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Another Giallo horror film marks a milestone this year with Emilio Miraglia’s The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave celebrating 50 years since its initial release. 

At its heart the film is a tale that depicts how the wealthy are inescapable of punishment, free to carry out their wims. Where it gets slightly complex is through the unhinged mind of its central character Alan (Anthony Steffen) who is mentally scarred when he finds his wife making love to a man. It’s a bender that sends him into an institution, but upon release his unstable condition is all too apparent when he hires red-haired prostitutes that remind him of his wife, to enact tortuous and murderous acts upon them as a form of warped revenge.

The twist in the tale however, comes when Alan attends a séance where the medium makes contact with Evelyn sending Alan spiralling downwards. It is here that Alan’s cousin George moves into the mansion to take care of him, but does he have an ulterior motive?

To add more oddity to the fold, Alan then meets Gladys (Marina Malfatti) he instantly falls for her charms (maybe a little too easily) and it is not long that they are wed and Gladys too moves into the mansion. Then the sinister nature of the movie takes hold again as Gladys begins to experience some further goings on at the mansion when she meets Evelyn’s brother and his invalid Aunt, who instantly take a dislike to Alan’s new bride. Gladys is convinced that Evelyn may have faked her own death, and is still alive haunting the mansion and sending Alan further into repression.

There are further twists and turns throughout the narrative like most giallos’ of the era before a conclusion is reached. As it unravels, the madness of the piece is on show and its convoluted plot never really awakens in the mind of this writer and leaves me a little unsatisfied as a result. Not nearly as clever or complex as other films in the Giallo genre, and a little more gratuitous for the sake of it. The ending tries to be smart and shocking but instead, it just leaves you feeling cold.

  • Saul Muerte