I'm one of the few people that still gets the DVDs from my Netflix subscription. (We have a VHS player too.) "Why?" You ask? ...

Movie: The Black Cat (1981)

I'm one of the few people that still gets the DVDs from my Netflix subscription. (We have a VHS player too.) "Why?" You ask? Because they offer different movies than the ones that are streaming, like the Fulci gem The Black Cat from 1981, not to be confused with the more well known The Black Cat from 1934 with Karloff and Lugosi, or The Black Cat from 1966, or all the movies named The Black Cat from 1941, 1968, 1989, 1991. Many are loosely based on the Poe story we know and love. While the 1981 version is not a "good" movie, I will say it's an amazing CAT-centric movie!

*spoilers ahead*

We get the point of view camera angle from the level of a cat, and he seems to be everywhere that people are ending up dead. The cat belong to Mr. Miles, an eccentric man that records spirits of the recently deceased. He has a wonderful old mansion house too! Lots of woodwork, giant staircases, candelabras...you get the idea. In the beginning, we are led to believe that cat is being forced to kill people as an act of revenge, but with the help of an American photographer, we learn that there's more to it. Both the cat and Miles are “bound by hatred” and by the end of the film the cat is the more powerful one, controlling Miles to kill!

I'll admit, not much happens in the movie, but it's a remarkable watch because they use a real black cat throughout. At only one point when the cat attacks can you tell it's a fake cat. It's rather impressive. I'm sure there was more than one cat actor used in the movie, and I loved all the close-ups of the cats and the purring sounds. There's also no dialog for about the first 15 minutes, which is fine as long as I'm watching a cat.

There wasn't just close-ups of the cats, but the eyes of the actors too....a little too much close-up. The lighting was interesting and at one point there were floating glowing eyes. The eyes have it! The town they are in looks quaint, sometimes overly foggy. The acting is ok, and there's your typical boobs, and several awkward make out sessions from the 1980s horror movie genre. (That's saying a lot since the movie's run time is only 1hr 32min.) The soundtrack has a folk horror sound that sets the tone.

Some special effects are well executed (see what I did there?), a highlight is the scene where a woman catches fire and her face melts. Some effects are not so great, like the scene with the fake bats, or bright white skeletons covered in cobwebs.

*trigger warnings*

Miles does try to kill the cat a couple of times, when he feels the cat is getting stronger than him. He tries to kill it by hanging it. While they never show it, they do show it in shadow, and the cat ends up living. (Yay, evil kitty!)  Another time he tries to poison and bury it alive, it's mentioned but not shown.

The first awkward make out session shows a young couple, and it gets a little rape-y, when she says no, and he tries to convince her to have sex. Not cool.

As a whole I give it a 1.5 out of 5 drinks at the pub (yes, yes, I know Fulci has a cult following, but I'm not in that cult), but I give it a 6 out of 5 for use of real cats!

Here's the trailer...


Cult Classic   was recommended to me, and after reading the plot I was excited to dig in, because cults am I right?! But I'm afraid it ...

Cult Classic: A Novel

Cult Classic was recommended to me, and after reading the plot I was excited to dig in, because cults am I right?! But I'm afraid it was just ok. Or maybe I'm too old to read it? It's Sloane Crosley's first novel and the quality of writing is wonderful, with dry wit and real poignant observations about relationships, BUT Lola, the main character, is annoying and unlikable. She has a string of ex-boyfriends that she keeps running into on the streets of New York City. Oddly, she finds out it's not fate, but that she's the key experiment in her friend's new cult. It makes sense since she seems to think the world revolves around her. Well, it's sort of a cult? But more like a new age organization that thinks they can "will" encounters to happen? It's sort of unclear.

Since Lola is now engaged, she is told by the cult she's seeking closure with her exes. It makes her question her relationship with her fiancé. Is he just convenient? Her inner dialog goes on for sometimes three pages, and as a reader I found myself drifting off into my own thoughts. I was unable to sympathize with her. She doesn't really like her friends, and everyone seems emotionally distant and superficial. Honestly, there's no one in the book I would root for. (Pro tip: Life is too short to be friends with people you don't like.)

In the end, we find out that all of her lovers reappearing is a ploy by her fiancé ~ with the help of the cult ~ to see if she really loves him. He tested her instead of asking her about her exes. I once had a teacher say the key to a good relationship is communication. What do the youngins say? This could have been an email? Well, this could have been a simple conversation between two adults instead of a book about boring ex-boyfriends. Lol.