Review: Luigi Cozzi's Gem 'The Black Cat' is an Entertaining Hodgepodge of Genre Films

by Sam Cohen

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday November 10, 2020

Review: Luigi Cozzi's Gem 'The Black Cat' is an Entertaining Hodgepodge of Genre Films

In the annals of history in Italian horror, there are so many minor gems waiting to be discovered. That doesn't mean they're high art, but they belong to an irreverent and violent movement that still shocks viewers to this day. "The Black Cat," filmmaker Luigi Cozzi's mashup of supernatural horror and self-aware industry satire, is one of those gems. While it doesn't necessarily perfect any of the Italian horror hallmarks it shows off, it's no less an entertaining hodgepodge of genre films that informed it.

Severin Films brings "The Black Cat" to Blu-ray with a new 2K transfer from original vault elements that's pretty stunning to watch. The film hasn't been given a proper restoration ever, and Severin proves here that it so rightly deserved one. While the special features are scarce, there's a fun interview with Luigi Cozzi and actress Caroline Munro that briefly goes over their experiences with the film. If you're a fan of Italian horror that really goes off the rails, this should be on your list to pick up.

"The Black Cat" tells the story of a production company working hard to film a sequel to Dario Argento's "Suspiria," but of course a demon has been resurrected that threatens the entire cast and crew. There's a bunch of jokes regarding Italian horror filmmaking that I won't spoil for you, but this provides a pretty decent baseline as to what to expect from the film.

Keeping in tune with other Italian horror films of the 1980s, "The Black Cat" employs a Goblin-esque score and hard rock tracks to amplify the gooey kills and jarring atmosphere of the film. It's a work that prioritizes fun shock over everything, so don't expect something linear. This one revels in the irrational and while it doesn't reach the heights of the films it borrows from, it's quite a funny take on a doomed film production.

As I mentioned earlier, the new 2K transfer is pretty terrific, especially in regards to the film's cheap, Argento-ripping aesthetic. Severin Films has proven once again that their commitment to reviving and restoring genre films is just as powerful as it ever has been. And while "The Black Cat" may not be top-tier Italian horror, its irreverence is sure to please fans.

Special features include:

• "Cat On The Brain" — Interview with director/co-writer Luigi Cozzi and actress Caroline Munro

• Trailer

"The Black Cat" is now available on Blu-ray and DVD from Severin Films.