The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (Notte che Evelyn usć dalla tomba) (1971) (NTSC)
|Year Of Production||1971|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (67:54)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Emilio Miraglia|
Beyond Home Entertainment
Joan C. Davis
Maria Teresa Tofano
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Lord Alan Cunningham (Anthony Steffen) has a violent appetite for large-breasted redheads way beyond his control. Prostitutes, strippers, he's not fussy in the slightest, nor is he modest in the money he promises; if he can lure them to his impressive, stately castle they're as good as gone. It's enough to make you pity his poor doctor, trying to treat his mental issues as best he can, while being fully aware (almost approving of) Lord Cunningham's murderous exploits. It seems our Lord Cunningham is suffering a deep mental trauma, brought about by haunting memories of the experience of seeing his late wife, Evelyn, romping sans-garments in the bushy courtyard with her young, muscular lover. No need to dwell too long on why she's 'late', as that is painfully obvious. Evelyn's brother, Albert, is also a resident in the castle and understandably miffed at his sister's 'disappearance'. Albert's well aware of the Lord's comings and goings and he's not shy in extorting money from the scoundrel, either.
The truth is, while Cunningham castle may look impressive of an evening, in daylight it's pretty darn shabby to say the least. Rundown and unmaintained, it's an embarrassment to his family and well overdue for restoration. Lord Cunningham tries to straighten himself out, quits slaughtering gorgeous red-headed nymphs in his spare time (momentarily) and decides to inject some cash into the old castle's upkeep. He also acts upon his doctor's advice to settle down by getting married, on a complete and random whim, but hitched nonetheless, to a doting blonde, Gladys. Then things start to turn sour, as disapproving family members grow jealous of Gladys and bizarre murders begin occurring at the castle (like the numerous slaughtered red-haired girls earlier was an oversight). Who's behind the conspiracy to drive Lord Cunningham insane? More importantly, who footed the bill for those ridiculous wigs?
Directed by Emilio Miraglia (Blood Feast), this is classic, old-school Italian horror at it's cheesy best - like Bold And The Beautiful goes to Sodom. The men are misogynistic and violent, the women are crooked sluts, semi-naked if not completely so. Absolutely nobody is likeable and the hammy performances are almost as hilarious as the dialogue. Motivation for these warped characters is impossible to decipher, so it's one of those experiences you can't fight- you can only go with it and enjoy the dodgy, kitsch-laced insanity of it all. You'll find extreme, torturous scenes of bloody violence, incestuous wheelchair makeout sessions, entrail-snacking caged foxes, rubber death-adder attacks, and a quick DIY on how to turn your backyard pool into hydrochloric acid. Missed that handy episode on Better Homes!
So, is Evelyn a legitimate retro-horror-curio, or just tasteless titillation? You be the judge. It's great fun in my book, voyeuristic to the extreme and reminiscent of similar vintage directors such as Jess Franco, et al. Highly recommended for fans of the genre.
This NTSC video transfer is surprisingly good considering the age and relatively obscure nature of the film. The original Techinscope 2.35:1 aspect has been preserved and the DVD image is 16x9 enhanced. The opening titles are Italian, which suggests an uncut original print has been sourced for the transfer.
The transfer is nice and sharp with no extreme issues relating to the source. The odd spec of dirt can be seen here or there, as well as a few very mild scratches in places, but as a whole this is a very nice, well restored transfer that probably looks a thousand times better than it was ever projected back in the day. Colours seem spot-on, particularly the deep greens and reds.
No subtitles are included on the disc.
The disc is RSDL formatted (DVD9). I did not notice any layer break during the feature on my equipment, so it must be well concealed.
The film's original mono soundtrack is the only audio option, presented in Dolby Digital 2.0.
The English dialogue, although very poorly synced in post production, is always clear and easy to discern in the mix. Films of this ilk rarely contain believable audio-dialogue looping, so this is not at all surprising. Lip movements do appear to be English in this case, but the dubbing sync is pretty woeful all the same. This is no fault of the DVD transfer process.
The soundtrack is in a similarly good condition to the video; I noted only a few crackles and pops here and there, around what I would presume to be reel changes. There's obviously no surround or subwoofer activity to report.
The film's score is credited to Bruno Nicolai. It's jazzy, unpredictable and even a little discordant at times; complementing the chaotic nature of the film very well indeed. I loved the film's music in particular and found it reminiscent of Claudio Simonetti.
|Surround Channel Use|
The film's US theatrical trailer, restored as nicely as the feature and suitably hip for its time.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Another Region 1 edition on the 'No Shame' label lists the following extras:
As an interesting reference point, the PAL Italian release contains only a trailer as an extra, but the disc itself is DVD5.
Our local release seems to have a very good transfer, but if you're after extra material you may want to hunt the No Shame version down.
The NTSC transfer is great.
The extras are limited.
|DVD||Denon DVD-3910, using HDMI output|
|Display||Sanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector, Screen Technics Cinemasnap 96" (16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Denon AVR-3806 (7.1 Channels)|
|Speakers||Orpheus Aurora III floor-standing Mains and Surrounds. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Center. Mirage 10 inch powered sub.|