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Il Gatto Nero (1981)

Horror | 92 minutes
2,85 75 votes

Genre: Horror

Duration: 92 minuten

Alternative titles: The Black Cat / Black Cat

Country: Italy

Directed by: Lucio Fulci

Stars: Patrick Magee, Mimsy Farmer and David Warbeck

IMDb score: 5,8 (4.267)

Releasedate: 4 April 1981


Il Gatto Nero plot

"When you hear this cat breathing down your neck… start praying… before you finish your Amen… you're dead!"

A photographer comes to an English village to take pictures of the area. Once she arrives, she becomes fascinated by murders that are committed in the village. A black cat is said to be associated with the murders.

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Prof. Robert Miles

Jill Trevers

Inspector Gorley

Sgt. Wilson

Lillian Grayson

Inspector Flynn

Maureen Grayson

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avatar van Richard_Voorhees


  • 2311 messages
  • 2135 votes

A doubtful case between 2 and 2.5*, but because of the strong, atmospheric soundtrack (which creates a somewhat mysterious atmosphere and sometimes even resembles a fairy tale) I ended up with the latter score.
With Mimsy Farmer (4 Mosche di Velluto Grigio) and Patrick Magee (supporting roles in, among others, The Masque of the Red Death and Asylum), Fulci had a number of familiar faces for fans of classic European (horror) cinema.
Both also know how to portray a good role, but unfortunately the story is very long-winded despite the playing time of around 90 minutes.
This is mainly because the truth about the black cat is revealed quite quickly and as a viewer you have to wait until the British police officers find out.
The continuous close-ups of the black cat itself unfortunately add very little. This is also partly due to my personal taste, because I have always found cats far from frightening. In addition, I have always been unable to take the whole superstition surrounding the black cat seriously.
Unfortunately, the macabre appearance of Patrick Magee does not offer me enough to keep the film interesting for the entire running time. In my opinion, this is also one of the lesser Fulci horrors.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van FillumGek


  • 8987 messages
  • 3139 votes

In between the Gates of Hell trilogy, Fulci made yet another film adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's story The Black Cat. Partly because this film contained a lot less filth, it became a bit snowed under. Unjustified, because this is just a nice atmospheric work in which I think the actors are a lot better than in his aforementioned work.

It is a quiet place where, among other things, a couple making love disappears and all traces point to a black cat at some point. At least, that's what only tourist Jill sees when she goes to investigate. While the original story is about an alcoholic who gruesomely kills his wife's cat, this one is about a murderous cat. Too crazy for words, because we are talking about an animal that switches off fans, makes keys disappear and causes people to have accidents.

But it is convincingly presented. The cat actually radiates hatred, which is partly created by the many close-ups, including of the victims, who in turn radiate fear when they see the murdering cat. The gore is limited to a decomposing body and some scratches and cat paws, but it could all be a little dirtier. However, the cinematography is of an excellent level, which really benefits the atmosphere.

The actors were also quite good, with Magee as Robert Miller being the highlight. What I also really liked was the score, although the main theme, the nicest music, was unfortunately not heard that much. Although not very faithful to the original story, this is still an attractive work.

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avatar van jordandejong


  • 4557 messages
  • 1333 votes

A Fulci that is always somewhat overlooked, probably because he is not that high on the gore lists. Is it worth it after all? Yes, although this is certainly not a favorite.

The music comes from Pino Donnagio. Coincidentally, I saw Tourist Trap (1979) yesterday, where he also provided the music, and I have some of the same issues. During many 'exciting' scenes his music is too present and above all too bombastic. The main theme is nice, by the way. It rarely gets exciting or scary, and in all honesty you have to come from a very good background if you want to make a cat scary imo.

It has often been discussed that there is relatively little gore for a Fulci. It didn't bother me per se, especially because the atmosphere, cinematography and lighting are again in perfect order, Fulcian style. 1 brilliant scene in which cinematography, lighting and a gruesome death scene come together is during the burning of that lady in her night dress. The build-up, in the dark bedroom with those luminous cat eyes is already perfection, but the actual burning afterwards is really horribly well done. Great death scene.

Unfortunately, that is one of the few REAL highlights. Furthermore, I have to admit that it can be a bit of a letdown every now and then. Fulci regulars David Warbeck and Al Cliver have interchangeable roles. On the other hand, there is a very strong Patrick Magee.

Certainly not Fulci's best, but not bad to see either. And it's still nice to see Fulci's trademarks.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original