The Cat O’ Nine Tails (1971)

Dario Argento directs Karl Malden, James Franciscus and Catherine Spaak in this giallo mystery where a journalist, a blind man and his adopted niece investigate a killer at a genetics company.

More ditzy murder mystery than slasher… this feels subdued and a little less joyful. Certainly it is nowhere near as deranged or colourful as Argento’s crazy best. That doesn’t mean the story telling doesn’t skip along with its own lunatic logic. Why don’t we see the scene where Karl Malden is poisoned? We know he can’t be the killer. Right? Right! Why do they set up his table of blindman crossword letters then never use it as a clue or macguffin later? There are decent set-pieces… a night in the cemetery and a chase on a roof. But there’s also a really miserable moment of nudity followed by an awkward sex scene involving a warm glass of milk. A mixed bag of retro daftness and nastiness.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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