The Crimes of the Black Cat (1972)

R   |    |  Mystery, Thriller

The Crimes of the Black Cat (1972) Poster

A blind pianist tries to figure out who is responsible for a string of murders using a black cat with its claws dipped in curare.


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19 November 2019 | kannibalcorpsegrinder
| Far better giallo than expected
Following the death of his ex-girlfriend, a film-score composer finds himself and those closest to him in jeopardy when the killers' spree turns to them, forcing him to piece together the strange clues left behind in order to make sense of the mystery and put a stop to the killings.

For the most part, this one proved to be a rather fun giallo. Among the film's best aspects here is the enjoyable storyline that serves the film nicely. There's some fantastic storylines and subplots at aplay, as the initial start with the half-heard conversation and murder the next day at the fashion house launches some fun here with the blackmail revelation, adultery and secret drug-ring that caters to most of the models at their studio, giving the potential for the usual red-herrings and double-crosses throughout the film. The way the connections slowly build together, from the motive of the cat attacking the victims and how the trick was accomplished to the detective work uncovering the real killer detailing all the different incidents that have taken place which is wrapped together for an extremely engrossing, fast-moving mystery. As well, there's quite a lot to like here with the absurd killing method which offers a real change of pace in the genre. The idea of a cat trained to attack using a special poison mis on it's claws being carried around in a wicker basket covered by a yellow shawl is a wholly unique and original tactic that gives the film something different. As the handler still comes with the traditional look and getup, the mix of styles creates some fine shock jumps of the victims suddenly getting attacked by something or the scenes featuring the killer striking in more traditional manners. The stalking scenes are incredibly suspenseful as well, from the train station encounter, the confrontation in the abandoned factory and the incredibly tense finale in the house which has plenty of suspense and graphic kills which give this one a lot to like. There are a few issues with the film. The first problem is a rather distressing inability to really go for its own charge instead of doing the genre's hits like a checklist. This one pulls off every point in the style, from the continuous half-hearted revelations of the blackmailing attempts and secret keeping, the amateur detective following along the nature of the crimes by his inadvertent involvement that comes about through happenstance and the need for continuing on the killing spree in order to keep the secret hidden because the deaths uncovered an unrelated secret. These are all brought about by the needs of the genre and run through here in a generally routine manner, giving it a wholly cliched feel. The other issue is the underwhelming and abrupt finale that is shocking for the suddenness of it's ending, making this one a little lower with these issues.

Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence, Full Nudity and Language.

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