Arrow Video are doing a very good job of feeding my love of giallo movies. With the release of Killer Dames: Two Gothic Chillers by Emilio P. Miraglia they have provided us with The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave and The Red Queen Kills Seven Times, two Gothic tales that work well in fulfilling our lust for blood and violence in true Italian style.
The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave is somewhat of a strange beast because there is an ambiguity over which character is the evillest. We have Anthony Steffen playing Lord Alan Cunningham a character haunted by his dead wife Evelyn, but appears to have a fetish of inflicting pain (and possibly death) on women. Then we have the spectre of Evelyn, and the possibility of her returning from the grave. These scenarios both merge together in a twisted tale, which though predictable is still entertaining. In the end the film is Gothic in style but you can’t help but feel the influence of Edgar Allen Poe in this one.
The Red Queen Kills Seven Times is a much more flamboyant giallo, which leaves nothing to the imagination in regards to kill count. Featuring the almost fairy-tale like story of two sisters cursed to enact a grisly series of deaths that repeatedly plague their family’s history, this one feels a lot more giallo in style. In the end it also feels like the most enjoyable for my taste with the grisly style of the murders as well as the kooky characters that are included in the tale.
While I do have a preference for The Red Queen Kills Seven Times, what is noticeable about the two Emilio P. Miraglia films is the they are two strong additions to the list of Giallo movies that Arrow Video have released on Blu-ray recently. If you are already a fan of giallo, or one that is wanting to explore more of the Italian horror sub-genre this is definitely a good start.
When it comes to special features the presentation from Arrow Video is again excellent. There are two commentaries with Troy Howarth commenting on The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave, and Alan Jones and Kim Newman providing discussion for The Red Queen Kills Seven Times. The Jones and Newman commentary is particularly interesting as they enjoy picking out giallo traits and similarities that appear in the many Italian horror movies they’ve both seen.
While for the most part, the giallo films we usually see come from the likes of more notable names like Dario Argento what we get with Killer Dames: Two Gothic Chillers by Emilio P. Miraglia are something a little different. Saying that though, they do have certain similarities with Argento’s work, and fans of giallo will feel instantly at home with these two movies. For fans who want to extend their knowledge of Italian horror, this is a good double-bill to help then with that.
I find it very easy to recommend Killer Dames. We are presented with two enjoyable films that not only provide us with an interesting take on Gothic horror, but have that “Italian Giallo” flair that we’ve come to expect and love. Arrow Video have shown enough love to these two movies to make this pack a must buy, and this is something I recommend you do.
Killer Dames: Two Gothic Chillers by Emilio P. Miraglia is available on Dual Format Blu-ray and DVD now.