Crash Analysis: BLACK CAT (2004)

So bad Poe is pounding to get out of his grave

Did a man kill his missing wife and son or…whatever

Whenever a DVD starts in my player and has the feel of a very low budget horror, a part of me dies every time. Quality is usually sacrificed for over-reaching directors that do not have the cash or experience to pull off the movie. This convoluted, poorly shot and poorly acted take on Edgar Allen Poe’s tale is a travesty – and a waste of time.

The entire movie, about a police investigation into the possible murder of a mother and her child is stiff and flat to the point of sheer boredom.

The actors are stiff, especially lead Stephanie Leon, though Shaun Kurtz does his best as the tormented husband. However, Writer/Director Serge Rodnunsky didn’t help him go all the way. As for the rest of the cast, he didn’t do them any favors either. Only one cast member, Shawna Erikson (a Halle Berry look alike) truly delivered (hence the half-star).

Beyond the sterile scenes and an overall lack of energy, the music of Kurt Oldman was used, abused and overwhelmed many of the scenes. In fact, when it came to abstract images of blood spatter and dead cats, the blast of music only created a bit of laughter instead of provoking fear.

Furthermore, the story fell apart many times because Rodnunsky manipulated police procedure at every turn: A man asks for his attorney and never gets one, “the lab” boys find nothing but a detective pulls evidence at every turn, and the husband is held by police indefinitely without charges when he may not even be a suspect. Worst still, the CSI team couldn’t anything in a place where the murders had actually taken place. Hmm… Even if they used Luminol to located DNA, they’d soon realize the location had been cleaned with a million gallons of bleach – and that would leave any investigator suspicious.

This movie could have appeared on television as a late night fill in, though I doubt viewers would have stayed for long. BLACK CAT actually had the feel of a soap opera – though that would be insulting to soap operas everywhere.

Other than Erikson, there is no reason to tune in – ever.

0.5 out of 5 stars

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