The Cat O'Nine Tails is more of a thriller than a horror that focuses on a blind retired journalist Franco Arno (Karl Malden - A Street Car Named Desire) and Journalist Carlo Giordani ( James Franciscus - Beneath The Planet Of The Apes) who are trying to solve a series of murders connected to a pharmaceutical company's experimental, top-secret drug which finds them both becoming targets of the killer.
Cat O'Nine Tails is a perfect starter for anyone looking to get into Italian cinema from the 70's. Masterfully shot in a style we have seen in many slasher horror films which proceeded it, I loved the use of the close up shot of the killer's eye as he is about to strike, The killer in first person view is something that reminded me so much of the first Friday the 13th film (but I am sure has been used in many other films around that time). While it may be slow going at times, The Cat O'Nine Tails does hold the attention for the crime drama fan in me. I couldn't guess who the killer may be, the plot had me intrigued, and for the time the murder scenes quenched my Gore thirst even if they were a little over the top (The Train death anyone?). The dubbing was well put together, however I did struggle with a few of of the scenes that focus more on reading i.e newspaper articles and Milk....I didn't know what the bloody hell was in that pyramid shaped carton the killer tries to murder Giordani with.
While the acting, at times, is a little dated overall the film holds up well still today. Franciscus and Malden are the stand out performers throughout and the mystery held me till the end. This is an interesting little film, and I personally would love to try more of Argento's work.