The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave

July 19, 2011 at 2:18 am (5 Heads, Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave) (, , , )

The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave – 1971 – Italy

Awkwardly titled, The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave is grisly/sexy Italian giallo fare. The film stars a bunch of redheaded babes (including the sultry Erika Blanc). No one stays clothed for long.

The Night Evelyn Came Out opens to a jump-cut Vaseline-lensed chase as an asylum inmate escapes. Amazingly, the scene fits nowhere in the flick’s continuity. Next we meet a hallucinating millionaire widower. Obsessed with his late wife’s infidelities, he murders redheaded hookers in the kinky torture dungeon of his cobwebbed castle. The millionaire grows increasingly morose, eventually marrying some dame the same night he meets her. Of course, it’s a setup to steal his inheritance that is soon thwarted by a logically bewildering triple cross before the whole mess ends with a dude pitched into a pool of acid. With remarkable moral ambiguity, the millionaire’s sadistic crimes are forgiven/forgotten and his wicked extorting family members all meet nasty fates.

Typical of giallo, there are gratuitous atrocities/absurdities along the way: A dancer does a striptease in a coffin at a morbid nightclub. A woman appears as a ghost by wearing a mask and skeleton gloves. The castle’s maid staff is composed entirely of blonde Afroed girls. Foxes eat a crippled woman. Plus there are eerie graveyards and naked ladies running in slo-mo. Yet somehow, The Night Evelyn Came Out is still boring. Dopey dialogue, ridiculous plotting, and endless chatty lovemaking are culprits, but more than anything, it’s a lack of passion. The film is never as depraved or sensual as the subject matter allows.

Sadly, the most widely available DVD versions are from a cropped, scratched, washed-out master. Regardless, The Night Evelyn Came Out was never a visual masterpiece. The atmosphere of the foreboding decrepit castle is sapped by bland lighting and unconvincing day-for-night shots. Only some graveyard stalking sequences and a candlelit séance show flair. Likewise, there’s a bare minimum of gore and effects.

The Night Evelyn Came Out is just so-so. Having seen it two times, I’ve been bored and irritated both times. There’s better giallo (Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll with Paul Naschy, Dario Argento’s Tenebrae), and plenty of places to see more breasts. However, it does cater to the niche fetish of redheads getting terrorized. If that’s your flavor, The Night Evelyn Came Out will definitely get your rocks off.

Rating: 5/10 Shrunken Heads. Lots of redheads here.

7/16/17 Update:

I’m not especially fond of The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave, but I keep watching it again and again. I’d like to live like the rich people in this film. They stay in a castle with beautiful murals on the walls. They pass the time by drinking, having seances, and taking care of their pet foxes. The “aunt” character, who is supposed to be an old woman, looks about twenty-eight years old. The lead character keeps four wardrobes full of lingerie for his prostitutes to wear. This seems like a good life.

Rating: 5/10 Shrunken Heads. I never noticed how the groovy the soundtrack is. It’s got jazz, rock, funky drums, and melodramatic strings all together.

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