Sette scialli di seta gialla (1972)

aka Crimes of the Black Cat
Article 3822 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-21-2012
Posting Date: 1-31-2012
Directed by Sergio Pastore
Featuring Anthony Steffen, Sylva Koscina, Giovanna Lenzi
Country: Italy
What it is: Giallo

A murderer is killing models in Copenhagen using a black cat whose claws have been dipped in curare. A man overhears a conversation which may reveal the murderer… but he is a blind pianist who can’t visually identify the killer.

I hear there’s a version of this one out there with English subtitles, but that’s not the one I ended up with; my copy is in Italian with no subtitles. Giallo is one of those genres that is very difficult to follow under such circumstances, though a few plot descriptions here and there did give me an inkling of what was going on. One says the plot is largely copied from BLOOD AND BLACK LACE, so watching that one again may help. Based on what I could follow, this is probably a fairly decent giallo, though its stylistic touches are the type I find more irritating than enticing – specifically, its high-speed multiple zooms during the murder sequences. In terms of the gore content, this is for the most part one of the milder examples from the genre, but it’s mostly to put you off your guard; there’s a murder near the end that’s in the running for one of the most gruesome ever committed to celluloid. My favorite scene has the blind pianist drawn into a treacherous environment where his blindness may be the death of him.


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