“Edgar Allan Poe’s Black Cats” is the kind of collection that I love seeing labels like Arrow handle now. They select a theme that perks cinema snobs and geek collectors’ interest. Then, they slam it full of everything you’d want to know on two obscure Italian horror films. Adaptations of Poe’s work have always been a mixed bag on the big screen and this set is no exception. But, why does Fulci not fare as well as Martino?
Well, Martino’s “Your Vice is A Locked Room and Only I Have the Key” is a straightforward giallo film that nails the feeling of the original Poe tale. You get the usual Police inspectors, unseen forces and general Italian buxom women in distress. There’s also a wee bit of animal abuse that might make some squeamish. Still, it’s the best overall film.
Fulci presents “The Black Cat” with an amazing dialogue free opening that ranks among some of the best staged horror sequences ever. It’s just a shame that the rest of the film couldn’t live up to that. This was shot back when Fulci was getting over his psychic obsession, so he forces it into this film while moving the location to England. David Magee works himself to the brink in the lead role, but nothing really comes together. Still, it’s Fulci and you know what to expect from the guy.
The Blu-Ray set comes with brand new 2K restorations for each film. You also get the original audio tracks in uncompressed mono. There are brand new interviews, featurettes, visual essay, a bit with Eli Roth and you even get a new commentary on The Black Cat. Throw onto that even more interviews and cool artwork to round out the release. The 1080p transfers are the cleanest I’ve ever seen for these films. It’s one of the greatest horror releases of 2015.
RELEASE DATE: 10/27/2015