Home > Seven Deaths in the Cat's Eye - 8 > Seven Deaths in the Cat’s Eye – 8

Seven Deaths in the Cat’s Eye – 8

Director – Antonio Margheriti

Cast – Jane Birkin, Hiram Keller, Françoise Christophe, Venantino Venantini, Doris Kunstmann, Anton Diffring, Dana Ghia, Konrad Georg, Serge Gainsbourg

Release Year – 1973

Reviewed by John of the Dead

Once again I fall head over cowboy boots for a giallo film with an incredibly interesting title, and I am pleased to say that this film lived up to its awesome name. You can expect horror relative to a feline, which was done in pretty hilarious fashion if you ask me, and in addition to that we are given all of the goods expected in a 70s giallo flick. Long-time giallo and Italian sleaze director Antonio Margheriti delivers this piece in awesome fashion – giving us a gothic telling of a novel’s story that comes heavy in kills, shocks, and most importantly…atmosphere. Seven Deaths In The Cat’s Eye marks the best giallo film I have seen in a long time, and one that despite very few ratings and reviews on the net is one that belongs up there with the infamous classics we know and love.

School girl Corringa(Jane Birkin) returns home to her family’s castle nestled in a small Scottish town. Corringa’s timing could not be any worse as a savage killer begins slaying all those who reside in the castle, with an insanely fluffy cat being a constant witness to the killings.

I was very glad to get my giallo fix from this flick, especially considering that I had gone through a few consecutive giallo films that failed to give me an exciting experience. Seven Deaths in the Cat’s Eye managed to have me hooked from the get-go, delivering an enjoying kill sequence to start the film and then relying little on development as the rest of the kills came soon after and constantly throughout the rest of the piece. Eventually we follow Corringa as she and the other guests at the home notice their population dwindling with a new mutilated body found each day. Antonio Margheriti and Giovanni Simonelli’s story and screenplay, adapted from Peter Bryan’s novel, did a good job keeping the viewer engaged despite a few writing faults where the plot fell flat at times. As mentioned earlier, there were constant kill sequences (Seven of them, obviously) and the usage of the cat was effective and symbolic. Character-wise it becomes obvious that there is a conspiracy element driving the killings, and the writers include many possible killers in an excellent “who-dun-it” fashion. The list of killers is not limited to mere humans though, as we are also introduced to a maniacal introvert with a mysterious and “guilty-looking” giant pet ape, and of course there is always the possibility that the darned fluffy cat is somehow associated with the killings.

Enjoyable but flawed story aside, Antonio Margheriti’s direction is what sold the film. First and foremost Margheriti grabs you by the throat with my favorite element aside from the kills sequences, and that is his atmosphere. Unlike most other giallo films he gives us a very gothic feel by implemented spooky sets around and within the old castle, and throws in a few other classic homages like bats in the basement and rats devouring rotting corpses. He continues this incredible atmosphere throughout the rest of the film, which only became better when the satisfyingly brutal and well-executed kill sequences began hitting the screen. The gore was not of a high level, but the intensity behind the killings was, and Margheriti offers many shocking kills sure to make up for whatever faults you can find in the piece. Oh, and there’s this really fluffy cat viewing all the killings that had me laughing pretty damn hard at how the cat was used. Thanks Margheriti, you genius.

Overall, Seven Deaths in the Cat’s Eye is one of my favorite giallo films thanks to its gothic tone and many enjoyable kills. The story does its job, but Margheriti’s direction seals the deal for this effort, which sadly happens to be one of the giallo sub-genre’s more under-appreciated entries.

Rating: 8/10

  1. June 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    John, I was sold on this one after the first couple of paragraphs so stopped reading in case of spoilers. Looking forward to tracking this one down.
    Always look out for your blogs, keep up the good work.
    All the best, Jeremy

    • June 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      Thanks Jeremy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, which I am sure you will. It is a bit hard to find unless you have a local video store with rare flicks, so I had to resort to getting the DVD from Netflix. When you do watch it I’d like to know what you think. Thanks again.

  2. Alex Roy
    June 29, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Great review! Going to have to check it out

    • June 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      I’m not sure how easily available it is in your area but it IS available via DVD through Netflix.

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