Sette Scialli Di Seta Gialla (Crimes of the Black Cat) (2005) Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
First of all Sergio Pastore’s “Crimes of the Black Cat”, which was originally titled “Sette Scialli Di Seta Gialla” (Seven Shawls of Yellow Silk), saw the light of day not in 1986 as stated at Amazon, but in 1972. Up to then another italian master Dario Argento already managed to shoot three of his giallo greats: “The Bird with a Crystal Plumage”, “Cat O’Nine Tails” and “Four Flies on a Grey Velvet”. And surely Pastore’s movie is not as elaborate, picturesque and intense as Argento’s early works. Although it’s not that bad. “Crimes…” start off pretty slow and I agree with the previous reviewer - sometimes you feel a temptation to hit FF on your remote (which I didn’t by the way). Then things start to wind off faster and the ending is really taut and unexpected. The shower scene is indeed rather shocking, I guess we may consider it as a homage to “Psycho” made in a usual Italian style (just recall Lucio Fulci’s razor breast-slitting e.g. in “The New York Ripper”). I bet that was utterly disturbing in 1972 if it looks that good now.
Anyway “Crimes…” is an example of typical giallo. It has everything the genre usually offers. For starters the title. Giallo films often tend to be named something like “Ten Crippled Cats in a Purple Room” - it always sounds mysterious. Then the story-line with an enigmatic murder. The blind pianist (wait, I think I’ve seen this before… Oh, maybe it was the above-mentioned “Cat O’Nine Tails”?) who solves the mystery while the police wouldn’t find water out in the Pacific. Loud and harsh music which takes some time to get used to and then approve it. Beautiful and thought-out indoor scenes’ set-dressing. Quick and hasty jumps from wide shots to close ups and back… You’ll find everything giallo is famous for here. If you haven’t seen movies like this before you might feel a bit awkward, if you are familiar with some Italian features of this kind you won’t be surprised, and if you’re a giallo fanatic I think you’ll love “Crimes…”.
But the edition itself… I don’t know, maybe it was a straight VHS transfer, but I can’t even say it’s poor - it’s horrendous. I mean - c’mon, we live in a digital era, you can’t release films of such visual quality nowdays. There were a couple of dark scenes where you can’t see anything at all, colors are blurred, the picture is all grainy… I think fans would really appreciate it if “Anchor Bay” or “Blue Underground” release a nice remastered version.
By the way in extra features you can find some previews of films to come and they are of even worse quality which repels you from buying them once and for all.
So 3 stars to the movie and 1 to the DVD itself.
About Sette Scialli Di Seta Gialla (Crimes of the Black Cat) (2005)
Starring: Antonio De Teffè, Sylva Koscina, Giovanna Lenzi, Renato De Carmine, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
Runtime: 108 minutes
Director: Sergio Pastore