The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave – Italy, 1971 – reviews

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‘The worms are waiting!’

The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave is a 1971 Italian giallo horror thriller film directed by Emilio P. Miraglia (The Lady in Red Kills 7 Times) from a screenplay co-written with Massimo Felisatti (Strip Nude for Your KillerThe Maniac Responsible) and Fabio Pittorru (The Weekend Murders; Nine Guests for a Crime).

The film’s easy listening score was composed by Bruno Nicolai. The original Italian title is La notte che Evelyn uscì dalla tomba.

Main cast:

Anthony Steffen (The Crimes of the Black Cat; Tropic of Cancer; Evil Eye), Marina Malfatti (Seven Bloodstained Orchids; All the Colors of the Dark), Erika Blanc (Devil’s Nightmare; Mark of the Devil, Part II), Giacomo Rossi-Stuart (Kill Baby, Kill; Reflections in Black).

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Plot:

England: Alan (Anthony Steffen) is a wealthy aristocrat who has just been released from a mental institution following the death of his wife, redheaded Evelyn. Having caught Evelyn making out with an unknown man prior to his institutionalisation, the psychotic Alan begins luring redheaded women to his home to torture and kill them, apparently as a means to deal with his grief and inability to get revenge on his deceased wife.

Alan attends a séance in which the medium contacts Evelyn, causing Alan to faint. Alan’s cousin (and only living heir) Farley offers to move into the mansion to take care of him. Farley takes him to a strip club and Alan takes home Susan (Erika Blanc), one of the strippers at the club who disappears after barely escaping with her life. Afterwards, Farley believes that Alan would be cured of his instability if he replaces Evelyn with a new bride that resembles her. On Farley’s advice, Alan moves to London to get away from his home and marries Gladys (Marina Malfatti), another redhead.

Gladys finds herself being haunted by strange goings on at her new home and being shunned by Evelyn’s brother and Alan’s invalid aunt, whom Alan has taken in as staff at his mansion. Gladys tells Alan her suspicions that Evelyn faked her death to escape Alan and run away with her lover.

Alan’s mental state continues to unravel as Evelyn’s brother and Alan’s aunt are each killed by a mystery killer and when he sees a zombified Evelyn beckoning to him from her tomb, he breaks down completely…

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Reviews:

“Miraglia makes fantastic use of his castle setting, managing a number of moments that are undeniably creepy. It never goes as far as I would’ve liked in terms of scares, but there’s one show stopping sequence set inside of a crypt that seriously crawled under my skin and stayed there – something that scarcely happens to me these days. Miraglia’s sweeping camera, surreal imagery and textured lighting helps to cover up some pretty comical lapses in narrative sense.” Matt Serafini, Dread Central

“The scenario (co-written by Massimo Felisatti, Strip Nude for Your Killer) is typical giallo, filled with planet-sized plot-holes and ridiculous red-herrings, but Miraglia fuses it with Gothic horror devices that turn the whodunit into a dark fairytale…” Peter Fuller, Kultguy’s Keep

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“There’s lots to enjoy here, including Aunt Agatha and her wheelchair hiding in a wardrobe to spy on people. Plus the hilariously tone deaf pop-combo at the outdoor party. Then there’s Malfatti’s miraculously tiny wardrobe, which shows as much cleavage as humanely possibly […] Bruno Nicolai’s score is typically lush and the film boasts some great cinematography – plus some seriously gorgeous 1970s furniture…” J. Kerswell, Hysteria Lives

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” …Evelyn pulls out all the stops to please its audience without tipping its hand about the characters’ true intentions until the climax. And what a climax it is; suddenly switching the film’s setting to a chilly, icy-white interior out of a Kubrick film, the last showdown is an unforgettably unhinged concoction with poisonings, stabbings, blood-smearing cleavage, and a handy bag of sulphuric acid creating a true Grand Guignol finish.” Mondo Digital

“It’s no easier to follow on the screen, believe me, but it’s all so demented that it becomes compelling in spite of itself. On the other hand, it should be borne in mind that my tolerance for goofball Italianate filmmaking has been raised to great heights by years of intensive exposure.” Scott Ashlin, 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

Cast and credits:

  • Anthony Steffen … Lord Alan Cunningham
  • Marina Malfatti … Gladys Cunningham
  • Enzo Tarascio … George Harriman (as Rod Murdock)
  • Giacomo Rossi Stuart … Dr. Richard Timberlane
  • Umberto Raho … Farley
  • Roberto Maldera … Albert
  • Joan C. Davis … Aunt Agatha (as Joan C. Davies)
  • Erika Blanc … Susie
  • Ettore Bevilacqua … Il custode del cimitero
  • Brizio Montinaro … (as Montinaro Brizio)
  • Maria Teresa Tofano … Polly (as M. Teresa Toffano)
  • Paola Natale … TBC

Digital release:

On 17 April 2017, Arrow Video released the film on Blu-ray in the UK.

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Buy: Amazon.co.uk

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations
  • Original mono Italian and English soundtracks (lossless DTS-HD Master Audio)
  • Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
  • New audio commentary by Troy Howarth
  • Exclusive introduction by Erika Blanc
  • New interview with critic Stephen Thrower
  • The Night Erika Came Out of the Grave exclusive interview with Erika Blanc
  • The Whip and the Body archival interview with Erika Blanc
  • Still Rising from the Grave archival interview with production designer Lorenzo Baraldi
  • Original Italian theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx

EVELYN

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