Review: The Red Queen Kills Seven times

Blu-ray: The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972)

My odyssey into Italian Giallo cinema continues with The Red Queen Kills Seven Times, but, will it leave me wanting more or wishing that Tina had reviewed it?

The Red Queen Kills Seven Times tells the tale of a family curse where legend has it that every hundred years the bloodthirsty Red Queen returns to murder 7 victims.  The movie opens with kindly Grandfather Tobias (Rudolf Schündler) explaining the tale to his two granddaughters. The anniversary of the hundred years happens to coincide with his death, so does this mean the vicious Red Queen is back to claim more victims, and who will live to tell the tale?

As people will know from reading my reviews of Property Is No Longer a Theft and 5 Dolls for an August Moon, my knowledge of Italian cinema is limited at best. However, thanks to having the privilege of reviewing movies for 60 Minutes With, I feel that I am slowly expanding my horizons and if I’m honest, falling in love a little bit more with something that initially baffled me.

If you haven’t figured it out yet based on my previous paragraph, I really enjoyed The Red Queen Kills Seven Times! Dark and gothic, mixing modern locations with medieval adds a nice juxtaposition and gives the effect that an ancient curse is exploding violently into present day.

Director Emilio P. Miraglia assembled a great cast and The Red Queen Kills Seven Times is filled with beautiful people including Barbara Bouchet, who plays the ill-fated Kitty, and Marina Malfatti, as her sister Franziska. Everything looks so stylish and beautifully shot which it is a real treat for your eyes, especially the sight of a naked Sybil Danning!

Yes the plot is a little convoluted and it is a bit daft; one example being that a murder takes place in the middle of nowhere and literally seconds later the police and suspects are at the scene of the crime. Saying that, I found the set-up of the curse and mystery elements to be really engaging, and I was hooked until the end as I wanted to find out the identity of the wicked Red Queen.

It occurred to me that if this movie were made in America in the 80’s, you could imagine the Red Queen having her own series of slasher movies like Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees, as she dispatches people in elaborate ways whilst cackling maniacally.

The Red Queen Kills Seven Times is a really fun Giallo beautifully shot, featuring an excellent soundtrack. I have a wry smile as I type this sentence because I didn’t even know what a Giallo was until I recently started dipping my toe into its murky waters but, I can say with some confidence that if you have any interest in this genre you will enjoy The Red Queen Kills Seven Times as much as I did.

I also have to mention the excellent audio commentary featuring the wonderful Kim Newman and Alan Jones, which has educated me even more and as a result I have a huge list of Giallo movies I wish to delve into.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p)
  • Original mono Italian and English soundtracks (lossless DTS-HD Master Audio)
  • Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
  • New audio commentary by Alan Jones and Kim Newman
  • Exclusive interview with actress Sybil Danning
  • New interview with critic Stephen Thrower
  • Archival introduction by production/costume designer Lorenzo Baraldi
  • Dead à Porter – archival interview with Lorenzo Baraldi
  • Rounding Up the Usual Suspects – archival interview with actor Marino Masé
  • If I Met Emilio Miraglia Today – archival featurette with Erika Blanc, Lorenzo Baraldi and Marino Masé
  • My Favourite… Films – archival interview with actress Barbara Bouchet
  • Alternative opening
  • Original Italian and English theatrical trailers
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx

Review by Chris (co-host of 60 Minutes With and The Same Coin) from a disc kindly supplied by Fetch Publicity from Arrow Films.