Friday, October 13, 2017

THE CAT O' NINE TAILS (1971) Blu-ray review

The Cat o’ Nine Tails (1971) d. Argento, Dario (Italy) (2nd viewing) 112 min.

With the exception of a couple of nasty stranglings and a gnarly train-running-over-a-guy sequence, this relatively bloodless thriller represents the second installment in what has come to be known as Argento’s “animals trilogy” that began with The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and concludes with Four Flies on Grey Velvet. Which is not to say that it doesn’t do a dandy job of keeping viewers on their toes following the twists and turns of a murderer targeting an experimental medical research facility that might be on the verge of a breakthrough discovery, even if its somewhat lengthy running time might challenge patience at times.

James Franciscus and Karl Malden share top billing as a headstrong reporter and a (blind) crossword puzzle creator, respectively, who strike up an unlikely partnership to solve the mystery, uncovering clues and then watching their various leads/suspects get bumped off one by one.

I had only seen this once before via an old bootleg VHS and watching Arrow’s restored Blu-ray was like watching the movie for the first time. In addition to four separate BR sleeve options and a two-sided fold-out poster, there are several new interviews as part of the extras, including new interviews with Argento and fellow Italian horrormeisters Sergio Martino and Luigi Cozzi.

One unexpected source of entertainment was the fact that I was watching the English audio track with the English subtitles, which I’m guessing were for the Italian audio track, because the two did not always (read as: about 60% of the time) match up.

The Cat o’ Nine Tails is available now on (region-free) Blu-ray from Arrow Video and can be ordered HERE:


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