Countdown to Halloween 2014 - Movie #7
The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (La dama rossa uccide sette volte, 1972) is a frustrating giallo, in that it has a lot going for it, but still doesn’t entirely work for me.
The film is well shot, boasts an attractive cast and features an absolutely terrific score from Bruno Nicolai. It also has a unique, creepy looking killer, beautiful locations,a groovy but very short dream sequence, and a wonderfully gothic dungeon set.
What I don’t like about the movie is that the spooky strengths are downplayed in favor of a very talky investigative element, as well as lots of ‘office politics’ stuff at the clothing company where all the characters work. The stalk and slash scenes are suitably frenzied but very brief and lacking in tension and the mystery element is actually pretty easy to figure out. Despite all that emphasis on character interaction, the script isn’t very good at establishing red herrings.
I was also bothered by a gratuitous (strongly suggested, but off-camera) rape scene that is immediately forgotten and has no further impact on the plot or the characters involved. They could have removed this two minute sequence from the film and no one would have ever noticed.
I used the word frustrating for this one because I really, really like the aesthetics of it but wish the script more fully embraced the psychedelic and gothic elements. It’s a solid film that could have been an amazing one.
Director Emilio Miraglia also did The Night That Evelyn Came Out of the Grave, which I recall being more satisfied with overall. I will have to revisit that one soon too.
More stills here.