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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Sette scialli di seta gialla" or "Seven Shawls of Yellow Silk")

 

Directed by Sergio Pastore
Italy / Denmark 1972

 

After a young model seemingly dies of a heart attack, her lover, Peter Oliver (Anthony Steffen, The Night Evelyn Came out of the Grave, Django the Bastard) and his butler begin their own investigation into the death and soon find an intertwined series of murders, all involving a cat and a yellow shawl. One step ahead of the police, but always right behind the killer, Peter manages to piece together clue after clue until the final, shocking showdown with the bloodthirsty killer. Released in the shadows of Dario Argento's wildly successful The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (and one of over 30 Italian giallo films produced in 1972), The Crimes of the Black Cat delivers the style of a classic giallo with sleazy, over the top violence that rivals Italian films from a decade later. Despite its pedigree of talent including Sylva Koscina (Lisa and the Devil), Renato De Carmine (Challenge to White Fang), Giacomo Rossi Stuart (Death Smiles at a Murderer, Shanghai Joe), Umberto Raho (Amuck, Summertime Killer), and Annabella Incontrera (The Case of the Blood Iris), an eerie score by Manuel De Sica (Dellamorte Dellamore), and behind the scenes work from Fabrizio De Angelis (producer of Zombie, The Beyond) The Crimes of the Black Cat has been largely ignored on home video. Previously unavailable in HD or in the proper aspect ratio, The Crimes of the Black Cat makes its worldwide Blu-Ray debut with an uncut 4K restoration via Cauldron Films.

***

A blind pianist tries to figure out who is responsible for a string of murders using a black cat with its caws dipped in curare.

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 12th, 1972

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Review: Cauldron Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Cauldron Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:38:38.162        
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,326,782,643 bytes

Feature: 29,185,320,960 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.82 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DUB: LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps / DN -31dB
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps / DN -31dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps / DN -31dB

Subtitles English, English (SDH) None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Cauldron Films

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,326,782,643 bytes

Feature: 29,185,320,960 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.82 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Commentary by Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson
Commentary track with Fragments of Fear - A Giallo Podcast with Peter Jilmstad and Rachael Nisbet
Remembering Sergio Pastore - Interview with Sara Pastore (17:47)
Sergio Pastore - Un Ammirevole Indipendente (17:12)
Image Gallery (1:43)
Trailer (3:41)


Blu-ray Release Date:
July 6th, 2021
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 10

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Cauldron Films Blu-ray (June 2021): Cauldron Films have transferred Sergio Pastore's The Crimes of the Black Cat to Blu-ray. It is cited as "makes its worldwide Blu-Ray debut with an uncut 4K restoration". I image the image quality is a large function of the less-effectual source. It can look clunky with some marks but is consistent. The film's abundant close-ups show the modest appearance and inherent softness, colors carry some richness and there is little depth - however, minor, but appealing, grain. It leans to being video-ish but I wasn't deterred in my viewing and appreciate the 4K-restored scan.

NOTE: We have added 80 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Cauldron Films use linear PCM dual-mono track (16-bit) in the rare English DUB as well as a lossy Italian track. The film's audio and dramatic piano score by Manuel De Sica his only Giallo sound strong in the lossless. Manuel De Sica was the son of actor/director Vittorio De Sica and scored The Garden of the Finzi-Continis. This has a nice jazz influence with orchestral support. Really quite an appealing score for the genre. Cauldron Films offer optional English subtitles for both standard (the Italian) and English SDH for the English DUB on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Cauldron Films Blu-ray offers a new commentary by Troy Howarth (author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films) and Nathaniel Thompson (author of DVD Delirium Volume 4: The International Guide to Weird and Wonderful Films on DVD & Blu-ray.) They discuss The Crimes of the Black Cat as a Dario Argento inspired film, that 33 Italian-made Giallo films came out in 1972. Troy identifies many of DUB'ed voices in the film's English version. They talk about how rare the English DUB has been on digital, director Sergio Pastore, Sylva Koscina, the obvious comparisons to Argento's The Cat o' Nine Tails (1971) with retired, blind journalist played by Karl Malden, and other regulars of Euro Cult cinema seen in The Crimes of the Black Cat - the Fedora, black gloves and clothing as part of the genre, how Mario Bava introduced this in Blood and Black Lace in 1964, the red and green backdrops, the the zoom technique used and much more. It is as excellent and interesting as you might anticipate. There is a second commentary track with Fragments of Fear - A Giallo Podcast with Peter Jilmstad and Rachael Nisbet from 2019. It runs about 1-hour 20-minutes of the film's running time. They are also very knowledgeable about the Giallo genre and cite many examples made in the 70's, Rachael reads a synopsis, they comment of much of the cast, who was involved in the production side and fashion-related horror-film links, the clever turns of the plot, Henry Hathaway's 23 Paces to Baker Street from 1956 as a similar themed film with a blind protagonist and much more. There are two, 17-minute featurettes about the director (with English subtitles) - Remembering Sergio Pastore - Interview with Sara Pastore and the second Sergio Pastore - Un Ammirevole Indipendente that also has daughter Laura. Pastore passed away in 1987 at only 55-years of age and had directed 12 Italian features. There is also an image gallery with posters / title cards and there is a English trailer.  

Sergio Pastore's The Crimes of the Black Cat is a definite Giallo made in the heart of the genre's production glut of the 70s. I was very entertained by this thriller that was filled with mystery around the eventually exposed murderer. The blind pianist as a 'detective' and English accent butler is an appealing, infrequently utilized, trope. There is some skin and gore The shower scene is quite graphic.) I'm very encouraged by Cauldron Films and hope they continue to expose and transfer these less-discussed genre films onto Blu-ray. The image quality is modest but consistent and it allowed me to see an intriguing Giallo in 1080P with the two commentaries (the new Howarth and Thompson one is highly recommended and all of the fine work of 'Fragments of Fear - A Giallo Podcast'), plus the two featurettes on the director. This is perfect for fans who embrace this desirable, stylish, and often addictive horror genre.

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Examples of Italian audio with English subtitles and English DUB with English SDH subtitles

 

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Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Cauldron Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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