“The Red Queen Kills Seven Times” (“La dama rossa uccide sette volte”)

A Legend

Amos Lassen

The House of Wildenbrück has a legend that every 100 years, one of the girls of the family will murder her sister, then the murdered sister will return from the grave to kill 6 times before murdering her sister but these are course stories from a long bygone time, with little relevance for today or do they? It wasn’t that Kitty (Barbara Bouchet) had accidently killed her sister Eveline in a minor struggle, and it’s only thanks to her sister Franziska (Marina Malfatti) and Franziska’s husband Herbert (Nino KordaI) that none of this got out and Eveline’s corpse was in the basement of the house. Shortly afterwards, the girls’ granddad (Rudolf Schündler), who did not know of Eveline’s demise (like everyone else, he thinks she has emigrated to the USA), dies from a heart attack after having seen “the Red Queen” which is the killer’s disguise according to legend. Now that could possibly be explained away as the about-to-die imagination of an old man, but soon enough, at the fashion house Kitty works at, more and more people start to die, and to make it worse, Kitty’s (married) boyfriend Martin (Ugo Pagliai) is the key suspect. What we know about him makes him the perfect suspect.

The giallo genre is known for far-fetched stories and this one is really off the wall. After all, the giallo genre is filled with silly stories that don’t necessarily make sense. However, they do deliver thrills, gore and sex.

The movie revolves around the curse or the legend of the Wildenbruck family. Early on in history, feuding of medieval sisters – the Black and the Red Queen – resulted in the death of one of them, who, according to legend and in 1958, Grandpa Wildenbrück tells Kitty and Evelyn, two of his young granddaughters, (in perhaps an unwise move) that the curse is due to repeat itself in 1972 – when the two girls will have undoubtedly grown. He tells them not to worry about it, even after one of them decapitates her doll with dagger in front of a painting of the two queens, she says “Whenever I look at that picture I go funny inside!”, we know that the legend lives.

When we move forward to 1972, Kitty (Barbara Bouchet) is now a successful fashion photographer, working for a ‘far out’ fashion house, Springe Fashions. However, it appears that history is indeed repeating itself, as Kitty is hiding a dark secret. During a fight, she accidentally killed sibling rival Eveline and this was seen by the other sister, Franziska and her husband, Herbert. To cover up for Kitty, they hide Eveline’s body deep in the basement of Wildenbrück castle.

Kitty pretends that Evelyn has emigrated to America even to her fiancé Martin who just happens to have a in an asylum on the edge of town … Pretty soon, someone wearing a red cape and white mask is carving up the models and workers of Springe Fashions with a ceremonial dagger. 

Special Features Include

Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation

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

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