• Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave, The



    Released by: Arrow Video
    Released on: April 18th, 2017.
    Director: Emilio Miraglia
    Cast: Anthony Steffen, Marina Malfatti
    Year: 1971
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    The Movie:

    Antonio De Teffe (of the excellent horror infused Spaghetti Western, Django The Bastard, also known as The Strangers Gundown) plays the somber Lord Alan Cunningham, a man whose life has been nothing but sorrow since his wife Evelyn passed away a some time ago. As the result of some sort of psychotic therapy treatment, he's decided to help cope with his loss by abducting beautiful young women who look like his wife. His MO is to take them back to his place and torture them to death – and each of the women who would appear to be his victims have a more than uncanny likeness to the his dearly departed Evelyn. After he's spent some time in deranged pursuit of a sultry nightclub dancer named Susie (Euro-cult starlet Erika Blanc of The Devil's Nightmare), his friend Richard (Giacomo Stuart-Rossi of Joe D'Amato's excellent Death Smiled On A Murderer) encourages him to move on a find a new wife. Cunningham is a bit of a weirdo and while Evelyn still haunts his dreams and nightmares, he's obviously got more than a few screws loose upstairs.

    Cunningham's murderous ways remain secret to most, so his social standing hasn't diminished in the least. He's a wealthy man who comes from good stock so it's no surprise to find him out one night at a rather prestigious upper society shin-dig where he meets a pretty young woman named Gladys (Marina Malfatti of Umberto Lenzi's Seven Blood Stained Orchids). It doesn’t take long for him to fall head over heels in love with her. Luckily for Cunningham, the feeling is mutual and their whirlwind romance soon blossoms into a marriage that seems to be the very thing he needed to curve his murderous ways. Things are looking up for Cunningham until many of the people in his circle start being killed off, seemingly by a jealous wife named Evelyn who, as the title implies, might just have returned from the dead…

    An atmospheric film that owes as much to Mario Bava's older gothic films like Black Sabbath and The Whip And The Body as it does to the Hitchcock influenced giallos of Dario Argento and Sergio Martino, The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave relies as much on its ghostly atmosphere as it does on more traditional giallo elements like red herrings and psychological twists. Plenty of shadowy cinematography, creepy location shots and a fantastic score courtesy of Bruno Nicolai make this one an interesting giallo that doesn't necessarily play by the stalk and slash rules that so many of its sister films do.

    The movie also makes great use of its cast. Steffen isn’t always the most exciting lead but here he does a fine job. As the movie makes us question his sanity and portrays him as a bit of a sadism enthusiast, what with his penchant for tying up and whipping his lovely lady friends, he manages to make the part his own. Of course, the lovely Erika Blanc makes quite an impression here as well, emerging from a coffin at a nightclub during her strip tease debut in the film. Giacomo Rossi Stuart and Marina Malfatti are also pretty enjoyable here.

    Note: Arrow previously released this film alongside The Red Queen Kills Seven Times as part of their Killer Dames boxed set last year. This single disc reissue is a direct port of the disc that was included in that set.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The film is presented in a brand new 2K restoration of the film’s original camera negatives in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 2.35.1 widescreen and it looks fantastic. Detail is strong, especially in close up shots but hardly limited to those as you'll notice while the movies play out. There's excellent depth and texture here as well and color reproduction is beautiful. Black levels are nice and strong and there's very little actual print damage here, just a normal looking coat of film grain. The disc is also very well authored with the feature getting a pretty healthy bit rate. As such, there are no problems with any obvious compression artifacts nor is there any heavy edge enhancement or noise reduction to note.

    Arrow presents The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave in your choice of the original Italian or an English dubbed soundtrack in LPCM mono audio with newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack and optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack. Regardless of which option you choose for the film you'll get nicely balanced audio with strong clarity, good resonance and decent range. There are no problems with any hiss or distortion to note and the movie’s score sounds noticeably more detailed and powerful than on the past DVD release. The removable subtitles are clean, clear and easy to read.

    Extras on The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave start off with an audio commentary from Troy Howarth that proves to be a pretty enjoyable listen. Howarth offers up his thoughts on what makes this one work but is also savvy enough to note some of the film’s flaws. It’s fairly scene specific, allowing him to offer up info on the cast and crew as their work appears on screen but as he does this he notes some of the film’s gothic trappings and how they differentiate this film from a lot of other giallos. Lots of good information on Steffen (not a fan) and Blanc (definitely a fan) here as well as some input and opinion on Bruno Nicolai’s score, how the locations amp up the production values and some of the specific assets that the female cast in particular bring to the film.

    Arrow has also created two new featurettes for this release, starting with a fifteen minute piece called Remembering Evelyn wherein writer Stephen Thrower offers up his thoughts on the film. While this featurette and the commentary do inevitably cover a few of the same details (such as the gothic influence on the film), Thrower offers up his own take on the picture, fills us in on what happened to some of the people involved in the production after it was made and generally just gives us his typically well informed opinion on the movie mixed in with some interesting trivia. The Night Erika Came Out Of The Grave is a new ten minute interview with Erika Blanc. She starts off by talking about how the strip tease scene for which the movie is famous was her idea and how she choreographed it before going on to talk about what it was like working with Steffen, some of the film’s kinkier elements and how they affected her performance and a fair bit more.

    Arrow has also carried over the supplements from the older NoShame Films DVD release, staring with an interesting video interview with Erika Blanc entitled The Whip And The Body. Here the actress talks about her career in Italian genre films, working with co-star Anthony De Teffe and her experiences with director Emilio Miraglia. Blanc comes across as a rather gentle lady and it's interesting to hear how she made up her infamous dance number for this film as she went along. This featurette runs for just over twenty-one minutes and Blanch fans should eat it right up. A second archival featurette entitled Still Rising From The Grave is a nice twenty-three minute long interview with Lorenzo Baraldi who served as the production designer on the film. This is a pretty thorough discussion of Baraldi's career in Italian cinema, he talks about his beginnings in the industry and follows the trail right up to The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave where he gives us the run down on his experiences with Miraglia and some of the performers on the shoot. It's a pretty interesting examination of how the unique look of the film was created from the mouth of the man who made it all happen. The quick intro that Blanc recorded for the NoShame disc is also carried over.

    There’s also a quick, newly shot one minute optional intro to the film courtesy of Erika Blanc. Rounding out the extras on Evelyn disc are English and Italian trailers for The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave, animated menus and chapter selection.

    The Final Word:

    Arrow Video has done a great job bringing Emilio Miraglias’ The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave to Blu-ray. This release not only carries over all of the supplements from the previous DVD release but it offers up some very worthwhile new additions in that department as well. The audio and video presentation for the film is very impressive and the movie itself hold up quite well. Highly recommended.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!



















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