director Lucio Fulci
The Black Cat makes the 10th Lucio Fulci flick that I can claim to have seen. So I guess I can no longer say that I’m a babe in the wood with Fulci anymore. But I also don’t know that I can claim a complete picture of the Italian director.
Fulci’s 1981 film The Black Cat is a little Edgar Allan Poe and a lot Fulcian weirdness. Poe’s short story is gory and bizarre in its own right, but Fulci’s version extends that psychological horror into the far out and supernatural. Close-ups on eyes abound, as do Patrick Magee’s fantastical eyebrows. This black cat is more than a projected upon victim and more of a demonic phantom.
Coming the the heart of Fulci’s fecund “Gates of Hell” period, The Black Cat seems to get shorter shrift from Fulci aficionados. The film is far less gory, there is no “gate of hell”, nor a zombie in sight, but it’s highly surreal and strange and evocative. To my mind, it’s as strong and as strange as anything he made.
Sure, it’s sort of bizarre to have a potential slasher film in which the killer is a somewhat ordinary black house cat. I don’t know. I’d definitely give this one another go.
A lesser Fulci that I would suggest isn’t a lesser Fulci at all. A full-on Fulci.