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The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (1971) - Blu-ray Review

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The Night Evelyn Came out of the Grave - Blu-ray Review

3 beersSome men should never remarry.  Alan Cunningham (Anthony Steffen, Django the Bastard), a milk-obsessed lover of ginger-haired strippers, is one of those poor, unfortunate bastards.  Don’t boo hoo him.  He’s lost his shit a long time ago.  Plus, in this insane tale of lace and lunacy, he’s about as sympathetic as a goat in the rain.  And the flesh-ripping foxes he raises on his all-consuming property don’t help garner much support either.

Few successful films begin with a thwarted escape from an insane asylum.  Already, it is established that our characters are unreliable and, as the patient in question starts cavorting and spinning about as the men in white come running after him, unstable as all get out.  Few audience members follow in those unsteady footsteps. 

The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave dares to do things differently.

The fuzzy fever-like effect framing in Alan’s POV as he makes his escape from the hospital is the first clue in this whodunit.  The keen observer will notice this freaky moment, but will likely not know what to do with it until much later.  This only adds to the film’s total wackiness as spectral apparitions later beckon Alan to follow through large fog-soaked gardens.

Yet, it must be asked.  Is Evelyn really dead?  Co-starring Giacomo Rossi Stuart (Caltiki the Immortal Monster) and Erika Blank (Kill, Baby… Kill!), has the answer and you may not like it.  The scene – occurring about 85-minutes into the film is one of the best sequences in the movie and, as it still creeps me out, manages to double-down on the sheer lunacy of in this narrative.

The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave is not like other horror films.  It wants to blur preconceived notions between sanity and insanity as ghosts haunt decadent mansions and force one man to come face to face with his own demons.  With so many twisted occurrences in and out of one home, it becomes clear that Alan Cunningham (Anthony Steffen) is completely out of his gourd.  Just how far gone and out is anyone’s guess.

Only the truth in all the redheaded whippings remains hidden from us until the very last moments of this giallo thriller from director Emilio P. Miraglia (The Red Queen Kills Seven Times).  Demented as fuck with all its snake-handling shenanigans and brutal in its thrashing of gingers, one man remains haunted by the death of his wife and takes it out repeatedly upon any redheaded woman game enough to rotate his tires in the bedroom.

This Italian hybrid combines the whodunit mystery at its heart with the horror trappings of a haunted house and a depraved killer.  It manages to, complete with slow motion flashbacks involving a naked woman (his deceased wife) demanding that Alan come to her, be something wholly unique in the genre.  Italian cinema is often loopy and sporadic; it’s also pretty influential.

The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave is a piercing mystery.  It is also fairly cruel and, as very blackened lips have kissed the script, no amount of sunlight could ever penetrate its darker undertones; a gothic summer indeed.

Dressed in all black on each night of the murders, Alan does his best to maintain his cool – going so far as to remarry a woman, Gladys (Marina Malfatti, All the Colours of the Dark) – and, yet, he fights a losing war with the peace and quiet ordered by his doctor.  He will do anything to feed the psychosexual god-sized hole in his gut.  He’s just never fully aware to what extent he goes to and, in a house full of spies, that is indeed a very difficult position to be put into.

With Arrow Video’s release of The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave, the Cunningham family is finally laid to rest.  For how long they remain still, though, is anyone’s guess.

The Night Evelyn Came out of the Grave - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Not rated.
Runtime:
103 mins
Director
: Emilio Miraglia
Writer:
Massimo Felisatti & Fabio Pittorru
Cast:
Anthony Steffen, Marina Malfatti, Enzo Tarascio
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
The worms are waiting.
Memorable Movie Quote: "A lot of men like to pplay games."
Theatrical Distributor:
Phase One
Official Site:
Release Date:
July 26, 1972
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
April 18, 2017
Synopsis: A wealthy pervert lures beautiful young women to his castle so he can have his way with them.

The Night Evelyn Came out of the Grave - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Arrow
Available on Blu-ray
- April 18, 2017
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: English; English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: A

Arrow Video’s 1080p transfer of The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave is a relative garden of delights.  The new 2k scan is impressive and soaks up the colors and inky blacks quiet well.  Shadows go deep and colors – especially reds and greens – pop like few other restorations.  Using the original camera negative, Arrow Video has framed their transfer in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio and provided composer Bruno Nicolai’s lounge score with a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio track.  Clothing fibers are detailed and backgrounds are crisp.  Lines are strong, too.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Provided by Troy Howorth, the commentary is a strong one, highlighting the influence of the movie and how it appeared out of left field.

Special Features:

Complete with reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx, Arrow Video has loaded this release with a lot of interesting nuggets – both NEW and archival – about the movie.  The transfer has been newly minted from a a new 2K restoration of the film using the original camera nevatives.

  • 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

 

 

The Night Evelyn Came out of the Grave - Blu-ray Review

 

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