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A mysterious killer is murdering fashion models by using a black cat whose claws are dipped in curare. A composer, whose girlfriend was the first one to be killed, overhears a conversation by someone he believes may be the killer, but there's one complication--the composer is blind and couldn't see the suspected murderer. Written by
"Sette scialli di seta gialla" (Crimes of the black cat) takes place in Copenhagen. The grey subdued skies of Copenhagen and the meditative soundtrack of Manuel de Sica, are a preparation for the giallo we are about to see - a blind pianist, Peter Oliver (Anthony Steffen) investigating a string of murders of fashion models.
Paola Whitney (Isabelle Marchal), Peter Oliver's girlfriend, is murdered, and the police, the other models no one knows exactly what happened and the reason why it happened. She was alone in her room in the fashion house, and then suddenly
Peter Oliver suspects that one of the reasons may be blackmail (fragments of a strange conversation overheard in a bar led him to this conclusion), but nothing really seems to explain the mystery. So Peter Oliver, with the help of his butler Burton (Umberto Raho) and beautiful Margot (Shirley Corrigan) - secretary of Françoise Ballais (Sylva Koscina), owner of the fashion house - , decides to investigate on his own the death of Paola. Other murders happen, the killer seems to anticipate each step of Peter, and there are other developments. As to the police, Inspector Jansen (Renato de Carmine) learns to respect the deductive powers of Peter. Sometimes the case seems about to be solved, but
Besides the characters already mentioned, there are, of course, many gorgeous fashion models (some about to be sacrificed), there's Victor Morgan (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) that is, so to say, married to Françoise Ballais, and has already experienced troubled waters, and there's also a mysterious junkie woman (Giovanna Lenzi), an important piece in this chess game, and we should not forget the reviled black cat, a very important tool, always followed by a yellow shawl!.
In spite of its many curves, the story is not as convoluted as it seems, and there's one scene in particular that may please gorehounds.
Anthony Steffen, as the blind pianist, demonstrates again his talent and screen charisma and Giovanna Lenzi, as the junkie woman, is another highlight of the film (and the black cat too, of course!).
"Crimes of the black cat" has the visual beauty and style usual in many gialli, the editing is smooth and the film is pleasant to see feminine beauty peppered with some thrills and violence. Sergio Pastore pays homages to Bava, Argento and... (surprise!), but the film has its own world and atmosphere.
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