A French stripper is entrusted with her thieving father's last score, a million dollars worth of diamonds. After being threatened to handover the score, she leaves France to England in the company of a doctor, but danger follows.
Valentina, a beautiful fashion model, takes an experimental drug as part of a scientific experiment. While influenced by the drug, Valentina has a vision of a young woman being brutally ... See full summary »
A young girl is brutally murdered somewhere in France. Sometime later, the same thing happens to the daughter of a well-known sculptor. This time the parents (the sculptor and his wife) ... See full summary »
The wife of a financially struggling businessman is blackmailed by a mysterious man into having a sadistic relationship with him, or he will release damning evidence that suggests that her husband is a murderer.
Pier Paolo Capponi,
The Case of the Scorpion's Tail begins with the mysterious death of a millionaire and spirals into the murder of his suddenly rich wife, which draws the attention of a dogged investigator, who follows a trail of blood to the bitter end.
Alberto de Mendoza
A young prostitute is found brutally killed and is up to detective Germi (Claudio Cassinelli) the investigation of the case, as the search progress he uncovers a girls trafficking ring with connections to powerful people.
In a 15th-century feudal village, a woman is accused of witchcraft and put to death. Her beautiful older daughter knows the real reason for the execution lies in the lord's sexual desire ... See full summary »
SEVEN DEATHS IN THE CAT'S EYE (Antonio Margheriti, 1973) ***
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.
9 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this