My friend Anne Billson reminds me of a great forgotten horror film of the seventies, ‘Eye Of The Cat’, written by Joseph ‘Psycho’ Stefano, and starring beautiful Jacqueline Bisset and strangely-attractive-in-a-neanderthal-way Michael Sarrazin, an underrated actor whose career path somehow went horribly wrong. They were a real-life couple, and here Michael plays a man trying to steal a fortune from his aunt. But he has a phobia about cats, and she keeps dozens of them. There’s a great Hitchcockian sequence with a runaway wheelchair, and a totally bonkers ending.
Around that time there were several other wonderfully strange horrors, including the creepy ‘The Possession of Joel Delaney’ starring Shirley Maclaine(!), ‘The Mad Room’, with psychotic Stella Stevens and a severed hand, ‘To Kill A Clown’ (hippies VS gun-nut Alan Alda), and the strangely familiar-sounding ‘The Strange Vengeance Of Rosalie’, about an obsessed woman who keeps a man prisoner by breaking his legs. Wonder if Mr King saw that? (To be fair, his version was better.)
One of my favourites was ‘Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting’ written by excellent Larry Cohen, with the radiant, troubled Carol White fighting her anti-abortion ex, climaxing with a hairaising baby-in-a catbox fight on a rooftop. What’s great is that these oddities are gradually becoming available on DVD from specialist shops.