Anthony Steffen - News Poster


Two ’70’s Giallo Thrillers From Director Emilio P. Miraglia on Blu-ray Today from Arrow Video

At the height of the Italian giallo boom in the early 1970s, scores of filmmakers turned their hand to crafting their own unique takes on these lurid murder-mystery thrillers. Emilio P. Miraglia may not be as well-known as Dario Argento or Mario Bava, but he did direct a distinct pair of thrillers that are out today on Blu-ray from Arrow Vide0: The Red Queen Kills Seven Times and In The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave.

In The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972), an age-old family curse hits sisters Kitty (Barbara Bouchet) and Franziska (Marina Malfatti) following the death of their grandfather Tobias (Rudolf Schündler). Every hundred years, so the legend goes, the bloodthirsty Red Queen returns and claims seven fresh victims. Was Tobias just the first… and are Kitty and Franziska next?

Director Emilio P. Miraglia once again combines a conventional giallo whodunit narrative with supernatural chills,
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Drive-In Dust Offs: The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave (1971)

I cherish a good giallo film. For those unfamiliar with this sub-genre, it’s like a slasher, but with an emphasis on police procedure and a dash of Italian Vogue. (Not to mention the ubiquitous gloved killer.) Starting in the mid ‘60s, they revved up the violence, leading to the watershed of Twitch of the Death Nerve (1971), where Mario Bava singlehandedly invented the “body count” that transferred across the water and led us to Haddonfield and Camp Crystal Lake.

But some gialli still let their freak flags fly, bringing us to The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (1971), a film that blends bodies, bodices, castles, the supernatural, possible gas lighting, nudity, and triple crosses into an overflowing bath of ideas that is a lot of fun to splash around in. Not all the water stays in the tub, but there’s still plenty enough for a good soak.

Released in Italy in August,
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‘Killer Dames’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow Video)

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.
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Review: Killer Dames – Two Gothic Chillers By Emilio P. Miraglia (4-Disc Special Limited Edition)

I love a good, bad play on words, and my first reaction to this Blu-ray box set from Arrow is that it should be titled “The Nights Evelyn Came Out of the Grave” since both films deal with women named Evelyn who seem to be seeking some form of post-mortem revenge. However, in true giallo form, the audience in both cases is left wondering what’s really happening and how much of what we’re being shown is true. This isn’t meant to suggest that these two films are carbon copies of each other, far from it.

The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (1971) sees director Emilio Miraglia making his first giallo, and a particularly sex obsessed one at that. Lord Alan Cunningham (Anthony Steffen) has everything: money, a castle, and a dead wife he’s obsessed with, our titular Evelyn. The poor woman seems to be haunting him,
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May 24th Blu-ray & DVD Releases Include Manhunter, Killer Dames Collection

Tuesday, May 24th has several fantastic DVD and Blu-ray releases that should get horror fans excited, especially the highly anticipated Collector’s Edition release of Manhunter from the fine folks at Scream Factory. Arrow Video is also releasing a stunning limited edition set entitled Killer Dames, featuring two overlooked giallo cult classics, and for those of you American Gothic fans out there (like myself), the entire series is finally making its way to DVD this week.

Other notable Blu-ray and DVD releases for this Tuesday include Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema Collection, Specters, Paranormal Sex Tape, and The Devil’s Woods.

American Gothic: The Complete Series (Universal Studios Home Entertainment, DVD)

Visit Trinity, South Carolina, a small town with more chills than charm. Sheriff Lucas Buck (Gary Cole) won’t let anyone – including local doctor Matt Crower (Jake Weber) or the determined Gail Emory (Paige Turco
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Arrow Video’s May Us Blu-rays Include Blood Bath and Killer Dames Box Set

Mvd Entertainment Group looks to please Emilio P. Miraglia fans with Arrow Video’s May Us Blu-ray releases, including the Killer Dames box set collecting The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave and The Red Queen Kills Seven Times. Horror fans can also look forward to Arrow’s high-definition release of 1966’s Blood Bath that features all four versions of the Roger Corman-produced film.

Press Release: Mvd Entertainment Group furthers the distribution of Arrow Video in the Us with several new titles in May…

Hired To Kill (Director Approved Special Edition Blu-ray + DVD)

No man on earth could get him out of prison alive. Seven women will try.

Release Date: May 17th

List Price: $29.95

Starring legendary actors Oliver Reed (Gladiator, The Brood) and George Kennedy (The Delta Force and the Naked Gun series), Hired to Kill is a hugely entertaining action flick featuring guns, girls and a plethora
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Play Motel | Blu-Ray Review

Purveyors of Eurotrash should delight in the resuscitation of the obscure 1979 eroto-giallo Play Motel, directed by Mario Gariazzo under the pseudonym Roy Garrett (a director of twenty or so features best remembered for casting into a sea of Friedkin capitalizations with 1974’s The Sexorcist, aka L’Ossessa aka Enter the Devil). By this period, the provocative Italian subgenre was already well into its dog days, with imitators churning out murder mysteries imbibed with a healthy dose of pornographic soft-core elements. It would be unfair to rightly classify Gariazzo’s film as classic giallo, a muddled narrative cramped significantly by enough naked women to rival Jesus Franco.

The sleazy Play Motel is a den of infamous iniquity, and wealthy businessman Rinaldo Cortesi (Enzio Fisichella) hires the voluptuous Loredana (Marina Frajese) for a kinky round of S&M. The next day, explicit pictures are sent to his office via registered mail in
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Anthony Steffen Part III: “Gialli” and The Crimes Of The Black Cat

Anthony Steffen, Sylvia Koscina starred in The Crimes of the Black Cat aka Seven Shawls of Yellow Silk Anthony Steffen Q&A Part II: Django Inspired Clint Eastwood What happened to Anthony Steffen’s career after the demise of the Spaghetti Western in the mid-’70s? Did he attempt to pursue other film genres or more "mainstream" work? Before the Spaghetti Westerns, the "sword and sandals" films were the real box-office hits. They would often use leftovers from every Hollywood biblical or historical spectacle, films such as Quo Vadis, Ben-Hur, Cleopatra, etc. Antonio appeared in Robert Aldrich’s Sodom and Gomorrah — and he didn’t have many good things to say about Stewart Granger. Anyway, when that genre faded, the Spaghetti Western took its place. Now, [...]
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Anthony Steffen Part II: Django Inspired Clint Eastwood

Anthony Steffen in The Strangers Gundown / Django the Avenger (lower photo), which long predated Clint Eastwood’s High Plains Drifter Anthony Steffen Q&A with Daniel Camargo Part I How did Anthony Steffen get into the Spaghetti Western genre? What’s his place in it? Did he star in any major films within that genre? "Spaghetti Western" was a sort of pejorative term used to categorize the Westerns made in Italy. However, it later became an endearing way of classifying these films, usually made in co-production with Spain. To sell the movies as American productions, actors and technicians were told to use English pseudonyms. (This trick had been in use since the ’50s — for other genres as well; that’s why it’s so common [...]
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Anthony Steffen: Q&A with Daniel Camargo

Anthony Steffen: Killer Kid (middle); Shango, a sort of Shane meets Django (bottom) Anthony Steffen Introduction: Spaghetti Western Star Why Anthony Steffen? You know, some lives must be made known. Imagine the life of a guy of one of the noblest families of Europe, whose mother was one of the most beautiful and desirable women in Italy (and former lover of one of Mussolini’s generals), whose father was a charming bon vivant. He was also a Formula 1 pilot who was later appointed ambassador (for winning a race) by the Brazilian president at the time. Also, at the age of 14 Anthony Steffen joined the partisans to fight the Nazis and his family lost everything in the war. So as not [...]
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Anthony Steffen: Spaghetti Western Star

Anthony Steffen, Daniel Martin The Last Tomahawk (lower photo) Anthony Steffen may be a name best remembered by Spaghetti Western aficionados, but in his day, from the mid-’60s to the early ’70s, Steffen was one of the most popular actors of the genre — at the time cheap B movies, now revered cult classics. The handsome, Italian-born — actually at the Brazilian embassy in Rome — Antonio Luiz de Teffè von Hoonholtz began working in films as a studio messenger for Vittorio De Sica. From there, Steffen began acting in sword-and-sandal epics, later moving onto the Western genre, where he found his niche. Unlike fellow Spaghetti star Clint Eastwood, however, Steffen never became a top international box-office attraction. Even so, he [...]
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Saturday Nightmares: The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (1971)

Here’s another helping of immorality and mayhem courtesy of Emilio Miraglia, the man responsible for one of my favorite gialli, The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (which, ironically, was glimpsed in last week’s Saturday Nightmare, New Year’s Evil, under the Us title - Blood Feast).

This film, the first of Miraglia’s only two forays into giallo cinema, isn’t as accomplished as its successor but has plenty of perversity to keep things interesting. If you’ve come to expect ludicrous plot twists, unscrupulous characters, sexual debauchery and a solid dose of murder, then you’ll find much to love about this atmospheric little shocker.

To put it mildly, Alan Cunningham has issues. As the Lord of a sprawling estate, the smarmy playboy spends his evenings luring attractive young women to his castle where he tortures them before savagely killing them. It seems as though Alan has
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Johnny Yuma

Samantha, the calculating wife of rich landowner Thomas Felton, plots to have her husband killed so that she and her equally ruthless brother, Pedro, can inherit the farm. After carrying out their plan and framing one of the servants for the murder, the conniving duo are more than a little put out when Felton's nephew, the rightful heir to the ranch Johnny Yuma (Matt Damon), arrives on the scene. Samantha hires an ex-lover, gunfighter Carradine (Lawrence Dobkin), to take care of Yuma, and with both him and her sadistic brother on the trail of the eponymous hero, the scene is set for an epic showdown.

Romolo Guerrieri ($10,000 For a Massacre) made Johnny Yuma during the early days of the Spaghetti Western boom. In 1966, before the impact of Sergio Corbucci's Django (also 1966) changed the game yet again, the Spaghetti Western was still largely influenced by Sergio Leone's Fistful of
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Sergio Corbucci's Django revolutionised the Spaghetti Western genre in many ways. The low-budget retelling of Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars – itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo – ramped up the violence, the amorality, the bloodletting and the insanity factor to an unprecedented scale, spawning a glut of rip-offs, cash-ins and unofficial sequels of varying degrees of quality. It also, quite unintentionally, began a trend for titular heroes whose names ended in the letter 'o' and when said quickly enough could possibly be mistaken for Django.

There was Anthony Steffen - the Spaghetti Western standard-bearer, himself no stranger to playing Django - starring as the main man in both Garringo and Shango. 'Sword and Sandal' star Brad Harris as the fast gun in Durango is Coming, Pay or Die. Montgomery Clark (Dante Posani) as the gambling gunslinger in Djurado and Ivan Rassimov in this, 1967's Cjamango.
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Five: Spaghetti Westerns not directed by Sergio Leone

Jeffman from Head Full Of Snow recommends five Spaghetti Westerns not directed by Sergio Leone.

A bruised and battered stalwart of the late night cinema circuit, the Spaghetti Western held a bastardised, custom-job revolver to the head of its inferior American cousin and relieved it of both its basic premise and last shred of decency; joyously blurring the line between right and wrong and leaving morality swinging from a ragged noose in the hot, desert sun.

The Spaghetti Western was an Italian phenomenon, mostly financed by Rome's famous Cinecitta Studios, although there were plenty of co-productions with other Euro countries like Spain and Germany, even stretching as far afield as Israel if you count the soul-sapping awfulness that is God's Gun. One man is responsible for popularising the Spaghetti Western, Sergio Leone. If you're a follower of LateMag's frequent forays into the weird and wonderful worlds of cult cinema you'll probably know his films already.
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