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Seven Dead in the Cat's Eye (1973)

La morte negli occhi del gatto (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror, Mystery, Thriller | 12 April 1973 (Italy)
In a small Scottish village, horribly murdered bodies keep turning up. Suspicion falls upon the residents of a nearby castle that is haunted by a curse involving a killer cat.

Director:

Antonio Margheriti (as Anthony M. Dawson)

Writers:

Antonio Margheriti (story and screenplay), Giovanni Simonelli (story and screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jane Birkin ... Corringa
Hiram Keller ... Lord James MacGrieff
Françoise Christophe ... Lady Mary MacGrieff
Venantino Venantini ... Father Robertson
Doris Kunstmann ... Suzanne
Anton Diffring ... Dr. Franz
Dana Ghia ... Lady Alicia
Konrad Georg Konrad Georg ... Campbell (as George Korrade)
Serge Gainsbourg ... Police inspector
Luciano Pigozzi ... Angus (as Alan Collins)
Bianca Doria Bianca Doria ... Janet Campbell
Franco Ressel ... Priest
Alessandro Perrella Alessandro Perrella ... Policeman (as Penella Alessandro)
Bruno Boschetti Bruno Boschetti ... Policeman with moustaches
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Storyline

In a small Scottish village, horribly murdered bodies keep turning up. Suspicion falls upon the residents of a nearby castle that is haunted by a curse involving a killer cat.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Death means NOTHING to a beast with nine lives!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France | West Germany

Language:

English | Italian | French | German

Release Date:

12 April 1973 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Seven Dead in the Cat's Eye See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although a gorilla is shown looking through a window early in the film, and he remains in the shadows until he is shown dead, the main character refers to him as an orangutan. See more »

Quotes

Corringa: Too many books never did a woman any good.
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User Reviews

 
SEVEN DEATHS IN THE CAT'S EYE (Antonio Margheriti, 1973) ***
26 August 2008 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

This Gothic horror/Giallo hybrid doesn't seem to be all that well-regarded but, having read a couple of reviews before actually viewing it (I had by-passed the Blue Underground DVD because of the absence of the Italian-language track but managed to acquire the film regardless through other sources), I became quite intrigued by some of the bizarre elements incorporated into the script. To get back to the language factor for a bit: actually, the print on display was mostly in English (which, to be fair, is fitting – given the Scottish setting of the tale) but it reverted to Italian for four brief scenes which, presumably, were omitted from export versions.

Having watched the film for myself, I must say that I liked it quite a bit: Margheriti was perhaps the most erratic of the triumvirate of directors who gave the genre an identity in Italy (the others being, of course, Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava) – however, this turned out to be a pretty solid effort all round. For one thing, it's an absolute treat for the eyes – the Gothic atmosphere is really laid on thick here (when it comes to both interiors and exteriors), and the whole is accompanied by a moodily effective score from the ever-reliable Riz Ortolani. Peter Bryan wrote the novel on which the film was based: having himself contributed to a number of scripts for Hammer horror titles, it doesn't take much to visualize this as one of their own products – since that famed genre brand-name alternated between Gothic-styled fare and modern thrillers (usually with a similar attempt to prevent the heroine from laying her hands on a family inheritance at its center) – albeit with a more adult approach typical of the country and the era.

Margheriti managed to assemble a splendid international cast: British Jane Birkin as the lovely heroine Corringa (also the name of the source novel), American Hiram Keller (as the current and predictably mad lord), Germans Anton Diffring and Doris Kunstmann (as, respectively, the shady doctor and luscious teacher ostensibly employed for Keller's rehabilitation), French Serge Gainsbourg (Birkin's former husband and frequent collaborator, as the somewhat eccentric police inspector looking into the titular murders) and Italians Venantino Venantini (as the new parish priest) and Luciano Pigozzi (as the custodian of the castle grounds). Some of the more unusual plot points involve: Diffring being romantically involved with both Keller's mother and the French teacher (though the film's erotic quotient is disappointingly mild); Kunstmann is actually a bisexual and, at one point, attempts to seduce Birkin – unsurprisingly, this proved to be one of the 'deleted' scenes (though the fling is over before it has even begun!); Birkin and Keller, then, start off on the wrong foot but end up bonding – and, eventually, lovers (despite being first cousins)!

Gore is present via images of corpses being devoured by rats and a succession of throat-slashings, while the identity of the killer turns out to be quite a revelation. The narrative does, however, feature a couple of red herrings in the rather unconvincing element of vampirism (via a family legend which 'afflicts' Birkin's deceased mother – though, for good measure, the heroine herself runs into a clutch of bats while inspecting the castle dungeons) and the even more baffling presence of an ape in the house, with which very little is actually done after all! On the other hand, the titular furry feline is very cute and agreeably enigmatic – contriving somehow to be present at the scene of each and every murder, hence SEVEN DEATHS IN THE CAT'S EYE.


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