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Seven Deaths in the Cat's Eye

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Release Date: 
Blue Underground
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Directed by: 
Antonio Margheriti
Jane Birkin
Anton Diffring
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Corringa (Birkin) is suspended from school, so returns to her aunt's home where a family reunion of sorts is being held. That night during dinner, Lord James appears and tells everyone that he is mad, and then proceeds to abuse all the dinner guests until the party breaks up. It turns out that Corringas Aunt is in danger of losing the family mansion, and asks Corringas mother for a loan.
The loan is refused, and later that night Corringa’s mother is suffocated in her bed with a pillow. The family cat is present during this murder,and is also present when various unexplained murders continue to occur. There is also a live, insane gorilla living in the house, apparently allowed to wander about at will, appearing and disappearing behind various sliding doors and secret panels that litter the house.
Serge Gainsbourgh appears as a Scottish detective at one point for no apparent reason, and Birkin wanders about the house behaving irrationally and acting terrified but doing little else.
This is an amazing film in most respects, and I'm surprised it isn’t better known in horror circles. It's very Hammer-esque at times, is beautifully shot and has a wicked sense of humour to it, due in no small part to Margheriti and Giovanni Simonelli’s witty script. At times the film veers into black comedy, with most of the characters being money grabbing schemers, eccentric old buffers, or downright nutters!!
Little comment is made by any of the characters about the mad gorilla that is living in the house, despite the fact that it pops up every fifteen minutes or so to give someone a nasty fright.
Riz Ortolanis score is totally over the top, sounding as though it belongs in some big budget historical epic rather than a pantomime horror movie like this,but the film is none the worst for it.
In conclusion, you always know what you are getting with Margheriti, in that he is a technically proficient director with a wicked sense of humour who's films are always entertaining if nothing else.
Blue Underground present Seven Deaths in the Cat's Eye in a gorgeous 2.35:1 transfer, and include an interview entitled Murder He Wrote - Interview with Co-Writer Giovanni Simonelli.

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