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The Case of the Scorpion's Tail begins with the mysterious death of a millionaire and spirals into the murder of his suddenly rich wife, which draws the attention of a dogged investigator, who follows a trail of blood to the bitter end.
Alberto de Mendoza
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
This was the second giallo Emilio Miraglia directed after the previous year's The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave. In fact it was the last movie he ever directed. On the evidence of this film that is a criminal waste because The Red Queen Kills 7 Times really is a terrific giallo. Like its predecessor, this one mixes the giallo format with neo-Gothic elements; in this case an old castle replete with a crypt populated with rats and bats, as well as a legend about an evil supernatural killer. This Gothic material is combined with a super-chic contemporary setting, where we have a fashion house populated with a selection of gorgeous girls. This set-up gives the movie a slightly different angle to most others in the genre and Miraglia makes full use of both the Gothic and the giallo conventions.
The plot is as complex as you should expect from these flicks. It is basically about two sisters who grow up in a castle. An old painting shows two other warring sisters, the evil one being the dark haired Red Queen -a girl who returns from the dead every hundred years on murderous rampages. Of course the little girls grow up and the Red Queen mysteriously appears and starts a series of killings.
It has to be said that this film has a truly awesome killer. The Red Queen has to be one of the greatest cinematic serial killers ever conceived. This sexy black haired woman in flowing red gown and scary voice is a very inspired creation indeed. She commits a series of murders of course. They aren't the most graphic of killings but they are very varied. Most original being death by fence pole, while the scene where someone is dragged through the streets by car was repeated several years later in Dario Argento's Deep Red. Aside from this, the cinematography is as lovely as you may expect from a film like this, with great widescreen compositions that make full use of both the Gothic locations as well as the modern interiors. And last but certainly not least there is an assortment of gorgeous Euro actresses to savour. Barbara Bouchet leads the picture and, as always, is phenomenal; sexy and sympathetic, she truly was one of the very best actresses working in Italy in the 70's. Also of particular note is Sybil Danning as a bad girl femme fatale.
For Euro cult viewers you just cannot go wrong here. It's definitely a very memorable entry in the giallo sub-genre.
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