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...