Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


Jane Birkin and Hiram Keller
SEVEN DEATHS IN THE CATS EYE (aka La morte negli occhi del gatto/aka Seven Dead in the Cat's Eye/1973). Director: Anthony M. Dawson (Antonio Margheriti).

Lady Alicia (Dana Ghia) is afraid that she may lose her beloved ancestral Scottish castle, Dragonstone, but her sister, Mary (Francoise Christophe), refuses to help her financially -- better to sell the rat-infested estate, she thinks. Alicia's niece, Corringa (Jane Birkin), comes for a visit and finally meets her kissing cousin, James (Hiram Keller), who at least has the reputation of being a little crazy -- he keeps a killer ape that escaped from the zoo as a pet! After Lady Mary is murdered, Corringa fears that her mother will rise from her grave as a vampire because the family cat followed her into the tomb. Meanwhile there are more murders, with anyone and everyone being a suspect, including the cat, who dispassionately watches everything as she slithers about the castle. Seven Deaths is a half-baked dubbed Italian horror film which has some atmosphere, but very little style, and the various murders are treated routinely. Hiram Keller [Fellini Satyricon] has presence as the not-so-mad James, and the other performances are more or less adept. References to Sigmund Freud being alive indicate that this takes place in the 19th century, but you would never know it. At least the identity of the killer is a bit of a surprise. It's a pleasure to see Anton Diffring [The Man Who Could Cheat Death] in the cast as a doctor and Lady Alicia's lover, although he spends more time in the bed of French tutor, Suzanne (Doris Kunstmann).

Verdict: Paging Mario Bava or Dario Argento, either of whom could have probably made a much better movie. **.


angelman66 said...

Your verdict is no doubt astute, Bill, but with the lovely Birkin and dreamy Hiram Keller, this looks like a must-see. I am a sucker for this type of film!!

William said...

Go for it! I think I found it on youtube.