Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Shawna Erickson, Stephanie Leon, Philip Jones, Shaun Kurtz, Logan Sandberg
Director: Serge Rodnunsky
Based on the terrifying tale by Edgar Allen Poe Black Cat is the story of an animal possessed and a curse that cannot be broken. As one man stands accused of the disappearance of his wife and child he cannot explain what... more »
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One Of The Weaker Presentations Of Poe's Tale Provides Littl
rsoonsa | Lake Isabella, California | 12/10/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The esteemed 1843 story of psychological distress by Edgar Allan Poe, "The Black Cat", has been utilized as somewhat of a substructure for numerous interpretations upon film, of which several are generally considered to be worthy of audience attention, even in those cases when any connection to the Poe original is tenuous at best, but such will not apply in the instance of this flabbily assembled version that is substandard in virtually all production characteristics, a condition that must be charged to its director who is additionally credited as the work's producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, and editor. Poe's tale, related in the first person, depicts a man who is trapped within a web woven from his morbid imagination, a state that brings about insanity along with the commission of violent actions, and here director Rodnunsky attempts to craft a style of narrative that will include elements from its model, but it fails to come off due to a meandering story line that envisions characters switching personalities, with a result that their identities become an equivocal compound of invention and reality. Jack (Shaun Kurtz) reports to local police that his wife and their teenage son are missing, and is then held and sequestered for questioning in the matter at a police station, the investigative process being under the personal supervision of a detective named Eleanor, who leads a careful search of Jack's home, whereupon the film becomes a general muddle of inexplicable events as Eleanor, upon petting the family's black cat, may (or may not) be hallucinating that she is involved in a romantic and very physical relationship with Jack's absent wife, although numerous ostensible flashbacks would seem to indicate that Eleanor's past existence has in some manner been melded with that of Jack. Or something of that sort. Building upon a confusing plot, there are two "surprise" endings, but each is denied impact because of a dearth of technical assurance from the production, including piteous post-production ADR work that induces drastically inept syncing. Editing for the picture is largely slipshod, combining with sloppy videotape camera-work to beget an irksome viewing experience that is exacerbated by consistently off-the-mark dialogue, despite an attempt by Kurtz to create his role. The director's penchant for closeups of his principal players is not to the advantage of these performers, two of whom are listed within the opening and closing credits as having different names than those displayed upon the DVD package. Voiceovers by the female lead, reading several lines from the Poe work that are en-scripted upon the screen during the film's opening and closing moments, are in essence the sole artistically satisfying ingredients to be found during the course of this tedious mishmash."
A. A. Breen | 05/30/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"THIS IS A DIFFERENT MOVIE.I DIDN'T LIKE IT.IT WAS BORING!THERE WAS NO EXCITEMENT OR SUSPENSE.THERE WAS NOTHING!THE BLACK CAT WAS BEAUTIFUL!"
Edgar Allan Poe? Yes. Terrifying? Well, Not Exactly ....
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 12/27/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Poe's famous short story "The Black Cat" has been filmed numerous times in the movie history, and in making it a feature film, writer/director Serge Rodnunsky added considerable amount of materials to the original. But that is inevitable because the original short story consists about 10 pages or less, depending on your edition, and we know we all have to add something to the source material. The point is, however, what to add and how to do it. In this respect, this version of "Black Cat" (no "the" added) is very disappointing mainly because of its confusing script.
This is a modernized version of Poe's classic story set in some small town (probably in America), but the location is not specified. For this adaptation they added a story of a female detective Eleanor Wyman investigating the case of the missing wife and the son of one guy named Jack. Moreover, Detective Wyman finds herself so engrossed in the case (perhaps under the influence of a black cat's curse) that she starts to assume another personality whose existence is deeply related to the missing lady.
Modernizing the original is not a bad idea; the real problem is the added material that virtually takes over the whole film and becomes the main plot. The mysterious relations or dual personalities including the cat (and yes, I noticed she is wearing a black dress) might be interesting with a more coherent script, but the characters are one (or two) too many and so are the twists. And after all, I asked myself watching this: "Why should they use the name of Poe when it is substantially different?" What is the point of watching two (half-naked) ladies in shower room?
Actually you can find here the very ingredients that consist of the story of a strange black cat - wall of the basement, axe, noose, etc. - but none of them are used in effective way. When something happens, the camera begins to shake and move when it doesn't have to and its fast editing only makes us dizzy. As to the climax of Poe's story, the ominous, purring voice of the cat from you know where, the film simply won't let you know what is going on.
Interestingly, IMDb (so far) does not credit the name of Poe as the writer of the film though DVD has his name on its back cover - "Based on the terrifying tale by Edger Allan Poe...." True, it is based on Poe, but the relation is tenuous at best."