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Black Cat [VHS]

3.6 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Al Cliver, Geoffrey Copleston, Bruno Corazzari, Daniela Doria, Mimsy Farmer
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, Italian
  • Rated:
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Rhino / Wea
  • VHS Release Date: August 29, 1997
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304187262
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #743,065 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

This highly regarded Universal horror classic was the first pairing of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. Bela plays Dr. Vitus Verdegast, a mysterious traveler who returns to the art-deco mansion of his old military commander, the Satan-worshipping Poelzig (Karloff). The two horror stars wander through the hallways looking at dead girls floating in glass tanks. They also play chess for the lives of a newlywed couple stranded at the mansion (David Manners and Jacqueline Wells). Dr. Verdegast deals with a black cat that paralyzes him with fear, and Poelzing conducts a Satanic Mass in Latin.Cult director Edgar G. Ulmer made a name for himself with this bizarre masterpiece, which is filled with dreamy camera movements, and fanciful Bauhaus style architecture (Ulmer worked for many years as an art director for Max Reinhart and F.W. Murnau). This is one of the best (and weirdest) of all the Universal horror films of the 1930s. Classic monster lovers who fondly remember films like the original FRANKENSTEIN and DRACULA should do themselves a huge favor in seeking it out.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Along with Manhattan Baby, The Black Cat stands as one of Fulci's most maligned movies of this period of his career. Personally, I feel that in many ways this is a much better film than Manhattan Baby, but also not quite as enjoyable. Manhattan Baby reached for stars that its budget and writing never quite allowed it to achieve, failing in many of its attempts but still aspiring to be greater than the sum of it's parts.
The Black Cat is a much more grounded film, allowing the audience's knowledge of Poe's tale, along with the beautifully photographed English landscape to pull the film along. One notices almost right off that this movie doesn't really feel much like a Fulci film at all. There is some gore, but most of it is limited to blood flow, shed without the huge spurting wounds, or chunks of human flesh that the maestro is so well known for. The story moves with a linear feel, not jumping around, or making huge leaps in logic that the average viewer couldn't possibly follow. And the action, while present never hits the nerve shattering breaking point that usually accompanies a Lucio Fulci film.
This movie is more a tribute to the gothic Poe adaptations of Roger Corman from the 60's; as if directed by an eye obsessed Pete Walker. Fulci pulls in the bizarre landscapes, the paranoid actions of the locals. And a lighter, more humorous tone than usually permeates his films, and he does it all beautifully.
The most fun part of this film is by far the title feline himself (or herself, one never really knows). The cat runs and attacks playfully through the movie, dubbed with near lion level roaring, and thrown into the faces of his victims by some off camera hands.
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Format: DVD
A Scotland Yard inspector and an American photographer are drawn into a bizarre series of deaths in a small English town that seem to be linked to a psychic medium and his hateful black cat.

Inspired by the tale from Edgar Allan Poe, gore legend Lucio Fulci's "The Black Cat" is a refreshing change from the sorts of Italian horror films I'm used to seeing. It almost feels like a Hammer or Amicus production, or an attempt at one rather, and as a big fan of those types of horror films, I was very relieved to see that. Part of the feeling surely comes from the English setting, and another from one of the main stars of the film, actor Patrick Magee. However, the story plays a part in this too, as this film is actually about the intriguing plot more than it is about the gore. In fact, I'd say "The Black Cat" is fairly mild in the gore department compared to other Italian horror films. The performances range from quite good to adequate, and the music is pretty cool, so overall I can easily say this is among the better Italian horror films I've seen, but, as I've said, it's more because it feels a bit like British horror. If you are into the more typical Italian horror films, perhaps you will not like "The Black Cat" so much. If you are a fan of Hammer and Amicus, this is a good segway into Italian horror. The DVD from Anchor Bay claims to be fully restored (though I guess that doesn't mean a flawless picture), and the film is presented in widescreen. Also included are the theatrical trailer and a bio on Lucio Fulci. I can honestly say I like "The Black Cat" and it is worth checking out, though there are still going to be questions you wish it had answered. It IS Italian horror, after all. Still, this is among their best in my opinion.
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Format: DVD
The Black Cat released in 1981 is one of Lucio Fulci's lesser known efforts. The Black Cat was released in a time when the splatter era of Lucio Fulci was upon us. If its gore you are looking for you won't find very much here, while the Black Cat does have some violence it's not very gory at all; the couple of gore scenes we get are very tame actually. I wouldn't even call them gore scenes.

With The Black Cat Fulci focuses more on suspense; while we all have our own opinion I think a lot of people went into this movie expecting a gorefest. Lucio Fulci was a director who could make his movies come out creepier than they should have, but it's the gore is what really got fans talking. The Black Cat could have used more of the red stuff; while the movie wasn't bad it just never had that creepy feel that some of Fulci's other movies from this era did.

The close up of the eyes is a Lucio Fulci trademark; when used right that shot can be really effective and make a scene very eerie. But here in The Black Cat, Fulci goes into close up of the eyes overload. It seemed every other shot was a close up of the eyes. Honestly it can get rather annoying after a while. The look of the movie is well done for the most part; Sergio Salvati was the cinematographer and he worked with Fulci on some of his most popular flicks of the 80s.

Lucio Fulci and Sergio Salvati are able to create a great look visually and are able to make some scenes a little creepier than maybe they should have been. The Black Cat really wasn't a bad movie it's your typical Lucio Fulci movie only without the gore. There were some decent moments of suspense and the movie is actually well made for the most part.
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