Black Cat (1981)
aka Gatto nero
Article 5452 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Lucio Fulci
Featuring Patrick Magee, Mimsy Farmer, David Warbeck
What it is: If it were from Japan, the first word in the title would be “kaibyo”
A psychic is trying to record the voices of the dead. Meanwhile, his cat is running around killing people. What’s up?
Anyone who has read the original Poe tale from which this movie was adapted should know that the original is fairly bloody itself, so I could see why Fulci might be interested. However, it’s unlikely Fulci would settle for a straightforward version of a story that has one murder, so here we get a plot involving psychic control, communication with the dead, and a cat who dies and returns as a mysterious supernatural ghost-cat who can teleport at will. There’s also a scene where the heroine is terrorized by a floating bed that seems like something out of THE EXORCIST; those waiting for an explanation will be disappointed. That being said, this is actually one of Fulci’s more restrained outings; most of the gore involves cat scratches. He also does eventually get around to including the events in the original story when the movie is nearing its end, so you can’t really say it isn’t an adaptation. However, I can’t really say that the movie as a whole makes much sense, and once it gets around to the original story, it seems to lose interest in much of the extra stuff added to the story. Still, the cinematography is excellent, and that generally counts for a lot more than plot among Fulci fans and Italian horror enthusiasts. Fulci claimed that this movie was made as a favor to the producer.