The Black Cat (1966)

Article 3234 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-27-2010
Posting Date: 6-22-2010
Directed by Harold Hoffman
Featuring Robert Frost, Robyn Baker, Sadie French
Country: USA
What it is: Low-budget Poe adaptation

If this movie seems to be famous for anything, I’m guessing it would be the effectively gory axe murder sequence; I remember seeing stills of that one. And since the axe murder does take place in the original Poe story, we can’t really call it gratuitous. In fact, I do have to credit the makers of this movie for attempting a certain type of fidelity to the original story; it’s updated to the present, and fleshes out the characters and situations, but it manages to be true to the story as written. Still, it doesn’t quite flesh things out enough to hold the interest level high throughout the running time of the movie, and some of the additions are obvious (let’s have lots of scenes of him drinking, let’s have lots of scenes of him talking like a loony, let’s have a car chase, etc.). Fortunately, some of the touches are nice; I like that our main character has other pets around as well as the cat, I like the bizarre sequence where he his serenaded by a rock band of one-eyed men, and I like his startled attack on a black purse. Let’s face it; for a movie made on an extreme low budget, this one works pretty well. I just wish they had taken extra care with spelling Edgar Allan Poe’s name correctly. Incidentally, I suspect the Robert Frost of this movie is not the well known poet, despite his opening lines of poetry.


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