A newspaper reporter and a retired, blind journalist try to solve a series of killings connected to a pharmaceutical company's experimental, top-secret research projects and in so doing, both become targets of the killer.
A Rome policewoman teams up with a British Interpol agent to find a crafty serial killer whom plays a taunting game of cat-and-mouse with the police by abducting and killing young women and showing it over an Internet web cam.
A college film student, obsessed with the works of Alfred Hitchcock, investigates a murder committed in the apartment building across from his and suspects that his seductive neighbor hired a girlfriend to commit the deed.
Franco Arno is a blind man that lives with his young niece and makes a living writing crossword puzzles. One night, while walking on the street, he overhears a weird conversation between two man sitting in a car parked in front of a medical institute where genetic experiments are performed. The same night someone breaks in the institute and knocks out a guard. Arno decides to investigate with the help of reporter Carlo Giordani. Written by
Giancarlo Cairella <email@example.com>
I personally love this movie and I'm a shameless admirer of Dario Argento, so take my comments as worth a grain of salt. Sure, "Cat O' Nine Tails" (1971) is not an Argento "masterpiece" (depending what one's criteria are) and is certainly not a perfect film, but the "good stuff" in this baby just outweighs whatever it's faults may be, as far as I'm concerned. It's beautifully photographed (as usual) and makes lovely use of the widescreen filmscape, it has a great Ennio Morricone musical score and it really displays the first true signs of Argento's unique "ultra-style" and technique for which he is now so beloved. There are some gorgeous set pieces here and some truly striking sequences (the cemetery scene and the car chase are my two particular favorites). The film is filled with typically Argento-esque odd, eccentric characters and bit players and the atmosphere created is one of true unease and hidden perversion. Karl Malden is terribly sweet and thoroughly convincing as the blind man Arno and James Franciscus is handsome and cool (almost too cool) as the reporter with whom he collaborates. I think Catherine Spaak makes a great leading lady with her aloof beauty and non-acting presence. She, to me, represents the kind of female character that Hitchcock was so good at bringing out of his actresses; she is a virtual blank slate upon which the director (in this case Argento) projects what he wants. This being Argento's second film as director, it's perhaps true that he does not achieve the delirious highs and awe inspiring beauty of some of his later films. But on the flip side, "Cat O' Nine Tails" is exceedingly better than so many other 'giallo' films of that era or any era. Definitely a must for any Argento fan and, I think, a good recommendation for anyone looking for a unusual Euro-Horror-Thriller.
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