Review of the DVD, not the movies.
dragon0303 | UK | 04/02/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"As another reviewer suggests, the DVD encoding on these discs is woeful (although it was chapter 8 before the picture started to pixelate and then the disc stopped altogether on mine), but the other problem I have is with the audio/subtitles.
Now I have 3 DVD players (including PC) and with my main one I couldn't change either the audio or subtitles during the movie and neither of them would change from the main menu either! So basically the audio was stuck on Italian with no English subtitles. On my PC, again neither was changeable during the movie but at least they did change from the main menu. Then I tried my backup DVD player and lo and behold, both the audio and subtitles worked from the main menu and the audio was changeable during the movie (but the subtitles couldn't be turned off!).
Which then leads me to my second complaint: the subtitles (I think), although it could be the dub. Either way, when you watch with English audio and English subs the difference is incredible, I'd say at least 70% of what they say is different!! I don't speak/understand Italian, so I have no idea whether it's the dub or subs that are nearer the mark, but either way it makes me think that I'm missing something!
Of course, this is all slightly insignificant as I couldn't even finish the first film properly!
Basically, this company should spend more time and money investing in the quality of the DVD authoring instead of wasting money on pathetic, cheap and tacky little figures! I do hope one other reviewer is right in saying that in time this will become a sought after collectable, at least then I can make a profit from it!
The box set is too good for the films...
A. Griffiths | London | 06/30/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A double box set with a free figurine of the "Red Queen" from the second movie...who would have imagined such lavish treatment for a pair of obscure Euro-horrors like these? The figurine is a fun oddity, but it's the films that I am primarily interested in.
"The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave" has apparently never been available before in widescreen and has something of a cult following, which led me to believe it was going to be something special, but actually I was quite disappointed.
The story tells of a wealthy but troubled man called Alan, who pays red-haired women to come back to his massive stately home for a night of passion, but he actually wants to beat and murder them due to a fixation with his dead wife Evelyn, who he once caught cheating on him. His mental state is not helped by the fact that Evelyn also seems to be haunting him, appearing and beckoning to him at odd times, and he fears that she really has "come out of the grave", as the title suggests.
Now this sounds like it could be quite gothic and exciting, but sadly, it's not. Nothing of what goes on is explained very clearly or convincingly. The plot is full of massive holes and unexplained nonsense that just confuses you or wastes time. The first 30 minutes is fairly intriguing, but when Alan meets his third victim, he decides, instead of assulting her, to immediately marry her, and it's after the marriage that the film really comes unravelled. The new wife (obviously played by an Italian actress but hilariously named Gladys) has a wardrobe that seems to consist of nothing but stripper's outfits, which leave her breasts nearly hanging out all the time, and she parades around like this all the time, even when dining with Alan's family or meeting the servants. Mysterious, meaningless things start to happen, like a glass of milk gets misplaced (ooh, scary), or one of the maids is suspected of having red hair (all the maids are wearing obvious wigs anyway, so I didn't see the big hoo-haa), and some of the family silverware disappears (oh, the horror!). None of this actually means anything important, it just drags the story on interminably. Oh yes, and some of Alan's relatives start getting killed, which I suppose is rather more important. After a lot of meandering in this way, the film suddenly chokes into life with an incredible double-double-cross twist ending that is way too implausible, and leaves massive chunks of the mystery still unexplained.
There, I admit it, I didn't think much of this film. Probably the only memorable part of it is cult actress Erica Blanc, who has a small role that features a really silly striptease but not a lot else. Again, I probably did the film a disservice by watching the English dub, and it was truly terrible, especially as the film is supposed to be set in England, so all these exotic looking actresses speak with horrible flat British accents which look completely out of place. I hate to say it, but by the time the climax was reached, I had no interest left in any of the characters.
The second film is "The Red Queen Kills Seven Times", and I prefer it out of the two, although it's less famous and still quite hard going. A woman named Kitty (who picks these names???)is terrified that she has become the target of a bizarre, costumed murderer known as the Red Queen, and all the evidence points to this being her unbalanced and hateful sister. Trouble is, Kitty has been spreading the lie that her sister is out of the country to cover up for the fact that she accidently killed her in a fight, a year before the murders began...So she couldn't be the Red Queen ...or could she?
Yes, well it's time for another confusing mystery as the complicated story demands your deep concentration to understand what is going on, over all the plot holes and more very bad English dubbing. Luckily the lead in this film is played by Euro fave Barbara Bouchet, who does a far better job than the mess made by the heroine of "Evelyn". She's very beautiful and makes a sympathetic and interesting character. The trouble is due to all the surrounding cast, as there are just too many people with not enough expanation of who they are and what they are doing. "Red Queen" benefits from a jolly "family curse" subplot, complete with a morbid painting and the bizarre get-up of the murderous Red Queen, who's appearance you can see by the free figurine! Like "Evelyn", the film benefits from being filmed in a gorgeous ornate castle, but it also fails similarly by trying to dress up a pretty ordinary who-dunnit by using impressive Gothic locations and a silly "return from the dead" sub-plot. I didn't actually understand the twist ending of this film, it's something to do with an inheritance, but it's not very well explained. At least the murder are fun, in fact "Red "Queen" is probably more violent than "Evelyn", despite the former's far more ghoulish premise. It also has a better ending with it's moderately thrilling flooded dungeon scene.
Two films for collectors of the obscure, then. Both the prints are great and in fantastic widescreen. I love No Shame's presentation, I just hope they start finding some better films. I look forward to seeing more from them. They won't have to give away toy action figures next time if the films are better."
Great box set
Craig Larson | Maple Grove, MN USA | 10/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this back in April and only just got around to watching it. Based on the previous posting, I was worried I wouldn't be able to watch the films, but I had no problem with either one. In fact, both films were quite beautifully transferred and played marvelously. They might not have been the most outrageous of giallos (see the works of Dario Argento or Sergio Martino), but were quite entertaining. And the accompanying interviews, trailers, etc., were put together well, too. All this, plus the incredible "Red Queen" statuette included in the box! Someday, this will probably be a sought-after collectible."
Miraglia Was Influened by Bava and Argento
J. B. Hoyos | Chesapeake, VA | 01/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Emilio Miraglia Killer Queen Box Set is a must have for any Italian giallo fan. NOSHAME did an excellent job of restoring these high-budget cult classics, "The Night Evelyn Came out of the Grave" and "The Red Queen Kills 7 Times." The picture and audio are of such great quality that one would think these movies were filmed yesterday. It is obvious that the director, Emilio Miraglia, was inspired by both Mario Bava and Dario Argento. In both movies, especially the "Red Queen," he uses lavish sets and the widespread use of blue, red, and green gels. Both are very gothic in that they employ huge castles, dungeons, rats, and bats. Like Argento, Miraglia pays close attention to gory details. Of the two movies, "Red Queen" is my favorite. The plot is very intricate; it is filled with numerous red herrings and twists and turns. Barbara Bouchet as "Kitty" is wonderful. In fact, beautiful actresses and handsome actors are used profusely throughout these movies. Another reason why they remind me of the movies that Bava made. "The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave" reminded me very much of Bava's "Hatchet for the Honeymooon," which also had a man who was luring young girls, especially models, to his castle and murdering them. The main characters in both "Hatchet" and "Evelyn" were dealing with mental psychosis triggered by events from the past. "The Red Queen" reminded me of Bava's "Blood and Black Lace," which involved another modelling agency where models were dropping like flies. In the "Red Queen," there is a scene where the Red Queen drags a man to his death while driving a car. I wonder if Argento was influenced by it when he directed "Deep Red" in which a young man is dragged along the street before having his head crushed by a car. This box set is definitely worth the price."