The Red Queen Kills 7 Times – Curses!

Country: Italy
Genre: Giallo/ Suspense
Director: Emilio Miraglia
Year: 1972

Rating: ★★★☆☆

TRASH CINEMA RECOMMENDED MOVIE

Is The Red Queen Kills 7 Times scary? No. Suspenseful? Nah. Horrifying? Nope. Funny? You bet.

The Red Queen Kills 7 Times starts out like a straight Gothic horror tale. After young girls Kitty and Evelyn Wildenbrück come to blows over a doll, Grandpa Wildenbrück tells the story of a curse that has been laid on the castle where they live (an actual castle, mind you).

Centuries ago, two sisters lived in the castle. They hated one another with a passion. The blonde sister killed the brunette sister. But then the brunette sister’s ghost came back and killed six innocent people before killing her sister in revenge, always wearing a red cape. Hence the title of the movie. But that isn’t the end of the story. Every hundred years, history repeats itself.

So, going in, we already know what the story will be. One sister will kill the other and then people will start getting killed by someone wearing a red cape. The only questions that remain are how and why.

This being Italy in the early 70s, we can exclude any supernatural explanations. Europe at the time was studiously non superstitious, if not always rational.

The killings aren’t particularly horrifying. The mystery isn’t intriguing. There is little suspense to speak of. The mystery is resolved by a burst of exposition as ridiculous as it is far fetched. In short, The Red Queen Kills 7 Times doesn’t work as a thriller in the usual way.

So, why am I recommending it at all?

Basically, the only reason to watch The Red Queen Kills 7 Times is if you find the Italian culture of the early 70s amusing. Even though The Red Queen Kills 7 Times is a thriller, the music is consistently jaunty and cheerful. There’s gorgeous Italian women and acres of skin. The police inspector investigating the crimes talks with his hands and spouts arias of colorful language. The mileau, set in an Italian fashion company, is a lot of fun. The females are bitchy and wanton. The men are vain, rutting dogs. The killings are often amusing. Oh, and the Queen, each time she offs someone, lets out a cackle which witnesses describe as bone chilling. Yeah, sure.

The Red Queen Kills 7 Times is camp done right, which is to say that nobody involved in the picture realized they were making a comedy.

If that sounds like your sort of thing, have fun. Just don’t expect a conventionally good movie.

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