Thursday, 19 September 2013



Poe might get briefly namechecked in this bewilderingly incoherent horror movie that originally bore the title Edgar Allan Poe's The Black Cat but now seems to exist only as a retitled entry in, of all things, the Demons franchise. After Demons and Demons 2 produced by Dario Argento and directed by Lamberto Bava, the Demons 3 title was used for various films, including Bava's own entirely unrelated (and thoroughly useless) TV movie The Ogre, Umberto Lenzi's Black Demons and Michele Soavi's The Church. Soavi's The Sect became Demons 4, and Lamberto Bava's remake of his father Mario's horror classic Black Sunday (The Mask Of Satan) ended up as Demons 5: The Devil's Veil. And bringing up the rear is Luigi Cozzi's 1989 film Demons 6: De Profundis, originally called The Black Cat despite having absolutely nothing to do with Poe's The Black Cat beyond there being a black cat in it for about five seconds.

But it gets better! Whilst it's not a sequel to Demons, it is, incredibly, a sequel to Argento's Suspiria and Inferno. It's the alternative conclusion to the Three Mothers trilogy and if you thought Argento's actual Mother Of Tears was a laughable, incomprehensible mess (and let's be honest, it was), it is sanity and restraint compared to Cozzi's WTF offering. It kicks off in what appears to be standard slasher/giallo territory, only to pull back and reveal a crew making a film called The Black Cat. The lead actress Anna Ravenna (Ravenna - Raven - Poe - oh, forget it) is excited about her director husband's new horror project in which she'll play the evil witch Lavena, but she's immediately plagued by nightmares full of shonky optical effects, broken mirrors and a malfunctioning refrigerator. Or is Lavena really out to get her and sacrifice Anna's baby son so she can come back to life and rule the world or whatever? And what happens when she finds her husband (Urbano Barberini, who was in the first Demons movie) is actually playing away with a fellow actress (Caroline Munro) who's actually going to play Lavena?

Light blobs, a ghost child on a TV set, random shots of the moon and an exploding occultist, that's what happens. Cozzi pulls all the stops out in terms of incident, gore and mayhem, shooting half of it with Argento-coloured lights and backing it all up with a synth/metal soundtrack. Obviously it doesn't work and you can understand why the damn thing has disappeared into obscurity: it's complete and utter tosh and crazier than Lucio Fulci and Argento's versions of the same title. Still, it's certainly not boring, and for fans of the madder Euro horror movies it's probably worth a look.


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