The Cat O’ Nine Tails (1971) Arrow Release Review

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The Cat O’ Nine Tails (1971)
Arrow Review

“Would you like something to drink?
I have some milk”

 

Dario Argento followed up his incredible hit The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) with this thriller that follows a news reporter and a blind crossword setter as they try to solve a series of murders at a nearby genetics institute only to find themselves placed on the murderers list.

Starring American actors Karl Malden as the blind setter and James Franciscus as the reporter and filmed mostly in Turin, Italy, The Cat o’ Nine Tails score was written by Ennio Morricone but sadly only available in Mono however through my sound system the sound was very clear but anything by Ennio Morricone deserves better than Mono if possible.

A very competent whodunnit that works effectively in having you guessing who the killer could be right up to the reveal and gives you a very sound final showdown.
It is also extremely effective in getting you close to the victims as they are being dispatched. Showing only the murderer through the use of an extreme close up of their iris Dario also takes you as close to the victims during their final moments as possible without it becoming almost exploitative but definitely unsettling in places without the need of too much gore if any.

From the first kill with the train, a sight to behold, to the final showdown we get to witness expertly crafted and filmed deaths showing all you need is a camera and a bit of imagination.

Not one of Argentos favourites but was still a success and a fan favourite. This Arrow release is up to their usual high standards with their typical thoroughness and this new release is taken from a brand new 4K restoration.

Sadly I only have the DVD edition of this new Blu-Ray\DVD combo so I can’t say as to how good the high definition transfer is but on the DVD at least it looks great.
There are a wealth of extras with an interview of director Dario Argento being very informative.
It gives you a recreation of the original ending using the script that is now lost apart from this one image found on a German Lobby Card.

Also included is an audio commentary by critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman and interviews with cast and crew all talking about what it was like filming during the 70s.

For fans of this film this is a must. See the full details below the trailer.

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS

• Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
• Original mono Italian and English soundtracks (lossless on the Blu-ray Disc)
• Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
• New audio commentary by critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman
• New interviews with co-writer/director Dario Argento, co-writer Dardano Sacchetti, actress Cinzia De Carolis and production manager Angelo Iacono
• Script pages for the lost original ending, translated into English for the first time
• Original Italian and international theatrical trailers
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Candice Tripp
• Double-sided fold-out poster
• 4 lobby card reproductions
• Limited edition booklet illustrated by Matt Griffin, featuring an essay on the film by Dario Argento, and new writing by Barry Forshaw, Troy Howarth and Howard Hughes