2. The Black Cat (1981)
When you hear this cat breathing down your neck... Start praying.... Before you say Amen... You're dead. Pretty good murderous cat effort from Lucio Fulci which is extremely loosely based on Edgar Allen Poe's short story of the same name. It is no masterpiece from the great director, but at the same time, it is quite charming in its eccentricity. Robert Miles, Professor of Literature, can communicate with dead people. He also has the ability to control the mind of his cat (which is obviously a black cat). He uses kitty to attack people who have wronged him. A photographer spies cat scratch marks on the deceased victims. She pays a visit to Professor Miles and tells him her suspicions about the cat and its role in the recent deaths. The cat is not enamoured of this and seeks to assert its dominance over the Professor by controlling his mind instead... It is very hard to make a scary cat movie based on the fact that you could probably kick the crap out of them, more than they hurt you. Fulci does a good job of making the black cat menacing in its approach to the victims, and therefore you could semi-believe that the cat could inflict mighty damage to a person. The film benefits from an excellent performance from Patrick Magee - his last film role - as the deranged professor. The movie is more atmospheric than gory (Fulci's trademark) and makes great use of its English locale. The best bit is when Patrick Magee goes to strangle the cat - that is a very exciting moment in the film, giving Magee ample opportunity to ham it up. One of the few scary cat movies that is not utterly unbelievable.