The Black Cat – Rating 3.5 out of 5

Part of the Master of Horror series The Black Cat is based on the short story by Edgar Allen Poe. The story unfolds as we find Poe in a desperate situation of poverty with his wife suffering from consumption. In order to deal with his predicament Poe takes to drink. He uses the meager wages he makes from a magazine to supply his bottles of alcohol. And while intoxicated he goes into fits of rage and takes out his aggressions on the canary and on the cat. The cat meets its end within his violent grasp and the cat takes a pen quill to the eye.

This is an interesting tale in that it takes the Black Cat story and weaves it together with the circumstances under which Poe wrote it. He’s broke and desperate. His wife is dying and he can’t afford the doctor. As she slips away due to her illness, Poe delves deeper into his bottle. Desperate to make some money he tries to craft a sensational story for the magazine, one which will thrill the audience and bring him fame and reward.

As he tries to work while his wife coughs and spews blood in the next room, every noise and distraction seems like a nail in her coffin. The canary and its cheery chirp is the first to go. The cat with its stare gets dealt with soon after.

The eye removal is only the start and Poe tracks down the cat to finish the job. He chases it down into the basement and using an axe, does his best to send it to the hereafter. His wife hears the raucous and comes to investigate and of course stop him. She gets in the way and gets an axe to the head. Poe then goes with the quick cover up by putting her in the wall and daring the police to find her.

The movie is shot in quasi black and white which gives it an old style feel. The alcohol fueled delusions of Poe, his wild yelling and bizarre behavior add to the mix. A well shot and well acted piece gives us a glimpse into the dark life of Poe while one of his more famous stories comes to life around him. We get some gruesome shots of Poe removing the eye of the cat of the axe crushing his wife’s skull. It all blends together in a creepy and atmospheric tale of a man’s decline into madness as he watches his wife die right in front of him.

Well worth watching just as a short piece and especially if you’re a fan of Poe. Good stuff and on sale at BestBuy for $4.99. Definitely worth that price!

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