23 April 2017

THE RED QUEEN KILLS 7 TIMES/THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE: REVIEWS BY SANDRA HARRIS.




THE RED QUEEN KILLS SEVEN TIMES/THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE: A DOUBLE BILL OF EMILIO MIRAGLIA 'GIALLO' FILM REVIEWS BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

THE RED QUEEN KILLS SEVEN TIMES. (1972) WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY EMILIO MIRAGLIA. STARRING BARBARA BOUCHET, MARINA MALFATTI AND SYBIL DANNING.

THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE. (1971) WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY EMILIO MIRAGLIA. STARRING ANTHONY STEFFEN, MARINA MALFATTI AND ERIKA BLANC.

Don't these films have the most fantastically eye-catching titles? I was drawn to them initially because of their titles and then again when I saw that they were sexy Italian 'giallo' films from the early 'Seventies. I'll let you guys into a little secret if ye promise not to tell anyone.

When I first started out on this film critiquing lark, a good few years ago now, I thought that 'giallo' was a famous Italian director. Whenever 'his' name came up, in high-faluting conversations concerning the works of Kurosawa, Herzog, Fellini, Bertolucci and all those other lads, I nodded and smiled along and murmured knowingly about how the great director 'Giallo' was soooo deserving of his place among the heavy hitters of cinema. True story...!

Now, of course, I know that 'giallo' is the name given to those terrific old Italian murder- mystery horror-thriller films of the late 'Sixties and early 'Seventies, that pre-dated and actually highly influenced the American slasher genre. Now that I know all this stuff without resorting to Wikipedia, it actually makes a lot of sense to me, haha.

What I personally love the most about the 'giallo' films, apart from the great direction by a master director(!), are the gorgeous settings and all the sexiness and nudity. Fabulous old castles and magnificent overgrown grounds abound in the two films we're looking at today, as well as a positive proliferation of bare bouncing bosoms and buttocks, all attached to the most beautiful (and similar-looking!) females you've ever seen. They all have masses and masses of long blonde or reddish-blonde or reddish-brown hair in addition to the most lissom of lissom limbs. Try saying that with a mouthful of chips...

As a matter of fact, and it's a very sad story, these two films were both made during the terrible Italian brassière shortage of the early 'Seventies. Due to this shortage, beautiful women in the film industry were forced to act in these movies with- literally- their tits out in virtually every shot. Oh, it was shocking altogether, so it was.

Of course, back then guys like Bob Geldof, Bono and Midge Ure were still only twinkles in their Daddy's junk, so there were no do-gooders around yet to get together and form Breast-Aid or Nipple-Aid (sounds like a refreshing cold drink!) or any of those yokes.

The poor women just had to get on with it themselves so, prancing about on set topless or clad in only the flimsiest of upper-body-clothing. Sadly, many of them caught pneumonia and died. It was a black time for cinema. To this day, fans of the genre place brassières by the truckload on the graves of these poor cold forgotten actresses. 'Breast we forget,' I suppose...!

THE RED QUEEN KILLS SEVEN TIMES is the story of two sisters who grow up in a fabulous old castle owned by their dear old Grandpops. There's a painting in the castle that depicts two sisters also, which might be nice except for the fact that one sister is seen murdering the other, which of course is not at all cool.

As the legend goes, the murdered sister- the Red Queen- comes out of her grave seeking revenge and murders, you've guessed it, no fewer than seven times. Her little killing spree finishes up with the Black Queen, the sister who murdered her. It's obvious that the two sisters in the film, Kitty and Eveline Wildenbruck, are modern reincarnations of these two long-dead Queens.

When the old castle-owning Grandad dies suddenly, the series of gruesome murders that follow on the heels of his death leads the Wildenbruck family to believe that the ancient curse of the Red Queen has been re-activated somehow. But which of the sisters, if it is either of them, is doing the killing? And where will it all end, that's what I'd like to know...?

There's a great scene in this film that shows a crypt being flooded by sea-water, with a person trapped inside with about a million black rats, that puts me in mind of a similar scene in an old Boris Karloff film called THE TERROR. This film also starred a ridiculously young and handsome Jack Nicholson before he went all 'Gimme the bat!' on us.

I love the actress Sybil Danning in this. She can get her kit off and be ready for sex literally in the blink of an eye, an admirable trait in any woman, I think you'll agree. Mind you, it's not as if she'd have had any bras to whip off, as we've already seen, so she obviously had something of a head-start in that respect, heh-heh-heh.

THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE is a famous 'giallo' movie and summat of a cult classic by this stage. The lead actor, Anthony Steffen, is supremely handsome in a dark, moody, broody pouty kind of a way.

Apparently, he was also famous for starring in spaghetti Westerns. I can well imagine him narrowing his dark eyes against a fog of cigarette smoke while sitting astride a horse, the sexy man-devil. He's positively criminally good-looking, so he is.

In this film, he plays a rich aristocrat who's just been released from the loony-bin. He'd been incarcerated after he'd broken down with grief over the death of his wife Evelyn, a beautiful young woman with red hair.

Now, in order to recover from her death, he invites various red-headed prostitutes into his fabulous run-down mansion in the countryside and forces them to play kinky sex-games which involve whipping and- erm- strangulation resulting in their deaths. Well, I always say that you've gotta do whatever feels right to you. Everyone responds to grief in different ways...

Then Alan decides to get married to Gladys, a stunning red-headed woman he meets at a party. From the time he brings her home, however, his dead wife Evelyn starts to cast a very long shadow indeed. The film turns into a deliciously gothic horror-thriller characterised by deceased wives, red herrings, kinky sex, deceit, lies, identikit maids and domestic violence perpetrated by Alan on the woman who's stepped into the dead wife's shoes.

The film is reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock's movie adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's bestselling novel 'REBECCA,' and also of every Vincent Price film ever in which he buries a wife who flatly refuses to stay dead. The castle, the family crypt and the over-grown gardens are all utterly magnificent, and exactly the kind of setting in which you might expect a dead wife to rise up out of her tomb and go for a wee walk...

The actress-turned-PLAYBOY model Erika Blanc became famous for her sexy dance in this film. She came out of a coffin tushy-first and catapulted straight into the pages of sexy cinema history. She gets rather viciously whipped by Alan in his sex-room as well, his own personal 'Red Room Of Pain' that makes Christian Grey from FIFTY SHADES OF GREY look like what most BDSM people today seem to agree he is, a rank fuppin' amateur.

The good news is that these two films are out on special release now courtesy of ARROW VIDEO and FETCH ENTERTAINMENT. You have the choice of watching the films in English or their original Italian, with all relevant subtitles, of course. I watched 'em both in Italian, as that seemed like the more authentic choice, but I'll certainly watch 'em again in English, just to enjoy the whole wider experience.

There's a brilliant interview with Erika Blanc as well, in which she relives the glory days of her coffin dance and reveals how she actually quite enjoyed being whipped by Anthony Sheffen in his sex-dungeon, the horny little hussy. It's very funny but also quite sad as well. You get the distinct impression from her that she really misses her hey-days, the days in which she was so remarkably beautiful that she would have stopped traffic for sure.

Anyway, enjoy the films. They're true examples of some of Giallo's finest works. I'm sure he was delighted with the way they turned out...!

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

 You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com







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