Entertaining gothic giallo with an introduction
by Erika Blanc (Bianchi Colombatto). The rich castle-owner Lord Alan
Steffen) has become a mental case after the death of his wife Evelyn
and he kills an unlucky red-haired prostitute Polly in his torture dungeon,
and then another one, maybe, or not, as we're not sure if red-haired
stripper Susan (Erica Blanc) is killed or not .... or even Polly?
In the circle around rich and crazy Alan moves his cousin George (Rod
Murdock/Enzo Tarascio), his doctor Richard (Giacomo Rossi Stuart),
lawyer Farley (Umberto Raho), the mysterious paraplegic aunt Agatha
(Joan Davis), his brother-in-law Albert (Roberto Maldera), the medium
Miranda and his soon to become new wife, Gladys (Marina Malfatti).
Alan is seriously fucked up - but he's stinking rich and has got some
relatives, so could there be an archetypal Giallo plot scheme going
For sure, for sure, and i immediately spotted the main perp, he could
as well have a Bad Guy sign hanging around his neck.
This Gothic giallo was an entertaining watch even though it wasn't a
great one, and i thought his 1972 effort The Red Queen Kills Seven Times
was a slightly better film. There were some strange plotholes and occurrences
that never had any explanation
Alan Cunningham is played unimpressively by Anthony
Steffen and he's very unlikeable as he's supposedly a sadistic serial
killer of women.
Or not? In the beginning of this film we can see him bringing the prostitute
Polly (Maria Teresa Tofano) to his dilapidated castle, where he
offers her some J&B Whisky and some of his dead wife's expensive
clothes before ntroducing her to the torture dungeon. He tortures her,
believing she's his dead wife Evelyn, and then kills her with a knife,
maybe. But out of camera so we can't be sure. Is he a killer or not
The Mystery of Auntie Agatha
There are other strange things. As the one with Aunt
Agatha and Albert. Was that some subplot that was abandoned, and who
the heck was
Aunt Agatha? This young wheel-chair bound woman couldn't possibly be
an aunt to Alan and George, so why was she called auntie?
Was there a subplot that somehow was lost, as the mysterious Agatha
wasn't a paraplegic at all and could rise from her wheel-chair and walk
But, nothing more about this in the film or in the audio commentary.
The Mystery of Auntie Agatha.
And, should there be a happy ending for Alan if he tortured and murdered
poor Polly at the beginning of this film?
What about the manifestation of Evelyn at the séance? Everyone
saw her, so it wasn't just in Alan's mind. How was that done and who
in on it, everyone as no questions were asked? Plotholes or did i miss
something? What about the silverware in the coffin?
The film is presented in widescreen 2.35:1 with an italian
or english audio mono with english subtitles, and with an introduction
by Erika Blanc.
Extras: an audio commentary by Troy Howarth, Remembering Evelyn: critic
Stephen Thrower discusses the film (15 minutes), The Night Erika
Came out of the Grave: 2015 interview with Erika Blanc (9 minutes in
italian with subs), italian and english trailer, 2006 introduction by
Blanc, The Whip and the Body - Interview with Erika Blanc during her
doing her make-up (20 minutes, 2005), Still Rising from the Grave -
Interview with production designer Lorenzo Baraldi (21 minutes, 2006)