Arrow Presents KILLER DAMES: TWO GOTHIC CHILLERS Blu-ray Review

THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE

the night evelyn-review-2016-01

While trying to grieve over the death of his wife, Alan decided to spend time in a mental institution. When he was released, he found a new way to get over her death: bring women to his home and kill them. Because his wife was a redhead, the women that he brings home have to be as well.

THE RED QUEEN KILLS SEVEN TIMES

red queen kills-review-2016-02

There’s a family curse that says every 100 years, the Red Queen returns and has to have her bloodthirsty desires quenched. Tobias is the owner of a strange painting of the Red Queen and his girls, Kitty and Franziska, have always been frightened of the painting. There are always seven victims and it has the girls wondering, ”…was he the first? Are we next?”

Even though these films came out decades ago, I still wouldn’t want to reveal too much about their plots because they have good stories to them. Both films are directed by Emilio Miraglia during the boom of the Italian Giallo boom of the 1970s. The genre is usually derived from literature and film with a killer or slasher. Both of these films fit that description perfectly and follow the criteria.

THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE is a very visual slasher film with a lot of practical effects use and camera angles that make it a bit unique. Anthony Steffen has the lead role of the tormented Alan and the actor pulls it off. When the film opens, you can tell that this man has really been through something as he is trying to flee from the facility. It wasn’t just him in white PJs with orderlies chasing him through the grounds but it’s more in his range of emotion because of everything that happens to him. At times, he is filled with rage, sadness, thrills, and fear.

THE RED QUEEN KILLS SEVEN TIMES is a little different than the previous Giallo films that I’ve had experience with. The other films had a psychotic killer where this has a more supernatural element to try and explain the killings. The women in the film are very cunning like a horror movie should be. The kids were very creepy at the beginning of the movie and gave the idea that the painting can posses and entice you to kill.

red queen kills-review-2016-04

The 2k scans from the original negative make the movies look gorgeous on Blu-ray. The coloring has been adjusted in the remaster to make the skin tones look more natural. In THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE, Anthony Steffen has a tan, olive complexion and with his victims being gingers, they all have a paler look. This just shows that the images were worked on to keep everything on point. There is also a lot of detail in the films with clean contrasting. In THE RED QUEEN, a lot of the outdoor scenes have sharp line that maintains the boldness of the details.

the night evelyn-review-2016-08

Another example is the opening scene of EVELYN, Alan is running around the institution’s grounds of the ruins of a small amphitheater and you can practically make out every brick. The blacks have some excellent depth and the colors in the clothing especially look brilliant. Both films look excellent and Arrow has done a really good job with the remasters.

the night evelyn-review-2016-06

Both films have a DTS-HD Master Audio Mono tracks.

The mixes for the films are in their original mono tracks and they sound great. The voices are cleanly reproduced and evenly played over the sound effects as well as the score. The mixes are so similar to each other but that would make sense being that they have the same sound engineer and director.


Bonus Features:

the night evelyn-review-2016-04

THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE:

-Audio Commentary by author Troy Howarth
-An Exclusive introduction to the film by actress Erika Blanc: She plays Susie in the film.
-Remembering Evelyn: This is an interview with critic Stephen Thrower
-The Night Erika Came Out of the Grave: This is an exclusive interview with Erika Blanc from 2015.
-The Whip and the Body: This is an archival interview with Erika Blanc.
-Still Rising from the Grave: This is an archival interview with production designer Lorenzo Baraldi.
-Trailers

red queen kills-review-2016-06

THE RED QUEEN KILLS SEVEN TIMES:
-Audio commentary by Alan Jones and Kim Newman
-The Red Reign: This is a new interview with critic Stephen Thrower from 2016.
-Life of Lulu: This is an exclusive new interview with Sybil Danning who plays Lulu Palm in the film.
-Dead à Porter – archival interview with Lorenzo Baraldi
-Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: This is an archival interview with actor Marino Masé.
-If I Met Emilio Miraglia Today: This is also an archival featurette with Erika Blanc, Lorenzo Baraldi, and Marino Masé.
-My Favourite… Films: This is an archival interview with actress Barbara Bouchet.
-Alternative opening
-Trailers

red queen kills-review-2016-03

Disc Details
4-disc Limited Edition set (2 Blu-ray discs and 2 DVDs)

Running Time
THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE: 103 mins
THE RED QUEEN KILLS SEVEN TIMES: 99 mins

Edition Ratings
THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE: Rated R
THE RED QUEEN KILLS SEVEN TIMES: Rated PG

Region Coding
Region A & B

Video Resolution
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Audio Mixes
THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE:
English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0
Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0

THE RED QUEEN KILLS SEVEN TIMES:
English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0
Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0

Subtitles
English
English SDH

red queen kills-review-2016-05

the night evelyn-review-2016-02

These films mark only my second and third brush with Italian Giallo and I have to say, I have become more interested in this genre. They definitely look like the films you might see on a late-night horror hour or the type of movies they show on a Sunday afternoon but that’s what makes them unique. I like both movies for different reasons but this genre understands the need for a twist in the plot toward the end. Arrow has done an amazing job at restoring these classics to the best presentation possible and I applaud them for it. The audio and video are strong as well as the included bonus features. If you’re into a solid slasher flick and want to dip your toes into the Italian Giallo genre, this is the set for you.

Order your copy from Amazon
killer dames cover

About the author

MEDIA JOURNALIST & STAFF WRITER | Michael is a fanatic about all cinema. He collects many things from movies to Steelbooks to 1/6 Scale Collectibles and vinyl collectibles. He loves pop culture, writing, reviewing films & collectibles, and journalism. Anything that is even slightly related to these things are always on his radar and most definitely a comic book nerd. He is also, of course, a Batman junkie and will chat it up about pretty much anything.