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Masters of Horror: The Black Cat


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Masters of Horror: The Black Cat + Masters of Horror - Right to Die + Masters of Horror: The Washingtonians
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jeffrey Combs, Elyse Levesque, Aron Tager, Eric Keenleyside, Patrick Gallagher
  • Directors: Stuart Gordon
  • Writers: Stuart Gordon, Dennis Paoli, Edgar Allan Poe, Mick Garris
  • Producers: Adam Goldworm, Andrew Deane, Ben Browning, John W. Hyde, Keith Addis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: July 17, 2007
  • Run Time: 58 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PWQP9I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,387 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Masters of Horror: The Black Cat" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

The Black Cat is a fantastical tale based on the life of one of the most prolific literary icons in history. Directed by the legendary Stuart Gordon, this film is a gut-wrenching, soon-to-be horror classic. A stunning mix of eloquent beauty, cringe-inducing horror, pristine cinematography and dynamic performances makes this macabre masterpiece one of the most anticipated releases in the Masters of Horror library.

Customer Reviews

Jeffrey Combs, a longtime collaborator of Gordon's, is absolutely outstanding in the role of Poe.
Michael R Gates
I liked it, too, enough so that I forgave the Masters of Horror series for a lot of the lackluster subsets it had done in this latest series.
TorridlyBoredShopper
I love Poe -- so much that I use four of his works to teach the reading skill of visualization in my classroom.
M. Ervin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 13, 2007
As a huge "Re-Animator" fan, I really looked forward to Stuart Gordon's contribution to Showtime's "Masters of Horror" anthology series. Season One brought us "H.P. Lovecraft's Dreams in the Witch-House"--which sadly was not one of my favorites. Season Two's offering is "The Black Cat." But while I enjoyed this episode much better, I still don't know how warmly it will be embraced by those seeking out this series. Not a conventional horror story, "The Black Cat" is a historical (but fictional) account of the life of Edgar Allen Poe. The tale documents a descent into madness and its horror is derived from this--whether or not that seems entertaining may be a matter of opinion.

The episode features Jeffrey Combs (always a delight) as Poe. Struggling and impoverished, he lives in a dark and unpleasant dwelling with his ill wife. Attempting to sell his poetry to survive, he is also sinking into desperation, alcoholism and insanity. There really isn't much more plot than that--this is a story that is reliant on mood rather than narrative. Combs does well with the various aspects of Poe's dementia and there is plenty of macabre humor interspersed. Haunted by visions of his wife and menaced by household pets, there are moments of real gruesomeness and gore to be appreciated.

I enjoyed the film's literary references and setup as a fan of Poe, but some may find the beginning a bit slow. The tale takes a while to develop--but that never bothered me. The ending does maintain a frantic pace and has some great effects, but if you're a lover of animals--you might want to steer clear. Combs is a uniquely engaging actor and this is a must-see for his fans. Otherwise, I'll issue a cautious recommendation. About 3 1/2 stars for me, and that's about my average for most episodes of "Masters of Horror." KGHarris, 05/07.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Elvis Zombie on July 16, 2009
Director Stuart Gordon, known for his Lovecraft movies, really did his homework and put together an excellent adaptation of Edgar Allen Poes "The Black Cat." First and foremost the casting is great. Jeffrey Combs is a dead ringer for Poe. The prosthetics and make-up department did a bang up job on matching Combs facial features to Poe's, and it only heightens Jeffery's amazing performance. Mr. Combs wasn't alone; the casting in the film is wonderful. Even the bit part actors are great.
What I liked most was that this film really has that old school Vincent Price feel to it. The colors were all muted and dark, and it really helped to notch up the tension when bright colors appear in key moments. This story is more cerebral than the typical slasher blood bucket film. However, there is at least one scene that really delivers in that department as well (I don't want to spoil it for you). If you are an animal lover beware. I'm sure the ASPCA and you probably won't like this movie a whole lot, because there is a whole lot of kitty cat abuse. I admit, I felt a bit guilty watching this with my two cats sitting on the couch next to me.
The adaptation of the story itself is the most suprising aspect of the film. I'm not sure how they managed to mesh events from the life of Poe with his story. They pulled it off with some amazing results; I was impressed.
The only drawback is the short run time. It's only about 60 minutes long. There are a few behind the scenes feautures and a director commentary, but that's it. Still, it's at least worth a rental. This is an appropriate tribute to a true master of horror.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Staci L. Wilson on June 12, 2007
The Black Cat, directed by Stuart Gordon and written by Dennis Paoli & Stuart Gordon, features the great Edgar Allen Poe (Jeffrey Combs), out of literary inspiration and short on cash, tormented by an inky feline who will either destroy his sanity or spur him to write one of his greatest horror stories ever.

It's nice to see Stuart Gordon's take on something other than H.P. Lovecraft (I haven't seen Edmund yet). I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised by his take on The Black Cat and it might just be my favorite of his work to date aside from the first Re-Animator film.

Gordon does an amazing job of turning the emotional but bloodless work of Poe and turning it into a grand guignol good time, and while he may not look the part as much as, say, Christina Ricci, Combs makes for a highly believable Poe.

Everything from the bit parts, to the set decoration, to the animal actors is top-notch in The Black Cat. Don't miss this one... it's (sorry) the cat's meow!

Staci Layne Wilson
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By TorridlyBoredShopper VINE VOICE on November 3, 2007
When Stuart Gordon and Jeffrey Combs come together, they normally make beautiful landscapes that remind me more of cinematic tides touching portrayal-laden sands than of two people trying to push together frames. Perhaps that's because of the great deal of things they've done together; they've done a great deal of work in the realms of H.P. Lovecraft and Gordon has also put in time in the realm of Poe, and this revitalization of The Black Cat is yet another appealing picture painted by the Gordon quill. I liked it, too, enough so that I forgave the Masters of Horror series for a lot of the lackluster subsets it had done in this latest series. In a sense this is what I wanted when I saw Gordon was up to bat anyhow; I've always imagined Gordon and Combs as a tandem that were quite knowledgeable of the inner workings of the classics and I knew whatever they did would be amazing.
And Gordon and Combs coming together with something that has been done more than once - I enjoyed the fact that they could connect all the dots and to connect them well.

Much of what comes from the director also echoes in the performance of his case, and nobody seems to work better with Gordon than combs. Much like Combs had done when he played the role of Lovecraft in Necronomicon, he took on the tormented form of Poe and made his pain believable. One of the marks of a great horror actor is to become a sensation like that of pain and to somehow sell it along with the movements and the backgrounds and the terrible stuff of legends and Combs does that beautifully. Equally impressive is Elyse Levesque in her portrayal of EAP's dying bride, and the cat - well, the cat was not exactly what I'd call a household dream.
Read more ›
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