★★.5 out of ★★★★★
The Worms Are Waiting!
Ok…movie poster aside — which I’m always a super-sucker for — The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave — is a pretty solid joint. Spoiler Alert: there’s no worms in this film. Taking us all the way back to 1971, Italian director Emilio Miraglia really captures that confusing transitional period between the love generation and the darker and less forgiving Black Sabbath generation. His locations are really impressive and, in fact, I think U.S. horror movies would be a lot scarier if had an extra 500 years of history complete with more mausoleum and castles. His soundtrack is plumb groovy — as you’d expect. His choice in actors and actresses ain’t half bad either. While Miraglia didn’t spend too much time in this genre he seems to “get it.” The only other joint of his I could find was The Red Queen Kills Seven Times, and well, that’s for another day.
The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave begins with Alan. A super-wealthy, super-handsome, and, it turns out, super-crazy young ne’er-do-well. He splits from a nut-house and we come to learn that Alan’s got a thing for the ladies. Not just any ladies, redheads, and not just redhead, but redheads that look like his deceased wife! Apparently, Alan has recently lost his wife (yep. Evelyn) and he can’t get over her wicked redheaded ways.
Alan’s family and friends gently and weirdly cajole him in to finding redheads that he can cavort with and KILL. I mean who doesn’t want friends that actively encourage you to go out and kill redheads that look like your recently deceased wife. Or are these really his friends, and do they really have Alan’s well being in mind? To really push Alan in to the void his cousin Farley hires a stripper-y-stripper who looks like Evelyn returning from the grave. Showing up in the garden, showing up in the conservatory (because who doesn’t have a groovy conservatory), showing up around the estate, Alan just can’t get Evelyn (the stripper look-alike) out of his ever-redhead-loving mind.
His groady-greedy cousin, Farley, eventually turns everyone against everyone. The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave culminates with a healthy dose of stab, stab, and stab. Has Farley won? Not so fast. Alan does have one friend, the dashing psychiatrist who treated him during his first crack-up. Dr. Dashing gives Alan a hand in exposing the lurid Farley. The two chase him out of the estate and on the estate grounds. A ne’er-do-well fist-fight ensues (think the opposite of Bruce Willis in Die Hard), Farley gets pushed in the estate pool and Alan just happens to have a twin bed-sized bag of sulphuric acid. Alan picks up that bad boy and Farley gets sizzled like a bag-o’-chicken fingers! Alan and Dr. Dashing walk off into a 1970s lens-flared sunset. Roll credits!
The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave offers tons of super-goofy 1970s paisley-soaked scenes, but in spite of it’s expiration date, it’s really not half-bad. If you’re looking for that perfect way to roil in everything that 1971 had to offer, then The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave is for you. If not, well…there’s always Blood Orgy of the She-Devils.