Thursday, February 07, 2019

Cats are Watching

If you should decide to commit murder, beware that the eyes of a large, ginger cat may be upon you! 1973's Seven Deaths in the Cat's Eye (La morte negli occhi del gatto) seems like it might have a premise similar to Hammer's 1961 film The Shadow of the Cat but the titular cat plays a far more passive role in the 1973 film. A fairly scattered murder mystery that never generates the necessary focus on its protagonist played by Jane Birkin it's nonetheless as stylish as you can expect from any Italian genre film of the period. And its cast definitely seem to be having a good time.

A young woman named Corringa (Birkin) goes to stay with her mother, Lady Alicia (Dana Ghia), in their ancestral Scottish castle which, like everything else in the film, doesn't for a moment seem like it's in Scotland.

As her carriage first approaches the place, she doesn't notice the face of an ape watching from a window. We're later told it's an ourang-outang but it looks a little more like a chimpanzee and a lot more like a guy in a suit.

Corringa finds a lot of suppressed tension among the occupants of the castle which includes her mother; her aunt Mary (Francoise Christophe); her aunt's lover, Dr. Franz (Anton Diffring); a priest named Robertson (Venantino Venantini), and a beautiful young French woman named Suzanne (Doris Kunstmann). And hidden away is the handsome, stormy young Lord James (Hiram Keller), who owns the ape.

As people start getting murdered there's a suggestion that the family may be vampires, something that's connected to the cat at the first funeral. Serge Gainsbourg shows up in a small role as a police inspector, his voice hilariously dubbed over with a broad Scottish accent.

Birkin's performance is playful but credible enough as the young girl who's not nearly as naughty as she thinks she is. Seven Deaths in the Cat's Eye is available on Amazon Prime.

Twitter Sonnet #1203

Across a cotton river lint would stay.
A ferry built of softened parts embarked.
A rainy language tells the proper day.
A row of flower pots was clearly marked.
For hair some clouds were fanned about the head.
For teeth some solid grains were deftly used.
For ears tamales hap'ly cooked instead.
For eyes a pair of grapes were lightly bruised.
A secret door was thin as walls could go.
Revealed by ticking, hidden watches sprang.
An extra book was filled with stuff to know.
Projected graphs in tidy bundles sang.
Magnetic hands were taken round a curve.
A feathered shot descends from Heaven's serve.

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