Red Queen Kills 7 Times, The / La dama rossa uccide sette volte (1972)

4.0 out of 5

Emilio Miraglia’s gothic giallo concerns a curse that occurs once every 100 years, affecting the occupants of a German castle. According to legend, “The Red Queen” was murdered by her sister, “The Black Queen,” and rose from the grave to take murderous revenge upon seven people, including her sibling. The curse is seemingly reactivated after Kitty, Barbara Bouchet, accidentally kills her sister Evelyn. Soon, several people close to Kitty are murdered by a female figure dressed in red. After her grandfather dies of a fear-induced heart attack, leaving his fortune up for grabs, several people come under suspicion. Has Evelyn returned from the dead to get revenge on Kitty, or is someone after the inheritance?

The film combines the structure and violence of a giallo with gothic horror touches, including the old castle’s creepy cobweb-filled basement, consisting of dark corridors and a secret room. The murders are gory and brutal, accompanied by maniacal female laughter. The cast of familiar faces includes Contamination’s Marino Masé, giallo regulars Bouchet and Marina Malfatti, and buxom Sybil Danning.

Featuring a thrilling score by Bruno Nicolai and stylish Bava-inspired cinematography, this film is essential viewing for fans of giallo and Italian horror.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics