26 November 2004 | lazarillo
That Darn Cat!
One thing you can say about Italian gialli: they never resort to killing someone with a simple shooting or stabbing--the villains always use some ridiculously elaborate Rube Goldberg method for doing their victims in. And this giallo features what might be the most ridiculous of them all. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that the English title "Crimes of the Black Cat" can be taken completely literally. (Obviously, the people who thought up this movie were not cat owners--have you ever tried to get a cat to do ANYTHING?). Aside from the especially absurd murders this is a typical giallo. It is set in the European fashion world, it's highly stylized, the plot makes little sense, and the motivation of the villain turns out to be even more ludicrous than the method of murder.
The protagonist is the blind male lover of the first murder victim. (How come blind people never complain that they are always being stereotyped as good-looking and resourceful individuals who always get to solve the crime and sleep with many attractive members of the opposite sex along the way?). The only name star is Sylva Koscina, but she is barely in the movie. The best actor though is the cat (perhaps the self-same feline thespian who played "Satan" in "Gently, Before She Dies"). After he exits the film, it quickly spirals downward with a truly tasteless shower murder and one of those abrupt freeze-frame endings that were so big in the 70's (maybe they ran out of film a lot back then). If you like gialli at all though, you'll probably like this one. It's very typical for its kind.