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Seven Blood-Stained Orchids
A rash of murders have been occurring with seemingly no connection other than the victims were all women and a half moon talisman was left behind at the scene. These killings catch up to fashion designer Mario (Antonio Sabato, Hate for Hate, Bronx Warriors, War of the Robots) and his newlywed bride, Julia, after she is attacked on their honeymoon. The murderer was interrupted and Julia survives, but the police decide to let the killer believe Julia was killed. While the police hone their attention on a single unlikely suspect, Mario and Julia begin investigating on their own to see if she has some connection to the other women. What they uncover is a lingering thread between seven women registered at a hotel five years prior and a mysterious American who had a keychain with the same talisman.
Gerne director Umberto Lenzi (Man from Deep River, The Cynic the Rat & the Fist, City of the Walking Dead, Make Them Die Slowly) helmed this stylish and effective giallo. It features the typical conventions of the genre, a black gloved killer, P.O.V. stalking shots, exotic beauties as the victims who are offed in various ways, and a civilian with personal motives at the heart of the investigation after the killer. Lenzi has some clever direction, including some great little touches of misdirection to keep viewers on their toes. It is no Black Cat or Don't Torture a Duckling. It never really veers from the giallo formula, but the murders are inventive, the story moves well, and the protagonists are good, so it is an entertaining enough addition in the genre.
The DVD: Media Blasters
Picture: Anamorphic Widescreen. Well, time isn't kind. The print shows some wear, an uneven contrast flicker here and there, but nothing too bad. The print is largely free of any dirt or spots, and considering the films age, color and sharpness are in very good shape. It is a bit cleaner than some of Anchor Bays Giallo Collection prints. Appears to have some minor artifacts in a scene or two but it'll probably take an eagle eye to spot, and your eye will probably be too busy soaking in Lenzi's strong use of color.
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono. The dub has some age wear, little bits of hiss in the background sometimes but the distortions never become too apparent, doesn't override the dialogue, and is always deep in the background. Driven by bass, flute, and organ tinkerings, the lounge jazzy score is full of 70's charm.
Extras: Chapter Selections--- Liner Notes--- Trailers for Eaten Alive, Spasmo and Seven Blood-Stained Orchids--- Art Gallery (1 min) of Italian lobby cards for the film.--- Interviews with actress Gabriella Giorgelli (2:53) and director Umberto Lenzi (7:31). A little brief (especially since when asked what he thinks about the film, Lenzi then just gives long synopsis of the film as his answer) but informative.
Conclusion: For fans of the genre, this is a very solid thriller with some admirable visuals and a plot that never drags. It doesnt break the mold but it delivers. The transfer is good and the extras are okay, making it a recommended purchase for a fan or the curious.