Not only one of the best and most original giallo, it’s also one of the most confusing. It’s about Lord Alan Cunningham (played by Anthony Steffen), a disturbed playboy millionaire who is traumatized by the death of his previous marriage to a woman named Evelyn, who apparently was also kind of abusive and nuts. He kidnaps women, redheads like his Evelyn, and beats and tortures them in his own private dungeon. This is the plot for the first 45 minutes, until he meets Gladys (Marina Malfatti), a beautiful blonde for whom he falls in love with at first sight. Then it all changes into a traditional thriller/giallo as the body count rises around Alan’s known acquaintances. Look like somebody’s after his fortune.
This is a thriller disguised as a horror movie. It’s also a very confusing one, since our ‘hero’ is actually a morally corrupt murderer who is deeply disturbed and murders redheads. Thankfully, all of this makes it an engaging and interesting film. Visually the film is very interesting, with the production design being very gothic and rural. I also like the fact that all the maids look alike, with blonde afros. The acting is pretty good. Anthony Steffen always was good at playing psychos, and here is no exception. Also to be seen is Giacomo Rossi-Stuart as Dr. Timberlane. You might remember him from the Vincent Price vehicle The Last Man On Earth. But last but not least, Eric Blanc, the beautiful gap-toothed redhead from the early 70’s Italian horror cinema, appears as one of the redhead victims of Mr. Cunningham. She was a tall, statuesque amazon, best remembered for films like The Devil’s Nightmare where she played a sexy succubus. There’s also plenty of nudity, just in case you wondered. Hell, every actress gets naked.
Make sure you get this on the double-DVD case with Emilio Miraglia’s other giallo, The Red Queen Kills Seven Times.