A wealthy English lord is suffering a mental breakdown following the death of his red-headed wife, Evelyn, whom he feared was cheating on him. He tours local bars and dives, scouring for lovely red-heads willing to come back to his decaying castle in the country, where he seduces them, then tortures and kills them. His friend the doctor talks him into marrying again to help heal his slowly-rotting mind, which he does--but are the doctor's orders really what he needs? Written by
Emilio Miraglia's "The Night Evelyn came out of her Grave" is an entertaining slice of perversely manipulative and seedy Gothic Euro-horror. The way the format works out (Gothic crossed Giallo) is a delicious web of eerie uncertainty and devilish twists, where is it the cracking mind of the protagonist or maybe the supernatural has something to do with the mysterious occurrences and demented happenings. Where never quite sure how it will pan out, despite its strictly routine and what you think a simple set-up. It does create many effective and spontaneous passages, like a layer upon layer structure, which compellingly builds up to its show-stopping, and unforeseeable conclusion. Which eventually goes out of its way to shock. Miraglia sharply paints a sombre atmospheric setting that at times embraces a dreamy elegance and for the darker, glum moments it's covered with moody shades due to its shadowy lighting. There's plenty of rough, jolting blocks of viciously nasty violence, sensual nudity and sordid fetishes. Bruno Nicolai's peering camera-work is smoothly orchestrated and Gastone Di Giovanni's wicked, bustling music score fits every scene. The pacing can get rather stumpy and editing can lumber with little rhythm, but it has a certain glow and the strangeness of the idea seems to hold you. The performances fair up decently, with a voluptuous Erika Blanc looking rather stunning and nailing down her part. Antonio De Teffè's nervous wreck portrayal is finely tuned in a neurotic sense and Marina Malfatti is there to shower us with her gratuitous looks. Rod Murdock colourfully hams it up, with winning results and Giacomo Rossi-Stuart is suitably adequate as the stable-headed doctor. There are able performances from Joan C Davis and Roberto Maldera too. The story can get patchy with few plot-holes, but it has a sedately arresting, stylised appeal.
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