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The Black Cat (1981)
"Gatto nero" (original title)

R  |   |  Horror  |  10 February 1984 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 1,785 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 39 critic

Robert Miles is a psychic that can communicate with the dead. He also has the ability to control the mind of his cat (who incidentally is black). He uses the cat to take vengeance upon his ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (story), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Patrick Magee ...
Prof. Robert Miles
...
Jill Trevers
David Warbeck ...
Inspector Gorley
Al Cliver ...
Sgt. Wilson
Dagmar Lassander ...
Lillian Grayson
Bruno Corazzari ...
Ferguson
Geoffrey Copleston ...
Inspector Flynn
Daniela Doria ...
Maureen Grayson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Doctor (scenes deleted)
Edit

Storyline

Robert Miles is a psychic that can communicate with the dead. He also has the ability to control the mind of his cat (who incidentally is black). He uses the cat to take vengeance upon his enemies. A photographer who happen to be working for the local constables begins to notice cat scratches on some of the accident victims that are turning up. She pays a visit to Miles (kitty just happens to be present) and conveys her suspicions of the cat's involvement in some of the local deaths. Kitty doesn't like this at all, and it's his turn to control the mind of owner Miles to take it's vengeance out. Written by Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Flesh Ripping Felines! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

10 February 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Black Cat  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lucio Fulci has stated on numerous occasions that this film was actually directed as a favor to the producer. See more »

Goofs

During one of the later scenes when the cat is terrorizing Jill you can see a crew member's hands holding onto the cat. See more »

Quotes

[Sergeant Wilson sees Jill coming out of an underground crypt]
Sergeant Wilson: Miss, let me give you some advice, don't go down there anymore.
Jill Trevers: Why not?
Sergeant Wilson: My Grandad used to tell me when I was a lad that the dead like to be left alone. They're not very hospitable.
See more »

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User Reviews

Not A Film For Gorehounds, But Not Terrible
3 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Before anyone who hasn't seen this film gets excited that the adaptation of a short story helps Fulci keep hold of his often slippery grasp on the plot, "The Black Cat" has very little to do with Poe's tale until the last 15 or so minutes, and thus is full of the narrative craters B horror fans know and love.

The basic plot of the film is that a Scotland yard detective (David Warbeck) and an American photographer (Mimsy Farmer) investigate a series of "accidents" in a quiet English village. All clues point to an eccentric local medium(Patrick Magee), but the real mystery is the connection between the psychic and the black cat that seems to show up at the scene of each crime.

Lacking the trademark Fulci gore(what there is is very brief), the film focuses on atmosphere. There are a few nice touches (in widescreen format the cat's eye view stalking scenes and the close ups of character's eyes to show emotion work very well), but what keeps the mood from ever really taking off is the cat itself. Given enough screen time to be billed as a full cast member, Fulci never really succeeds in making the animal look possessed or menacing.

In most of its close ups it looks like your average house cat, albeit a bit peeved that you were late with the kibbles and bits. The cheesy snarling sound effects every time it attacks don't help either.

The humans leads are no better (across the board wooden acting), with Magee forced to carry viewer interest in the film by hamming it up as much as possible. Helped along by the overly zealous score, it's amazing that this movie manages not to be as silly as "Touch Of Death".

Overall an amusing trifle, but those looking for gore are better served by just about any other Fulci horror film and those interested in atmosphere are much better served by watching "The Beyond", where the director truly mastered the form.

4.5 stars


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