japanesedream_72: (robot chick)
The word “kinky” is used on twice on the “Fright Night” box set: first, in the paragraph describing "Baba Yaga" (aka “Kiss Me, Kill Me”), & second, in the synopsis for “The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave” (http://imdb.com/title/tt0067487/).

A rope made from bed sheets hastens the attempted escape of a man from what appears to be a psychiatric clinic. We see him running, pursued. The shots are quick, blurry, drawing us into the chase. He tries to scale the gate, but is apprehended.

Later on, this same man - a ritzy, upscale fellow named Alan Cunningham (Antonio De Teffé, billed here as Anthony Steffen) - escorts a pretty redhead named Polly out on the town. Driving along a dark, tree-lined street on the way back to his place, he stops, supposedly to check the tires. What he’s actually doing is switching to what is likely just one in a series of false license plates. He then takes Polly to a large, old house, which he explains is a former castle & his family abode. All the while, we are aware that someone is watching them.

Alan & Polly (who was given a fair amount of cash for her presence) end up in an antiquated room, decked out in S&M décor: chairs with chains, torture devices, & so forth. Then, of course, there are the knives...

I don’t think I have to tell you what happens next.

Dr. Richard, the therapist from the clinic (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart , who played another doctor in “Kill Baby Kill”), pays Alan a visit to speak with him regarding the “attacks” Alan’s been having, which are, apparently, centered around bad memories of the house, & of his late wife, Evelyn.

Against the doctor’s order, Alan extends an invitation to Miranda, a twitchy medium, as well as a small group of relatives, thinking that a séance might help. If Alan can contact Evelyn & resolve his issues with her, the attacks will cease. Or so the theory goes. In fact, the séance, when carried out, does prove somewhat successful: Alan does, indeed, have a vision of (or, perhaps, a visitation from) Evelyn, but never quite gets around to resolving any issues, because he promptly faints. The next day, he speaks with his cousin, George (Roberto Maldera), about going to London, where George will set Alan up with another gal, just as he set him up with Polly.

Flash forward to a copper-haired London stripper named Susie (Erika Blanc - I told you she gets around) emerging from a coffin & getting naked to “Barbarella” music (fun!). She hangs out with Alan after the show. (He’s got a thing for redheads, such as Evelyn was, though he always pulls on their locks just to make sure they’re not wearing a wig.) Afterward, she puts on a private performance for him in the old torture chamber back at the house. He gives her some thigh-high go-go boots & then tries to strangle her with a whip handle. I won’t give away the whole scene, suffice to say he has another vision of Evelyn & subsequent fainting spell before he can finish the job.

Both George & Dr. Richard urge Alan to get married again. And back in swinging London, he does just that. Upon meeting another redhead, Gladys (Marina Malfatti), at a party, he engages her in some humorous conversations & a quickie fling before proposing to her.

After the wedding, Alan & his bride return to the castle (check out the hilarious identical maids - is anyone else reminded of the cute courtesan from the Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” video?), where Albert (Rod Murdock) - Evelyn’s brother & the person who’s been watching Alan throughout the film for blackmail purposes - confronts Alan on the circumstances of Evelyn’s death, & warns him that his new marriage is a mistake, a caveat that proves quite apt when Evelyn’s spirit begins appearing more frequently about the house, & the people around Alan begin to die.

Dressed in the trappings of a classic-yet-modern Italian horror flick, “The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave” chucks the standard ol’ ghost story formula out the window & gets inventive by throwing in a bit of giallo - namely, a plethora of murders, payoffs, revelations, & more double-crossing than you can shake a stick at - alongside the spectral stuff to mix things up, including a nod to Argento with the casting of Umberto Raho (“The Bird With The Crystal Plumage”) in a small role. Despite some minor, spotty problems with pacing, the movie is accentuated by nice sets & several lovely visual moments. Leading man Antonio De Teffé tries to be suave in a young Christopher Lee-type way, & though one can detect just a smattering of that je ne sais quois that would permeate Robert Tayman’s Mark E. Desade from 1974’s “House of Whipcord”, the acting, at times (& not just De Teffé’s), falls a little flat (though it might just be the product of bad dubbing, as is often the case with films like these). But that’s okay, because even if “Evelyn” does come off a bit Euro-trash (which, in & of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing), it’s capped off by a devilishly clever ending that I don’t think even the most experienced or jaded film buff could predict.

Still isn’t as kinky as “Baba Yaga”, though.

August 2017

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