Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 20th, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: Italy, August 18th, 1971 (The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave), August 18th, 1972 (Red Queen Kills 7 Times)
Director: Emilio Miraglia (Both Films)
Writers: Massimo Felisatti, Fabio Pittorru, Emilio Miraglia (The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave), Emilio Miraglia, Fabio Pittorru (Red Queen Kills 7 Times)
Cast: Anthony Steffen, Marina Malfatti, Erika Blanc, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart (The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave), Barbara Bouchet, Ugo Pagliai, Marina Malfatti, Marino Masé, Sybil Danning (Red Queen Kills 7 Times)
DVD released: April 25th, 2006
Approximate running time: 101 minutes (The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave), 99 minutes (Red Queen Kills 7 Times)
Aspect Ratio: Both films are 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Mono Italian (Both Films)
Subtitles: English (Both Films)
DVD Release: No Shame
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $34.95
The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave: Lord Alan Cunningham (Anthony Steffen) hasn’t been himself since his wife Evelyn passed away. He has been luring young women who resemble his deceased wife to his abandoned castle where he tortures then with sadistic pleasure until they lay lifeless like his wife Evelyn who continues to haunt him. While at a party Lord Cunningham meets a woman named Gladys (Marina Malfatti) who he becomes quickly infatuated with and they get married immediately. Lord Cunningham’s madness is subdued by his love for Gladys that is until those around him start to die in mysterious ways.
Director Emilio Miraglia’s, The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Gravewould mark his first foray into the thriller genre. Miraglia with The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave and later with Red Queen Kills 7 Times would infuse his thrillers with elements that are traditionally associated with ghost like Mario Bava’s gothic supernatural masterpiece Kill Baby Kill. One must not overlook Lorenzo Baraldi production design and art direction which add an incredible amount of atmosphere to the film.
Evelyn like many Italian thrillers made during the early 1970’s features a cast of who’s who in European cinema at the time. Anthony Steffen leads the cast as Lord Alan Cunningham. He is most known to Euro cult fans for his role in Django the Bastard and his performance in The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave is just as moody. Giacomo Rossi-Stuart is no stranger to supernatural thrillers having worked with Mario Bava on Kill Baby Kill. He has a brief role in this film as Dr. Richard Timberlane that really never goes anywhere as the character is one dimensional.
Two Euro cult beauties play a large part in the plot for The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave. Marina Malfatti convincingly plays Gladys Lord Cunningham’s second wife. Erika Blanc who also has Kill Baby Kill connections plays the part of Suzie a stripper in The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave. Blanc without a doubt has the most memorable scene in the film as she comes out of a coffin and performs her stripping routine.
Composer Bruno Nicolai delivers another majestic score that is equally ominous and captivating. The plot for The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave is one of the stronger and more original you will find in the giallo genre. The killer’s motive and identity are a well-kept secret tell the final act. There is a fair share of women taking their clothes and the violence while not as bloody as other giallo’s does push the limits of good taste to the extreme. Overall The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave is an efficient thriller that is full of ambiance and style.
Red Queen Kills 7 Times: Kitty (Barbara Bouchet) and her sister Evelyn have been at each other’s throats since they were young children. Their grandfather told them a story about a Red Queen who kills seven victims every one hundred years. Fast forward fourteen years later Kitty now works as a fashion photographer. After the death of her grandfather her and her siblings are told they must wait one year before they can fully assume their inheritance. When a few of Kitty’s co-workers start turning of dead she starts to believe that may be the tale her grandfather told her is true and that the Red Queen has come to collect her seven victims.
Red Queen Kills 7 Times sees director Emilio Miraglia return the thriller genre and this time around he has a larger budget and bigger stars. Miraglia’s direction has always been fluid and with Red Queen Kills 7 Times he takes everything he had experimented with while making The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave and he expands upon them tenfold. Lorenzo Baraldi returns as production design and his sets are even more impressive this time around and the actors / actresses dress in the highest fashion.
The cast for Red Queen Kills 7 Times is led by the stunningly beautiful Barbara Bouchet who gives hands down her best performance of her career. She shows as Kitty that she can cat fight with the best of them and her depth as an actress is really showcased when her character is raped by a blackmailer. Marina Malfatti who also worked with Emilio Miraglia on The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave portrays the role of Franziska Kitty’s older sister. This time she is given more to do and she really shines in what is nothing more than a secondary role. Sybil Danning in one of her earliest roles plays the part of fashion model Lulu Palm. The role is brief still Danning exploits her screen time to the fullest.
Red Queen Kills 7 Times has a solid plot that is filled with many clever plot twists and turns. Composer Bruno Nicolai’s score for Red Queen Kills 7 Times is dazzling as it hits all the notes. The violence in Red Queen Kills 7 Times is bloody and sadistic. Also like all good giallo’s then is plenty of nudity in this one. While watching Red Queen Kills 7 Times one may have the feeling of déjà vu since some of the elements of this films plot resemble Mario Bava’s Blood and Black Lace. Overall Red Queen Kills 7 Times is one of the most satisfying giallo’s as it perfectly balances its back story with its murder set pieces.
No Shame presents both The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave and Red Queen Kills 7 Times in anamorphic widescreen that preserves their original aspect ratios. No Shame also presents both of these films uncut for the first time ever in North America on DVD. Both transfer look exceptional sharp and colors are vivid and nicely saturated. There are no problems with compression or artifacts and edge enhancement is kept to a minimum. Overall these progressive scan transfers are flawless and the best either of these films have ever looked on home video.
Both The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave and Red Queen Kills 7 Times come with two audio options. The original Italian language track and English dubbed audio language track that are presented in a Dolby Digital mono. The audio tracks for both releases are free of any hiss or distortion. Overall all the audio mixes are in great shape. Removable English subtitles that are easy to read and follow have been included.
Extras for The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave include the films Italian and English language trailers and a brief photo gallery. Other extras include a featurette titled The Whip and the Body which is an interview with Erika Blanc who discusses working with Anthony Steffen and Emilio Miraglia. She also talks about in great detail how she improvised her infamous dance number in The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave. Rounding out the extras for this film is a featurette titled Still Rising from the Grave which is an interview with Lorenzo Baraldi who talks about his influences and working with Emilio Miraglia
Extras for Red Queen Kills 7 Times include the films Italian and English language trailers and a brief photo gallery. There is a brief segment with runs just barley a minute with Barbara Bouchet who talks about the various giallo’s she has appeared in. Another brief segment titled If I met Emilio Miraglia Today which includes comments from Marino Masé, Lorenzo Baraldi and Erika Blanc who all remember fondly the life and legacy of director Emilio Miraglia. Also included for this release is an alternate opening sequence for Red Queen Kills 7 Times. Other extras include a interview with Lorenzo Baraldi titled Dead a Porter in which Baraldi talks about the success of The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave and how it lead to the making of Red Queen Kills 7 Times. Rounding out the extras for this film is an interview with Marino Masé titled Round up the Usual Suspects.
Lobby cards for both cards have been included for this release. No Shame has also included with this release a collectible booklet which includes bios for Emilio Miraglia, Lorenzo Baraldi, Barbara Bouchet, Sybil Danning, Marino Masé, Erika Blanc, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart and Antonio De Teffè (aka Anthony Steffen). The booklet also includes a text piece about The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave and Red Queen Kills 7 Times.
No Shame continues to raise the bar with their exceptional audio / video presentation and the wealth of extras on each of their special edition DVD’s. There latest effort The Emilio Miraglia Killer Queen Box Set they have taken designer packaging to the next level with their inclusion of the Red Queen action figure. Overall The Emilio Miraglia Killer Queen Box Set is essential purchase that every self respecting giallo fan should have in their collection.