Eye of the Cat (1969)
Directed by David Lowell Rich

Starring Eleanor Parker Gayle Hunnicutt Michael Sarrazin Tim Henry

An overrated, out-of-print horror film (if it even ever was released on VHS), "Eye of the Cat" looks and feels like an elongated episode of Rod Serling's "Night Gallery" -- and it's opening credits even use the same font style.

Writer Joseph Stefano was best known for penning the screenplay of Hitchcock's "Psycho". Director David Lowell Rich, meanwhile, is mostly known for his TV work, including directing the infamous TV movie "Satan's School for Girls."

Sarrazin stars as the long lost nephew of a wealthy, dying aunt (Parker) whom he hasn't seen years. He's contacted by a manipulating hottie (Gayle Hunnicutt) who convinces him to reconnect with his aunt, who has willed away her entire fortune to a dozen or so cats in her possession. One small problem: The nephew suffers from intense cat-phobia. There's a word for it (I forget what it is), but needless to say he's so scared of cats it can be deadly.

His aunt adores him and goes out of her way to get rid of the cats and incorporate him into her will. Once the cats are, for the most part, gone, the film basically devolves into a gothic drama about an old lady's will. Of course it has a twist ending, but not a very good one. And not enough cats.

"Eye of the Cat" does have some neat sixties scenery (all of it in San Francisco), but it's ultimately clear why this film has never really seen the light of day on DVD, even though it was written by the man who penned the "Psycho" screenplay.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore

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