The Black Cat (3 stars)

The Black Cat

(18) 92min (Shameless Screen Entertainment DVD retail)


Patrick Magee leads as lugubrious medium (shaped more like a large) living in an English village, engaged in some occult jiggery pokery, the purpose of which never becomes clear. It’s a case of Magee versus Mogee, in fact, as the titular feline stalks about causing the demise of drunks, randy couples and anyone else having a good time. In desperation, Magee poisons its whiskas, then hangs the beast, but the creature proves to be merely cat-atonic, and returns to wreak havoc.

Lucio Fulci’s 1981 shocker owes little to Poe’s original, but it’s strong on atmosphere, with deftly used pastels and autumnal greys adding some authenticity to the chill factor in both its Italian and English locations. On the downside there’s a certain incoherency to its moral centre, with no ostensible purpose at all to its eerie occultism and slaughter. Not much in the way of extras.

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