• Red Queen Kills Seven Times, The



    Released by: Arrow Video
    Released on: April 18th, 2017.
    Director: Emilio Miraglia
    Cast: Barbara Bouchet, Sybil Danning, Ugo Pagliai
    Year: 1972
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    The Movie:

    Our second film introduces us to the Wildenbruck family. As wealthy and illustrious as they may seem on the surface, have their fair share of problems just as any other family unit does. Two of the daughters, Kitty (the gorgeous Barbara Bouchet of The Black Belly Of The Tarantula) and Evelyn get into a scrap one fine and sunny afternoon and Kitty winds up killing her sister. It was completely by accident mind you, but she did wind up tossing her body into the lake on the family estate. This murder seems to tie into a curse that has been put upon the family in which 'The Red Queen' returns from her grave once every hundred years to kill and kill again – well, seven times at least – hence the title. Kitty's all too familiar with this story. She's known it since she was a child and a painting that portrays the notorious Red Queen hangs proudly in the living room of the home.

    At any rate, fourteen years after these events the father of the family, Tobias Wildenbruck (Rudolf Schundler of Win Wenders' The American Friend), is also found dead. After this unfortunate turn of events, Kitty starts having horrible dreams about murder and death and they prove to be so distracting that she's having trouble at her job as a fashion magazine photographer. The dreams eventually culminate in the death of her boss, who is found murdered under rather bizarre circumstances. To make matters worse, witnesses have seen a woman running around dressed in garb all too similar to that worn by the Red Queen in the painting that Kitty grew up around.

    Like the film that came before it, The Red Queen Kills Seven Times benefits from an interesting supporting cast. Look for a young Sybil Danning (of The Howling II) as one of Kitty's models named Lulu, while Marina Maltaffi returns in the role of Franziska, another one of Kitty's sisters. Marino Mase, who had a brief role in Ruggero Deodato's Phantom Of Death is easy to spot as one of the cops on the case, while pretty Pia Giancaro of The Bloody Hands Of The Law shows up in the role of Rosemary. Performances are about what you'd expect from a seventies giallo, they're decent if a little ham-fisted at times though Bouchet does very well in the more intense scenes. She looks genuinely scared at times, which makes the proceedings considerably more suspenseful than they would be otherwise. She’s not only a beautiful woman, but pretty damn convincing in her work on this picture.

    Like its predecessor, The Red Queen Kills Seven Times makes very good use of its European locations. The family home is creepy in and of itself, but when you add to that some of the surprises that lay in the basement and the surrounding grounds and you've got the perfect setting for a gothic murder mystery. The Red Queen herself, garbed in a black suit with a garish red cape, looks like quite the killer and when she shows up she definitely makes an impression. The pacing drags a little bit in the middle but there are enough plot twists and gory murder scenes in this one to make it a whole lot of fun regardless.

    Note: Arrow previously released this film alongside The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave 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 Red Queen Kills Seven Times 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 for The Red Queen Kills Seven Times start off with a new audio commentary by Alan Jones and Kim Newman, who have a good chemistry here. Their track makes some interesting observations about how the film precedes the slasher trend that would follow in a few years, and it also allows the two men to discuss the directorial style and the cinematography’s effectiveness. They talk up some of the performances, offer plenty of information on the cast and crew and their various filmographies and generally just do a fine job of dissecting the picture and documenting its history and possible influence.

    Writer Stephen Thrower pops up again on The Red Queen Kills Seven Times for the fourteen minute piece called The Red Reign. Again, he offers up a nice mix of critical insight and opinion, trivia, biographical information and assorted thought and observations on the picture. Also new to this disc is a twenty-minute interview with actress Sybil Danning called Life Of Lulu. Here she talks about how she wound up being cast in the film after various career moves that lead to modelling and then acting. She also shares some stories about a few of the earlier films that she worked on before then going on to talk about her thoughts on Red Queen and her feelings on some of her co-stars.

    And then, once again, we have the archival supplements from the older NoShame release. First up is an interview with the still lovely Barbara Bouchet entitled My Favorite Films that runs just over a minute in length. Though this is all too brief, it's interesting to hear her talk about the giallos she was involved in and how she was surprised to learn of their cult movie status in North America. If I Met Emilio Miraglia Today is a featurette in which Marino Mase, Erika Blanc and Lorenzo Baraldi wax nostalgic about the director for a couple of minutes. Each one shares a little story about some of the time that they spent with him and while it isn't ultra-informative, it's a nice tribute to the man who was responsible for both movies on this set and it clocks in at about four minutes in length. Lorenzo Baraldi and Marino Mase are both given separate featurettes entitled Dead A Porter (at roughly fourteen minutes) and Round Up The Usual Suspects (roughly fifteen minutes) respectively. In this quick segments they go into some detail about their experiences on set with Miraglia and give us a quick history of their experiences in the film industry. These are interesting enough but like the Bouchet featurette, leave you wanting more. The quick forty second introduction from production designer Lorenzo Baraldi has also been carried over.

    Rounding out the extras on this first disc are English and Italian trailers for The Red Queen Kills Seven Times, an alternate opening credits sequence for the movie, menus and chapter selection.

    The Final Word:

    Arrow Video has done a great job bringing Emilio Miraglias’ The Red Queen Kills Seven Times to Blu-ray. The movie holds up, a fun, quirky giallo with a great cast and loads of style – and Arrow’s Blu-ray presents it in gorgeous shape with a great selection of supplemental material.

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



















  • Recent Article Comments Widget

    tek8080

    Red Christmas

    Good to know. I might pick some of them up now. Thanks for the info and review. Go to last post

    tek8080 10-19-2017 04:11 PM
    Ian Jane

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    Their earlier Blu-ray releases were BD-R but most of the more recent ones are pressed, this one... Go to last post

    Ian Jane 10-19-2017 11:14 AM
    tek8080

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    Is this actually a pressed disc? I thought Artsploitation only did BD-R. Go to last post

    tek8080 10-19-2017 08:50 AM
    Maureen Champ

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    Maureen Champ 10-19-2017 05:54 AM
    C.D. Workman

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    Jesus Christ. Yet another title for me to avoid... Go to last post

    C.D. Workman 10-19-2017 12:08 AM