The Cat o’ Nine Tails

Movie Information

In Brief: An early Dario Argento film (his second), The Cat o' Nine Tails (1971) is more mystery than outright horror — and its PG (originally GP) rating should clue you in on the fact that it doesn't really qualify as a giallo. In fact, it's closer to a German krimi than anything. But that doesn't mean it's not good or of interest as an Argento film. This — like many Italian films of the era — is one of those international productions built around an American star. In this case, we have two American stars — Karl Malden and James Franciscus. Malden plays a retired blind journalist (who creates crossword puzzles) who teams up with reporter Franciscus to solve a series of murders that are somehow connected to some secret genetic research at a pharmaceutical company. Also, for an Argento picture, it's surprisingly coherent — even if its premise is no more likely than usual. This excerpt was taken from a review by Ken Hanke originally published on August 15, 2015. The Asheville Film Society will screen The Cat o' Nine Tails on Tuesday, June 6, at 7:30 p.m. at The Grail Moviehouse, hosted by Xpress movie critic Scott Douglas.
Genre: Horror Mystery
Director: Dario Argento
Starring: Karl Malden, James Franciscus, Catherine Spaak, Pier Paolo Capponi
Rated: PG

The Asheville Film Society will screen The Cat o’ Nine Tails on Tuesday, June 6, at 7:30 p.m. at The Grail Moviehouse, hosted by Xpress movie critic Scott Douglas.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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