Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Black Cat (1966)

Director: Harold Hoffman

Starring: Robert Frost, Robyn Baker, Sadie French, Scotty McKay, George Russell, George Edgley, Annabelle Weenick, Jeff Alexander, Tommie Russell, Scott Shewmake, Bill Thurman, Nelson Spencer

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The terrifying power of the black cat destroyed their lives!

Plot: A mentally unbalanced man is obsessed with the idea that a black cat is possessed. He tortures and kills it. Later, he comes to believe that the cat has returned from the dead to kill him.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

What a neat little picture this turned out to be.  From what I remember from reading Poe's short story a million years ago, this follows it pretty closely, at least hitting the main beats but updating it to the 1960s. Shot in black and white, the gore really stands out.  There are some really nice shots in this picture.

There's a great scene where a woman gets an axe to the head that's so cool you'll want to rewind back a few seconds and see it a few more times.  Part of the shock of it is they actually went there and it happened so quickly.  There's also a couple of times where Lou goes to a club to drink and get away from it all and there's a hip band playing.  He re-visits the club after he yanks out the cat's eye and all of the band members are wearing eye patches.  Nice touch, and the music is great, too.  Some of these scenes may go on a little long but the music is groovy.  The picture's only an hour and thirteen minutes long and it feels like there could be a few minutes to trim but there are enough neat things in there to make it worth your while.

The Something Weird Video DVD comes with another themed film called THE FAT BLACK PUSSYCAT (1963) which doesn't fare so well and like a lot of SWV releases, there are lots of trailers (these all have 'Cat' in their titles), some deleted scenes, a gallery of exploitation art set to the audio from radio spots and a vintage B&W 3 minute striptease routine called, MARGIE LA MONT: THE CAT GIRL.  Is the disc worth $10-15?  I think so but most probably won't.  THE BLACK CAT and the extras are enough to find a place on my shelf for it.

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