Dir: Juraj Herz, Czechoslovakia, 1972, 97 mins, subtitled, Cert: 15
Sun 3 September // 20:00
Tickets: £5 / £4
With delirious visuals conjured by cinematographer Jaroslav Kučera (Daisies) and often described as the 'last' film of the Czech New Wave, Juraj Herz's delirious tale of terror is a fantastical and surreal phantasmagoria of dark desires and splintered minds – a twisted Czech take on Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and Poe's The Black Cat.
Based on a short story by Aleksandr Grin, (the 'Russian Poe'), Morgiana is the story of twin sisters, Klára and Viktoria who live a life of decadent opulence, somewhere in the late 19th century. Klára is auburn-haired and beautiful, whilst Viktoria (whose only love is her cat Morgiana) is wicked, sadistic, bursting with hate and jealousy - and who hatches a terrible revenge by slowly poisoning her more popular sister. As the poison takes hold, Klára begins to lose grip on her sanity...
Part fairy-tale, part Gothic horror, Morgiana is a full-blown hallucinatory experience from the director of the chilling The Cremator. Significantly, it also features some nifty "cat cam" shots way before Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento dabbled with the same idea in their versions of Poe's "The Black Cat."