Edgar Ulmer’s influence on Ruiz is conspicuous throughout the Chilean master’s oeuvre, and no film seems to have left a more indelible mark on Ruiz’s imagination than this hallucinatory and macabre 1934 horror/thriller. The Black Cat begins with a creepy encounter between an American novelist, his wife, and a Hungarian psychiatrist (Bela Lugosi), and soon enough we’re transported to the haut modernist mansion of a Satan-worshipping Austrian architect (Boris Karloff), where the intrigues grow ever more bizarre and unsettling. The film’s visionary sense of surreality and idiosyncratic approach to politics earned it a slot in Ruiz’s 2003 list of his favorite films to screen (composed on the occasion of a retrospective in Bobigny), and the affinities between it and his own films are striking.