When a series of murders strike the local genetics laboratory, it will take a cunning reporter and his blind but capable companion to sort out the nine twisted leads that were left by the killer in CAT O' NINE TAILS, the second of Dario Argento's stylish thrillers. Often disregarded by fans as being one of Argento's lesser films and even disavowed by the director, himself, CAT O' NINE TAILS is none-the-less a fun and engaging Gialli with a strong cast and a sharp wit. From a technical standpoint, Argento continues to refine his craft, introducing an exhilarating car chase and a number of point-of-view shots that are used to identify the killer. Though lacking in gore, the deaths are really quite brutal, with one man being torn apart by a train, and several other victims suffering from painful strangulations. James Franciscus is charming and handsome in the lead, while Oscar winner Karl Malden wins the audience's over as the loveable 'Cookie' Arno. The sexual taboos and violence that the film displays resulted in its extreme censorship when it finally reached America in the 1990's. It is only too bad that the killer is so hard to identify even after the grand explanation in the end. With several wildly intense moments of suspense and an interesting if not troubled plot, CAT O' NINE TAILS is sure to please many fans of the genre.
If you liked CAT O' NINE TAILS, check out:
LIZARD IN A WOMAN'S SKIN, A BLADE IN THE DARK, TORSO.