Il gatto a nove code
DVD - Image B+ Sound B+ Extras A
BD - Image A+ Sound A Extras A-
starring James Franciscus, Karl Malden, Catherine Spaak, Pier Paolo Capponi
written and directed by Dario Argento
by Walter Chaw Nicknamed "The Italian Hitchcock," Dario Argento is more aptly classified "The Italian DePalma": a director with his own set of stylistic excesses who, especially early in his career, borrowed many tropes from the Master of Suspense en route to crafting his own distinctive thrillers. Again like DePalma, Argento of late has fallen on hard times, creating a series of clunkers that have blundered from the brilliant homage of his nascence to the tired and derivative garbage of his twilight. Indicated by somewhat straightforward mystery plots that elaborate death scenes and gory climaxes serve to punctuate, the giallo (so named for the colour of the covers--yellow--that enshrouded Italian penny dreadfuls) genre of thriller reached its stylistic apex with Argento's 1975 Deep Red, just prior to the director experimenting in the "supernatural" sub-genre of Italian horror with his masterpiece, Suspiria. Argento's first three films, the so-called "animal trilogy" (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, The Cat o' Nine Tails, Four Flies on Grey Velvet) deepened the giallo as introduced to cinema by the late, great Mario Bava.