The Black Cat (1981)
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Critic Reviews for The Black Cat
A meandering plot and unintentional humour are far from enough to detract from this beautifully shot and atmospheric voyage into the dark.
This is a decent Fulci film, delivering all the sleaze and some of the splatter you can expect from the Italian goremeister.
...much of the film consists of long, interminable sequences in which not much happens...
Audience Reviews for The Black Cat
After all the groundbreaking gore epics such as The Beyond, Zombi 2 and The House by the Cemetery, Fulci moves away from the genre, and directs a different type of horror film. This is a supernatural gothic horror tale, one that impressive. Although this film lacks any of the gore of previous Fulci works, this is still a bloody little film. However, this is a fine change of style for Fulci, and proves that he's able to do something different. If you're a diehard fan of the director, you'll probably enjoy this one. But watch this with an open mind because this film doesn't possess any of the usual tricks used by Fulci. This doesn't make Black Cat a bad film, but it is different. I personally feel it was a good thing for Fulci to make this film because it varied his work a bit more. This is an underrated film that shouldn't be dismissed so quickly. Just because it lacks the gore effects, doesn't make this a bad film. I very much enjoyed the film, and thought it was a fine supernatural horror yarn. With this film, he succeeds at delivering effective chills. The cast do a fine job here, and the standout performance is Patrick Magee in the role of Mr. Miles. This is a brilliant piece of horror, even if it's not perfect, it showcases a director who's able to break away from his traditional trademarks which made such an icon. This is a film that really doesn't deserve the flack it has received. If you love Fulci's work, then give this one a shot, and remember a little variety in a director's bag of tricks is usually a good thing. Black Cat is a very good film that delivers the chills.
2.1/10 Lucio Fulci possesses this amazing, fascinating, one-of-a-kind ability to take gore, something that is meant to entertain, and make it just-plain boring. It's like if you've seen one of this guy's movies, you have seen them all. Frequently silly, under plotted, and brainless; Fulci just keeps getting worse and worse, as it would seen. Maybe half of his filmography shouldn't have made it anywhere outside of his home-land after all; I mean, I can live without movies like "The Beyond", which was poorly written and not quite as surreal as I expected it to be, and worst of all, borderline pretentious. I like films like "Don't Torture a Duckling" and "Zombie", but this; this is just absurd. The film I'm talking about is "The Black Cat", Fulci's adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe's story of the same name. I suppose it's loosely based on Poe's literary tale; but none the less, it's not a completely original work, and it shows. The movie just sucks, and that's pretty much it. I wouldn't watch it, and I can't imagine who would. It's boring, tedious, lame, goofy, and forgettable. It has some style, but what's style without substance or artistry? Fulci is no artist; and he never will be. His films aren't surreal, artistic, or particularly interesting more than half of the time. I've disliked nearly everything I've seen out of this guy, and "The Black Cat" is one of his worst flicks yet. So basically a cat is being possessed by lost souls courtesy of its master, a psychic, to murder people by scratching them, sending them hurling towards their even more unfortunate death. If you like that kind of stuff as far as gory deaths go, then "The Black Cat" is the movie for you. On the other hand, if you want a movie that has a story to tell, or has any REAL substance whatsoever, then you may want to look elsewhere. I have no problem with the Lucio Fulci fans of the world enjoying the film, for it was made specifically for them, but I hate how the guy's a filmmaker who thinks his audience is full of idiots. We are not idiots, or at least, a good amount of us aren't. To its credit, the gore scenes are pretty mediocre, but as I mentioned earlier, they still bored me to death. Fulci lived for his fans, the kind who liked what he did, but that doesn't mean that all his works are respectable. I suppose I don't mind Lucio Fulci's body of work, as he enjoyed making these mediocre-to-just-plain-awful gore flicks, but I'm no gorehound, but I do like horror films, and "The Black Cat" has a distractingly bad sense of style, and an even worse lack of storytelling skills. There's nothing to see here. Just like there was nothing to see from "Manhattan Baby" or "The New York Ripper". Move along, people.
I gotta be honest and say that if Patrick Magee hadn't been in this, this might've missed a half star - possibly a whole star. This is not one of Fulci's best. It has some nice qualities, but overall, just feels really silly and contrived. If you're looking for gore, you'll only find one good reason to see this. The film doesn't really play as a fun horror film, which I think is its main problem. If it didn't take itself so seriously, it might fare a little better. As is, it just feels tired.
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