THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE
Directed by Emilio Miraglia
Produced by Written by Massimo Felisatti, Emilio Miraglia & Fabio Pittoru
Director of Photograpy Gastone Di Giovanni
Music by Bruno Nicolai
Cast: Erika Blanc, Anthony Steffen, Marina Malfatti & Rod Murdock
1.78:1/English/Italy/NTSC Region 0
Review from the Sinema Diable/Eclectic DVD
THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE is one of the debut titles from Sinema Diable, a new video imprint overseen by legendary rocker Glenn Danzig. The label will specialize in obscure European horror films. But, if this title is any indication, Sinema Diable has a long way to go in order to catch up with industry leaders Blue Underground and Anchor Bay.
THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE focuses on a wealthy widower Lord Alan Cunningham (Anthony Steffen AKA Antonio De Teffe), whose former wife, Evelyn, died under mysterious circumstances. Lord Alan's hobby (?!) is to find red-headed prostitutes, who remind him of Evelyn, take them back to his secluded castle, and then murder them. (It's unclear if this alleviates or exacerbates his infatuation with Evelyn.) Lord Alan's family is very concerned for his mental health (!), so his friend and physician, Dr. Timberlane (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) recommends that Lord Alan re-marry. So, Lord Alan meets a woman named Gladys at a party, and proposes to her. They are wed and move into the Cunningham castle. Soon, Lord Alan's relatives begin to die, and Gladys is convinced that she's seen a red-head woman in the castle. Has Evelyn risen from the grave to punish Lord Alan for re-marrying?
After years of watching EuroHorror films, it doesn't surprise me to find one which is convoluted and confusing, but THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE doesn't make any sense, nor does it ever gel. Is it a ghost story? Is it a giallo? It purports to be both of those, but if anything, this film is basically an ultra-trashy soap opera, as the members of the Cunningham family always appear to be out to get one another. The DVD packaging refers to the movie as a "Euro-trash Horror Classic", but I found the film to be relatively tame. There is some gratuitious nudity throughout the film, but save for one very fake scene, there is no gore to be had here. And yes, Lord Alan penchant for whipping women is a bit unusual, but even these scenes are tired. THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE is nothing more than a Poe-like story dressed up in early 70's mod fashions. Only the most diehard EuroHorror fans will find something to like in this one. And by the way, has the pick-up line, "I thought it was a wig." ever worked?
Before I get into the technical review of the DVD, let me say that I know it can be challenging to find a pristine print of a 30 year old movie. But, damn. THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE DVD is so riddled with problems that I don't know where to start. The film has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the transfer is not anamorphic. However, this letterboxing is clearly inaccurate, as the picture is still stretched and everyone looks as if they are 8 feet tall. (According to imdb.com, the OAR is 2.35:1, and I can certainly believe this.) To make matters worse, the picture has been framed to the far left, so that information on the far right falls off of the screen. The source material used for this print was clearly a theatrical print, and one that had been used many, many times. The image is corrupted with all manner of scratches, spots, dirt, and vertical & horizontal lines. There are constantly moments where frames are missing. The colors are quite faded, unless you count the green flares that occasionally cross the screen. The DVD box claims that this is an uncut version of the film, but the print is in such bad shape, it's difficult to tell. (The box also states "'All New' Gorgeous Digital Transfer".) The audio on the DVD is a 2-channel mono track which yield clear dialogue and music, but is marred by constant hissing and popping. It's been a long time since I've seen a DVD that looked this bad, but for some, these technical problems may add to the film's charm. The DVD contains no extras, but it does have a chapter menu... although this only sports six vague selections.
This Film Features:
Review by Mike Long. All Right Reserved. 2003. ©