Saturday, December 4, 2010

International Streaming: Demons 6: The Black Cat

Luigi Cozzi is a name that I really associate with crazy cinema and you should too.  Part of his appeal that his films are so rooted in the late '70s and 1980s.  In fact, he hasn't made a horror film since then.  If he had actually made a film in the '90s or '00s, his reputation may not be the same. Granted, it might be better, but I like my narrative.  If you want your own narrative, get a website!  As I'm sure that you guessed, this is a Luigi Cozzi film.  Interestingly enough, Cozzi attempts to fill in an historical gap here, as he put the third chapter into the Three Mothers Trilogy in place of Argento.  By this point, it had been nine years since Inferno and twelve years since Suspiria.  People were really dying for some closure and Cozzi was the one to give it to them.  Mind you, Argento finally got his ass around to closing up the series with 2007's The Mother of Tears, but that was long to come still.  Will this film deliver on what everyone was asking for or just be salt in the wound?  Get out your exploding fridges for my review of...

The film begins with a woman running from an unseen killer.  Given the lack of context, this is either a fake-out or an After Dark Horrorfest picture.  Since this film came out 21 years ago, it's not the latter.  Sure enough a man is shooting a Giallo film.  This one stars Caroline Munro, but she's not the only familiar face here.  Urbano Barberini is here too.  You'll know him as the reincarnated husband from Changeling 2, the detective from Opera and the lead character from Demons.  Him and his friend- who looks like 'Ted' from Scrubs- are both married and working on a screenplay together.  Over a double-date/dinner, they explain that their script is based on the original legend that inspired Suspiria and Inferno.  To cover this, they explain that their movie script is different since it covers the Third Mother.  Of course, you realize what this means, right?  In the context of the movie, both of the stories are not reality- they're film.  This film, however, is telling a real story.  Why must you always find a way to blow my mind, Mr. Cozzi?  A minor conflict arises as both of their wives want the part.  Oh yeah, a witch appears in the mirror too.  I don't know why she's covered in bee stings, but let's just go with it.
Levana is the Third Mother and she has gained power due to her name being put in a script.  Really?  That's what we're going with?  Okay then.  The witch manages to possess Urbano's wife and causes her to see all sorts of freaky stuff.  It's here where the film both shines and falls flat on its face.  On one hand, these bits- including an exploding fridge, random shots of a graveyard and the Earth from orbit- are bizarre and great.  On the other hand, they make no freaking sense and will lose a lot of the audience.  Our heroes go to an expert in the occult and explain their plan.  She freaks out a bit and explains that the witch will gain her power back when her name is spoken.  Yeah, we already know that.  What was the point in placing this scene here, as opposed to earlier?  In addition, note how the woman says that they need to change the name of the character.  Apparently the legend is so exact that you can simply change the name of the witch.  That's just silly.  The woman goes out in the street and is attacked by scary-sounding music.  Levana speaks and casts a spell, causing the woman's chest to explode.  Gee, where did you get that effect from, Luigi?
The finale of the film gets really weird and confusing.  Of course, that kind of goes without saying, doesn't it?  Our heroine continues to see weird visions, including more of the cosmos & a long dream sequence where she stabs Urbano and he stabs her to death.  Can you say 'cop-out,' boys and girls?  A sub-plot with a movie producer (character actor Brett Halsey) leads to him appearing in a vision as a corpse.  The lead heroine learns that Levana is manipulating things behind the scenes, even leading to her husband having an affair with the starlet (Munro).  Her role consists of doing a scene where she puts on lingerie, talks to the woman and kills herself when Levana complains about her doing her job wrong.  Way to use your talent, guys.  A sub-plot involving Munro kidnapping the heroine's baby just sort of peters out as Munro has the kid over and the woman leaves.  No, really.  I can see why the witch was pissed at you.  In the finale, we see our heroine face down Levana and confront her, giving a big speech about empowerment.  Immediately after this, Levana shoots cartoon lasers and makes the woman explode!  Apparently, she can channel the powers of a witch named Tabitha and just reverses time.  Levana is killed with a stake and all is well- except for that 'it's not over ending.'  It's been over twenty years- it's over.  The End.
This movie is weird and kind of dumb.  The plot is ridiculous.  Of course, this is a Luigi Cozzi film.  The man could make a film about paint drying and it would somehow involve shots of space, exploding torsos and Caroline Munro.  The history of this film is a bit confusing and actually more fun to talk about than the film.  It was made as the final film in the Third Mother Trilogy, but released internationally as a Demons sequel.  Yes, it joins such great films as The Ogre and Black Demons!  On top of that, it was released in America as The Black Cat.  This is covered with a single exchange of dialog where it's explained that witches take the form of black cats, so the relationship to the Poe tales is logical.  Yeah, I don't buy it.  The actual film is just called De Profundis, but that was too dull for us all, I guess.  Shockingly, this confusing back-story and conflicting title drama did nothing to make this film a hit.  Actual copies are scarce, save for a DVD release recently.  Of course, the Starz/Netflix alliance allows jerks me to watch it on their X-Box 360s.  I love you, Luigi- but this film is a mess.  It's a glorious mess, but a mess.  If you like obscure, crazy cinema, watch this.  Most of you will just wonder what the hell is going on.
Next up, a week of random films begins with a cult classic that was made-for-TV, but has fans outside of that.  Of course, it's a killer scarecrow film, so set your expectations properly.  Stay tuned...


  1. ah, I must see this. Contamination and Paganini Horror were so fun!

  2. Now was this one or Demons 5 the one that was supposed to be a remake of Black Sunday? I cant remember, but I definitely saw this one and it was all sorts of not Demons.

  3. Sadly, I have yet to see 'Paganini Horror.' It's a big deal for me, as it's Cozzi's last horror film.

    'Demons 5' is the one that's called 'Black Sunday,' but has nothing to do with it. Ironically enough, it is a Lamberto Bava film. Of course, it's also one of his made-for-TV horror films. With the fourth one- 'Dinner with a Vampire' coming up, I can't expect good things...assuming, I can even find it.