The Chevalier in Barry Lyndon and the writer whose wife dies after being assaulted by Alex and his Droog’s in a Clockwork Orange. Ultimately The Black Cat is an entertaining and inventive take of one of Edgar Allen Poe’s most famous tales of terror.
Shameless Films presents The Black Cat in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. There are some minor instances of print damage. Outside of this the transfer looks very good with strong blacks levels, nicely saturated colors and details look crisp throughout.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. The audio mix sounds clear and free of any audio defects. The film’s score benefits the most as it sounds full and evenly balanced.
Extras for this release include trailers for The Black Cat, The New York Ripper, Manhattan Baby, Night Train Murders, Flavia the Heretic, Ratman and Venus in Furs. A reversible covert art has been included with this release of the film’s original poster art. Overall Shameless Film’s release for Lucio Fulci’s The Black Cat is on par with the region 1 DVD release from Anchor Bay and Blue Underground.