The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (Blu-ray)- Arrow

By | May 05, 2017 Leave a Comment
The Red Queen Kills Seven Times is an interesting giallo that gets a great blu-ray from Arrow



THE FEATURES ⭐⭐⭐1/2





Audio Commentary with Author Alan Jones and Film Critic Kim Newman

A fantastic commentary here. Since this was the first time that I had seen Red Queen, I learned a lot about the film and the genre itself. For those who are seasoned pros, this track will still give you a lot of info that you may not already know.

The Red Reigns (13m 48s, HD)

Here we have an interview with film historian Stephen Thrower who gives us a history of the film and background on the making of the film. He mentions that director Emilio Miraglia disappeared after finishing work on the film and that no one knows where he is. In response to this Thrower says that Miraglia probably died. In other features found on this disc, people who are interviewed say that Miraglia did die. I don’t know if this is a mis-step for Thrower or if he honestly believes that no one knows what happened to Miraglia. Kind of weird though. Outside of that comment, Thrower gives us a lot of great information on The Red Queen and giallos in general.

Life of Lulu (19m 47s, HD)

Sybil Danning talks about her life before The Red Queen, where she did a slew of different jobs and lived what many would consider an entire life, before landing the part of Lulu. She also talks about the differences between American casting (a cattle call) and European casting (a nice sit-down). She loves the film, but hates the dubbing of her character. Danning comes off as really nice and incredibly smart, who loves being in films.

Alternate Opening (39s, HD)

This is a “countdown” opening that was used in place of the pre-credits sequence shown in the film 
proper.

Trailers

                -Italian Trailer (3m 13s, HD)
      
                -English Trailer (3m 13s, HD)

Both trailers are exactly the same; they are just dubbed into different languages. They are also very spoiler heavy. I am glad that I did not watch the trailer before the film.

Archival Special Features

                -Dead á Porter (13m 38s, SD)

                Interview with production designer Lorenzo Baraldi. In Italian with English subtitles.

                -Round Up the Usual Suspects (18m 24s, SD)

                Interview with actor Marino Masé. In Italian with English Subtitles.

                -If I Met Emilio Miraglia Today (4m 14s, SD)

                A few of the people from the film talk about  the title of this special feature.

                -My Favorite…Films (59s, SD)

                A too brief interview with star Barbara Bouchét. In German with English subtitles.

THE PACKAGING N/A


I got a screener to do this review with so I do not have the packaging to review. This film is available in two ways: the first is in a box set with The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave; the second is an individual release. The box set is either out of print or close to it, so the individual release would be the way to go if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on the second hand market. The individual release does come inside of clear case and has reversible artwork as per the norm for Arrow.

THE PICTURE ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Coming to blu-ray with a brand new 2K restoration, The Red Queen Kills Seven Times looks great. The dvd was a washed out mess and this blu-ray corrects the mistakes of before. The color palette looks correct, with the blood looking the reddest, as it should. There is a nice layer of grain and detail is nice, especially in close-up. Also, the dvd was cropped, while the blu-ray retains the correct framing.

THE SOUND ⭐⭐⭐


We are give both the Italian and English mono tracks in lossless sound. The tracks have too much to do so there is no interference with too much going on. Dialogue is clean and clear, with only a few instances of a hissy sibilance. It happens every now and again, but shouldn’t take away from the enjoyment of the film like the sibilance problem with Scream Factory’s Black Christmas. The soundtrack and score are equally as nice, with the score coming through slightly louder than the dialogue.

THE FILM ⭐⭐1/2


This is the third giallo that I have seen (following Black and Black Lace and Deep Red) and I can tell you that this is the lessor of the three films. That is not to say that the film is bad. The direction by Emilio Miraglia is spot on and the cinematography by Alberto Spagnoli is gorgeous, capturing the gothic castle in Germany  beautifully.

The problem that I had with the film lies in the script. Giallos are like film noirs and thus are supposed to be confusing until the end where everything is revealed. The thing is The Red Queen is really confusing because there is an added element to the story that is with us from 20 minutes in until the end of the film. This added element is so confusing that it is brought up in the special features as a problem with the film.

I know that it is very hard to talk about this film without giving away the ending, but trust me when I say that you won’t see this one coming.

Outside of that problem, I enjoyed the film. This is definitely a “proto-slasher”. There is a nice body count and the kills are a bit inventive. Of course someone gets killed with a gun, but rest of the kills are nice and bloody. The director also does a nice job at building suspense, although the suspense is hard to maintain because of the confusing elements, but Miraglia still gives us something to be afraid of.

For me, I would say that The Red Queen Kills Seven Times is a mid-range giallo. The characters are well defined and the kills are bloody, but the story is confusing, which make the film feel longer than it is. The score by Bruno Nicolai is gorgeous and adds to the atmosphere of the film, but I still can’t recommend the film because of the problems explained above. There is nothing worse than sitting in a theater or at home trying to figure out what the hell is going on in a film. Good filmmakers try to soften the burden and others want you to be confused. The Red Queen is of the latter category.

OVERALL ⭐⭐⭐1/2


I am glad that I saw The Red Queen Kills Seven Times. The film is enjoyable to a fault, but the overly confusing nature throws the film off. The blu-ray from Arrow is excellent with top notch video and audio and enough special features to keep you busy for a while. The director also directed The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (which I have to watch) so there are two more giallos out there for the world to discover.



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