Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 17th, 2004
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, February 24th, 1972
Director: Umberto Lenzi
Writers: Umberto Lenzi, Roberto Gianviti
Cast: Antonio Sabato, Uschi Glas, Marisa Mell, Pier Paolo Capponi
DVD Released: February 25th, 2003
Approximate Running Time: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Shriek Show / Media Blasters
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Synopsis: A prostitute is murder and the only clue left behind is a silver moon-shaped keychain? Mario (Antonio Sabato), a fashion-designer who is engaged to the beautiful Giulia (Uschi Glas). While on their honeymoon Giulia is attacked by a stranger dressed in black when Mario comes back into the room and chases him away. The police want the killer to think that he has killed Giulia so Mario and Giulia agree to go along with the scheme and go away on a trip. Feeling the police aren’t doing enough to catch the killer Mario takes the investigation into his own hands. Will Mario solve the case before it is too late?
Umberto Lenzi has worked in just about every genre his is most remembered for his film Cannibal Ferox which was banned in 31 countries. Lenzi would be one of the first director’s to make a film in the giallo genre with his 1969 film Orgasmo. The giallo phenomena caught on later in the U.S. then in Europe and many of the earlier gialli never received the attention that they deserved here is the U.S., or an even worse fate they were never released here at all. Some thirty plus years later the giallo genre is making a come back here in the U.S. as the same fan base continues to grow.
Umberto Lenzi’s Seven Blood-Stained Orchids is a stylish giallo that is as fascinating and important as any giallo I have seen so far. His direction is solid as he balances moments of gore without ever wandering to far away from the plot as the film moves at a nice pace. The score in Seven Blood-Stained Orchids was composed by euro-cult regular Riz Ortolani. In Seven Blood-Stained Orchids Ortolani timing creates an atmosphere that help creates the tension needed to further the story. Seven Blood-Stained Orchids has enough plot twists and turns to keep most giallo fans guessing tell the very end. Umberto Lenzi or his films may never top anyone best lists, with Seven Blood-Stained Orchids he has created a giallo that is on par with the top giallo’s from the golden era of gialli.
Released for the first time ever on home video in America Seven Blood-Stained Orchids is presented in its original 2:35:1 aspect ratio and it has been enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. Given the age and the rarity of this film the overall image is clear and the details are sharp. The colors are vivid boasting vivid greens and reds. There is some noticeable grain but not enough to detract from the viewing experience. The image quality on Seven Blood-Stained Orchids is better then Anchor Bay’s Giallo Collection and Shriek Show deliver a magnificent transfer.
The DVD comes with only one audio option a Dolby Digital English Dubbed Mono track. The audio track is clean and Riz Ortolani’s jazzy Score is just as clean and clear as the Dialogue.
Two interviews are included one with director Umberto Lenzi and the other with actress Gabriella Giorgelli (Who is only briefly in the film). Other extras include trailers for Eaten Alive, Spasmo and Seven Blood-Stained Orchids and an art Gallery of Italian lobby cards for the film. There are informative liner notes that have been included as part of the DVD instead of printing them on a insert. Shriek Show gives a classic giallo the SE treatment and Seven Blood-Stained Orchids is a DVD that should be in every giallo fans collection.