The Crimes of the Black Cat

1972 [ITALIAN]

Mystery / Thriller

0
IMDb Rating 6.1 10 609

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 31, 2021 at 06:48 PM

Director

Cast

720p.BLU
905.75 MB
1280*544
Italian 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 38 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Red-Barracuda 7 / 10

Cat attack!

A blind pianist overhears a suspicious conversation in a bar. Shortly afterwards his girlfriend is mysteriously murdered. This leads to a series of serial killings that have some connection to a fashion house.

The above synopsis is one that you could come up with if you were to toss a dozen giallo scripts in the air and see what random parts fall onto your head. In fact, this film borrows elements from several popular gialli from the time. Throw in adultery, blackmail, an enigmatic drug addict, lesbians, fashion models and dark secrets from the past and you have the makings of a typical effort. However, this movie does have some tricks up its sleeve to differentiate itself from all others. Chief amongst them being what is perhaps the most insane method of murder ever devised. I won't spoil it for first time viewers but it is truly deranged. In addition to this there is also a mind-bogglingly vicous shower murder that comes out of the blue and genuinely shocks. Further strangeness comes with the fact that the blind protagonist appears to be working on a score for Lucio Fulci's A Lizard in a Woman's Skin. We see clips from this film on a couple of occasions, which is rather bizarre.

Everything is wrapped up at the end with an explanation that I found completely baffling. But, that's hardly a surprise in these flicks to be fair. At the end of the day, it couldn't be said that this is exactly a prime example of the genre. But it still remains entertainingly batty and does have some visual flair and some good set-pieces. It's unfortunate that the current legitimate DVD release appears to be a non-anamorphic copy of a VHS tape though. A better transfer would improve this one.

Reviewed by andrabem-1 8 / 10

the black cat with the yellow shawl

"Sette scialli di seta gialla" (Crimes of the black cat) takes place in Copenhagen. The grey subdued skies of Copenhagen and the meditative soundtrack of Manuel de Sica, are a preparation for the giallo we are about to see - a blind pianist, Peter Oliver (Anthony Steffen) investigating a string of murders of fashion models.

Paola Whitney (Isabelle Marchal), Peter Oliver's girlfriend, is murdered, and the police, the other models… no one knows exactly what happened and the reason why it happened. She was alone in her room in the fashion house, and then suddenly…

Peter Oliver suspects that one of the reasons may be blackmail (fragments of a strange conversation overheard in a bar led him to this conclusion), but nothing really seems to explain the mystery. So Peter Oliver, with the help of his butler Burton (Umberto Raho) and beautiful Margot (Shirley Corrigan) - secretary of Françoise Ballais (Sylva Koscina), owner of the fashion house - , decides to investigate on his own the death of Paola. Other murders happen, the killer seems to anticipate each step of Peter, and there are other developments. As to the police, Inspector Jansen (Renato de Carmine) learns to respect the deductive powers of Peter. Sometimes the case seems about to be solved, but…

Besides the characters already mentioned, there are, of course, many gorgeous fashion models (some about to be sacrificed), there's Victor Morgan (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) that is, so to say, married to Françoise Ballais, and has already experienced troubled waters, and there's also a mysterious junkie woman (Giovanna Lenzi), an important piece in this chess game, and we should not forget the reviled black cat, a very important tool, always followed by a yellow shawl!.

In spite of its many curves, the story is not as convoluted as it seems, and there's one scene in particular that may please gorehounds.

Anthony Steffen, as the blind pianist, demonstrates again his talent and screen charisma and Giovanna Lenzi, as the junkie woman, is another highlight of the film (and the black cat too, of course!).

"Crimes of the black cat" has the visual beauty and style usual in many gialli, the editing is smooth and the film is pleasant to see – feminine beauty peppered with some thrills and violence. Sergio Pastore pays homages to Bava, Argento and... (surprise!), but the film has its own world and atmosphere.

Reviewed by Scarecrow-88 7 / 10

The Crimes of the Black Cat

Fashion models are dying mysteriously by a heart attack after encountering a wicker basket containing a cat which leaps upon them. One of those victims, was the lover of a blind composer she duped for ambitions in the modeling world, yet he will seek her killer putting his own life to great risk.

That blind composer, Peter Oliver(Anthony Steffen)wishes to find the murder of his ex-lover for whom he deeply cared for, despite her faults at bedding other men who could assist in her rise as a top model in the fashion world. In a restaurant bar, Peter overhears a conversation between the mysterious white-caped drug addict, Susan(Giovanna Lenzi), wearing a talisman(..with an eyeball in it's center)and another whose male voice is a whisper loudly giving instructions. This conversation, interrupted by a jukebox's rock music, is of major importance in the murders that will occur during the film's running time. Being blind, of course, has it's disadvantages(..perfect for exploiting in a giallo thriller-mystery where twists and turns pull the rug out from under the viewer who are, in a sense, blind as well)so Peter will need assistance from chauffeur/employee Burton(Umberto Raho)and his lover Paola's(Isabelle Marchall)roomie Margot(Shirley Corrigan)who works at the fashion studio. Françoise Ballais's(Sylvia Koscina) studio is preparing for an upcoming Autumn line in Hamburg, and her dashing "husband", Victor(Giacomo Rossi-Stuart), quite the ladies man bedding the models under her employ secretly, manages things during such a busy time of the year. The studio faces a crisis that throws their lives into a tailspin, Harry(Romano Malaspina)who has his own photography studio(..and was the slain Paolo's cousin)has incriminating pictures of Victor in bed with the victim. When someone stabs Harry in the throat with a knife, he becomes a leading suspect. Meanwhile other models who have incriminating evidence against Victor die in almost the same fashion as Paolo, a wicker basket yielding a cat results in their deaths by heart attack. The film follows Peter and company as they try to find the one(s)responsible for the murders as they compile.

This has everything I desire in a giallo thriller. The convoluted story keeps piling on the twists. Susan, the lady with the white cape, is my favorite revealing mystery..she's given an interesting development, and is quite a tragic character, who is revealed layer by layer, for as she is given exposition we are lead closer to identifying the murderer. As I've come to expect, this giallo gives us another wild plot twist at the end after it seems like we've established who the killer is. The reveal off-sets the vicious knife slashing of a character we care for, brutally displayed showing the blade as it penetrates the flesh as she cries in agony and dispair with nowhere to escape. As usual we have our amateur sleuths, these civilian detectives who actually discover just as much, if not more, than Inspector Jansen(Renato De Carmine)and his police. While the DVD print of this film is of lesser quality(..it looks as if the film is directly lifted from the film stock without the usual "touching up" that many giallo thrillers have enjoyed in the past, getting the treatment with a lavish quality transfer, enhanced beautifully for the viewer), I think the film will be a lot of fun for giallo fans who expect certain things that "7 Shawls of Yellow Silk" will give them. There's nudity, some gratuitous camera glides down the naked backs of women taking showers, and stylish camera angles and uses of light & shadow. The expected red herring or two is here as well. Couple all this with a blind hero who must use his other senses(..including his intellect)to figure out specifics with the help of his friends, and you have quite the adventure.

-Spoiler paragraph- I like the touch of how the models die. Wearing yellow shawls containing a liquid repellent that sends the wicker basket cat into a frenzy, whose claws contain poison once they scratch, is such a nifty little way of adding something new to the giallo instead of the typical knife stabbings(..although they are included as well). I am torn regarding the episode at the Glassworks where a certain individual, possibly the killer, leads our hero into a most certain doom making stupid decisions that give Peter time to remain alive as the police close in...why would this person not just kill him and get it over with? Yes, I will admit that this sequence is incredibly tense as Peter, blind as a bat, tries to thwart the other's plans of killing him, but still..

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