Hello everyone we are at Day 5 of the 31 Days of horror and today I have a HIDDEN GEM for you all. It’s an Edgar Allen Poe adaptation by the Italian Godfather of Gore, Lucio Fulci. Now, HINT HINT, this is not going to be the last time you see Fulci in the 31 Days this year. I have something a little special planned.
The Black Cat (Gatto nero) – (1981)
Directed by: Lucio Fulci
Written by: Lucio Fulci and Biagio Proietti
Based on the story by Edgar Allen Poe
The first thing I’m going to say is that I HIGHLY recommend reading Edgar Allen Poe’s original story, The Black Cat (1845).
The second thing I’m going to say is that this movie is LOOSELY based on Poe’s story. And by loosely, I mean almost completely different. It pretty much only uses certain imagery and plot points from the story to create it’s own, somewhat slightly more Lovecraftian story (and I don’t mean like celestial cosmic horror, I’m talking H.P.’s more subtle, downbeat stuff).
It’s about an American woman who goes to a small English village to take photographs and starts noticing weird things involving an old man, and then people keep dying near a black cat. There are some pretty fun twists, so I won’t spoil them here.
This is no masterpiece, and it really doesn’t FEEL like an Edgar Allen Poe adaptation, but it is very fun, as one expects from Lucio Fulci. I mean the guy made Zombi 2 (a.k.a. Zombie a.k.a. The Island of the Living Dead, Zombie Flesh Eaters, Zombie: The Dead Walk Among Us, Zombie 2: The Dead Are Among Us and Nightmare Island). It’s not as gory as Zombi 2 (not that there isn’t a good bit of blood), but it’s almost as fun. If you’re interested, Arrow Video USA has released it on blu ray and DVD in a fantastic transfer. I definitely recommend it. Again, it’s just a fun, twisty movie with some great cinematography.
Oh, and as a little side note, the movie is in both Italian and English, as it’s an Italian production that takes place in England. Half of the actors are speaking English and the other half are speaking Italian, so regardless of which dub you’re watching, there are going to be mouth movements that don’t line up. Personally, since it takes place in England, I watched it in English, and that’s my recommendation. But it’s up to you. Everyone is dubbed over anyway, because that’s just how they do it over in Italy (see: all of Sergio Leone’s Westerns).