KILLER DAMES: TWO GOTHIC CHILLERS FROM EMILIO P. MIRAGLIA

PrintE-mail Written by John Knott

Not so long ago, we were reviewing the giallo classic Death Walks on High Heels (1971) and remarked that it was perhaps the only time a pair of thigh-high boots were integral to the plot of a movie. We were wrong.

Yes, those wonderful people at Arrow Video have got a new giallo release and this time it’s Emilio Miraglia who’s getting the boxset treatment. Interesting variation from the usual giallo plots here as in both cases they appear to have supernatural explanations. But they’re still giallo so it’s not really a spoiler if we tell you that, just like Scooby Doo, they both turn out to be people in rubber masks who would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those stylish Italians. Whether or not it turns out to be the second person they meet or not, we won’t reveal, because to be honest we’ve already taken the Scooby Doo comparison too far.

In The Night Evelyn Came out of the Grave (1971), Alan (Anthony Steffen) is bonkers and sadistically murders redheads in revenge for his dead wife’s infidelity (committed while she was alive before anyone asks silly questions). This is where those boots come in because he always makes them wear the same pair before he kills them. Only thing is, we have absolutely no idea why. Is the explanation on the cutting room floor? Did we drift off during a vital bit of exposition? Who can say? Anyway, next thing we know his wife is beckoning him from the family crypt while looking suitably dead. Could it be his family are trying to drive him mad so they can claim his inheritance? Well he seems pretty mad in the first place but hey-ho.

Actually this one is pretty good if we don’t dwell on the plot too much. Creepy and a bit naughty with the usual satisfying giallo ending (even if it’s a bit amoral).

The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972) features a family curse and another inheritance. The titular queen comes back from the dead every hundred years and kills, er, seven times. Could these latest killings be her work? Or could they be the work of a dead sibling who was accidentally killed by Kitty (Barbara Bouchet) and hidden in the basement? Or could it be one of the glamorous employees from the fashion magazine dressed up in a red cloak? What do you think? And yes, there’s lots of fashion photography. This is giallo so what were you expecting.

The plot in this one is possibly even more complicated to explain than usual so just enjoy the glamour and the thrills not to mention some wild Italian fashion.

As it’s giallo, both these movies feature fantastic cinematography full of retina-burning colours (hence the usual giallo quota of redheads) so it looks great on Blu-ray. Top-notch sexiness, goriness and convoluted plotness. Thank you Arrow, keep ’em coming.

Special Features: Audio commentaries / Interviews / Trailers / Collectors’ Booklet

KILLER DAMES: TWO GOTHIC CHILLERS FROM EMILIO P. MIRAGLIA / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: EMILIO MIRAGLIA / SCREENPLAY: EMILIO MIRAGLIA, FABIO PITTORRU, MASSIMO FELISATTI / STARRING: ANTHONY STEFFEN, MARINA MALFATTI, ERIKA BLANC, GIACOMO ROSSI-STUART, BARBARA BOUCHET, UGO PAGLIAI, SYBIL DANNING / RELEASED: MAY 30TH


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