Blu-ray Movie Review – Edgar Allan Poe’s Black Cats: Two Adaptations By Sergio Martino & Lucio Fulci

Edgar Alan Poe’s Black Cats

YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY
Directed by Sergio Martino
Original Year of Release: 1972
THE BLACK CAT
Directed by Lucio Fulci
Original Year of Release: 1981

Courtesy of Arrow Films and MVD Distribution
Blu-ray Set Release Date: October 27, 2015

black-cats-249x300

Never in the history of Blu-ray has such a powerful film set been released. A bold proclamation to make, yes, but it is certainly warranted. EDGAR ALAN POE’S BLACK CATS is a two-movie collection that every fan of horror will want to own. Both movies are excellent in their own rights, but they are also drastically different. This diversity, as well as the individual allure of each film, is part of what makes this set so great, and it will make a perfect holiday gift for the horror lover in your life.

If you are not familiar with EDGAR ALAN POE’S BLACK CATS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of

Edgar Allan Poe’s celebrated story The Black Cat has provided the inspiration for numerous films over the years. But few adaptations are as stylish as those offered up by the twin Italian titans of terror, Sergio Martino and Lucio Fulci. In Martino’s classic giallo Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, teacher Oliviero (Luigi Pistilli, A Bay of Blood) finds himself under suspicion for murder when one of his students – and mistress – is found brutally murdered. As more bodies start to pile up, the arrival of Oliviero’s attractive niece (Edwige Fenech, Five Dolls for an August Moon, All the Colours of the Dark) brings with it complications of its own. In The Black Cat, from that “other” Godfather of Gore, Lucio Fulci (Zombie), Scotland Yard Inspector Gorley (David Warbeck, The Beyond) find himself summoned to a sleepy English village to investigate the recent murder of a young couple. With no obvious signs of entry at the murder scene, Gorley is forced to start considering the possibility that his suspect may not be human… Finally together on Blu-ray and in stunning new 2K restorations from the original camera negatives, fans can enjoy the double-dose of terror that is Edgar Allan Poe’s Black Cats – Italian-style!

Arrow and MVD could not have picked two better films to highlight the unique takes on this Poe classic. Granted, many interpretations of the story have been made over the years, but these films are two of the best.

YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY is a slick Italian giallo from Sergio Martino. THE BLACK CAT is a chilling dose of horror from one of the Kings of Gore, Lucio Fulci. Both look excellent onscreen, thanks to brand new 2K restorations of the films from the original camera negatives. But whereas Martino’s film focuses on atmosphere, Fulci’s film goes for straight-up, in your face scares.

The acting in both films is very good, and each cast does a superb job in their roles. Likewise, the soundtracks of both are mesmerizing and haunting. I found myself humming both at various points after each film was over.

If I were forced to pick a favorite movie out of this set, I would have to choose Fulci’s THE BLACK CAT. I’m a big fan of his work to start with, so my selection might be biased…but I prefer the horrifying aspects of this in contrast to the slasher vibe of the other.

This EDGAR ALAN POE’S BLACK CATS collection is a huge win for me, and I recommend it to any fan of horror cinema. The special edition comes with a variety of limited edition contents that include:

* Brand new 2K restorations of the films from the original camera negatives
* High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
* Original Italian and English soundtracks in mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
* Newly translated subtitles for the Italian soundtracks
* Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtracks
* Brand new interview with director Sergio Martino
* Dolls of Flesh and Blood: The Gialli of Sergio Martino a visual essay by Michael Mackenzie exploring Sergio Martino’s unique contributions to the giallo genre
* Stephen Thrower, author of Beyond Terror – The Films of Lucio Fulci, on The Black Cat
* Reversible sleeves featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin
* Limited Edition 80-page perfect-bound book featuring new writing on the films, Poe s original story and more, illustrated with archive stills and posters
* Much more to be announced!

MSB

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *