21st Oct2015

‘Edgar Allan Poe’s Black Cats’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow Video)

by Paul Metcalf


When we think of classic Poe movies we tend to think back to the Roger Corman movies, though he wasn’t the only director to have adapted the writers work. Edgar Allan Poe’s Black Cats, from Arrow Video, brings together two adaptions of Poe’s classic tale, with some Italian flair.

Featuring Lucio Fulci’s The Black Cat, and Sergio Martoni’s Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, this is an interesting take on the story with two different styles. While Fulci didn’t go too gory with this one, there are still moments, and he goes for the more fantastical side of the tale. Your Vice is a Locked Room… takes a much more sophisticated take on the story creating a macabre tale where everybody seems to be guilty and the only thing reliable is the Giallo style murders, and of course the black cat.

The Black Cat is somewhat of an oddity for Fulci and while not his best movie, is fun and a fairly light experience. Featuring Patrick Magee, he steals many of the scenes he is in with his memorable style that often feels slightly overacted but perfect for the role he plays. If you want a fun horror movie though you can’t go wrong with this choice.

Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key may have a long title, but don’t let that put you off. For fans of Giallo and Poe this is an interesting crossroads between the two. Similar to Fulci’s Black Cat though there is a certain randomness to this movie, don’t expect everything to make sense and don’t try to overthink things and it’s still as enjoyable as you would hope.

Both films look good with the new 2K restorations, but on the review copy of Fulci’s movie I did notice some elements of damage on the print. This doesn’t really get in the way of enjoying the film though. The special features included on the disc feature commentaries and documentaries looking at the making of the The Black Cat, it’s very interesting to look at how one of Fulci’s more odd movies came to be.

Your Vice is a Locked Room… may not have a commentary track, but the special features are still interesting, especially with the focus on the films placing in Giallo history and a look at Edwige Fenech’s carreer. It’s also nice to see Eli Roth returning to show his love of Italian horror, giving his thoughts on not only the movie but also on director Sergio Martino.

While these movies may not stick to the actual classic Edgar Allan Poe story of the Black Cat, what they do instead is stick to Poe’s themes and the idea that he was trying to get across with his tale. For those looking for a literal interpretation of the book, you won’t find it here. Like most movies based on Poe’s work there are many changes but in the end the Black Cat always gets its revenge.

The most noticeable thing about Arrow Video’s Edgar Allan Poe’s Black Cats collection is how well the two movies work together. If you are in the mood for more of a fun horror then you can watch Fulci’s movie, if you want a more sophisticated tale of murder and intrigue you can watch Martino’s instead. With plenty of special features and an excellent presentation, this is a very good boxset that fans of horror will love.

***** 5/5

Edgar Allan Poe’s Black Cats is available on Dual Format DVD and Blu-ray in the UK now, courtesy of Arrow Video.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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