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When two sisters inherit their family castle, a string of murders committed by a mysterious dark haired woman in a red cloak decimates their circle of friends. Is the killer their ancestor, the "Red Queen" whom legend says claims seven lives every hundred years? Written by
When two sisters inherit their family castle, a string of murders committed by a mysterious dark haired woman in a red cloak decimates their circle of friends. Is the killer their ancestor, the "Red Queen" whom legend says claims seven lives every hundred years?
This was Emilio Miraglia's follow-up to "The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave". Barbara Bouchet stars, making 1972 a good year for her -- she was also in the highly praised Fulci film "Don't Torture a Duckling". With her is "Evelyn" holdover Marina Malfatti who was also having a god year -- she was in Sergio Martino's "All the Colors of the Dark". Supporting them is Marino Masé, who appeared in even bigger films -- "The Leopard" and "Nightmare Castle", to name a couple. Lastly, Sybil Danning has a smaller early role here -- today (2016) she is probably the best-known of the cast due to her transition into American films.
Composer Bruno Nicolai, another holdover from "Evelyn", really ties the film together. He had done many, many films but I would say this is probably among his best work. Unfortunately, aside from "Caligula", he never seems to have risen above Italian B-movies, even if he was in the same league talent-wise as Ennio Morricone.
Luca Palmerini, no fan of Miraglia, dismisses this film as "mediocre". While it may not be groundbreaking or on the level of the masters (Fulci, Bava, Argento), for me, an average giallo is better than most horror films any day of the week. There is just something about the style and use of color that remains unmatched in American movies. And Palmerini fails to notice the striking villain (one of the most memorable of the giallo genre) and the clever blend of giallo and Gothic that seems to be the defining trait of Miraglia.
Arrow Video hired both Alan Jones and Kim Newman to provide an audio commentary for their masterful blu-ray disc. The two tag team the commentary expertly, and either could have done it alone. But together? It is incredible.
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