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Queens of Evil / Il delitto del diavolo (Tonino Cervi, 1971)

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Just received an out of print Italian VHS of this film and to my delight, yes I'm well chuffed, it's widescreen and looks fantastic in comparison the the previous version I'd seen via the old Hokushin pre-cert VHS. Here's some grabs from the Italian vid and my review written a few years ago... I'll be dubbing the Italian VHS into English asap.


“Just because we live in the middle of the woods doesn’t mean we don’t know the latest styles…”

Queens of Evil  (1971) aka Il Delitto del Diavolo

Dir. Tonino Cervi.

Starring Ray Lovelock, Silvia Monti, Haidee Politoff and Evelyn Stewart (Ida Galli).

After a day spent riding his motorbike through the sunny countryside David (Ray Lovelock) finds himself alone on a foggy road in the middle of the night. Cruising through the mist he encounters a mysterious old man whose Rolls Royce has broken down. Naturally he stops to help and ends up changing the old guys flat tyre, not batting an eyelid as the well dressed man rips into him about his appearance “You look like a tramp” the old man says. “Maybe that's how I want to look” he replies coolly. As soon as the new tyre is on the old guy is on his way, but not before secretly puncturing one of David’s tyres. Fixing the puncture as quick as he can David then races after the Rolls. As he draws near the car crashes into a tree, the old man dying instantly. Not wanting to stick around too long he makes a hasty exit and heads down a rough track into some woods, where he finds an old shed to bunk down in for the night.
To his surprise, and delight, he is woken the next morning by a beautiful young woman in a see-through dress who lives in the house adjacent; to make things even better there’s two more beautiful girls living there as well! All three invite him in for breakfast, an offer which he obviously accepts. Inside the house, which like the Tardis is mysteriously much larger inside than it looks from the outside, the décor is an amazing 70’s love pad, resplendent in huge floor cushions, funky light fittings and gigantic floor to ceiling photographs of each of the girls. Breakfast consists, bizarrely, of great big chocolate cakes and David being rather hungry tucks in as if it’s the first meal he’s had for days. After stuffing his face he decides he’s outstayed his welcome and bids the girls farewell but as he starts off out the door a strange urge compels him to return and he finds he’s unable to leave.
The girls, almost siren like, seem to draw him in. Needless to say strange things are afoot. The three girls proceed to manipulate David and mess with his head. Every time he tries to leave he always returns to the house, whether he wants to or not. Falling deeper and deeper under their spell David is seduced by each of the girls and succumbs to bizarre dreams featuring strange symbolism and nightmarish imagery. Why are they doing this to him and what fate awaits? Only the strange owner of the nearby castle (who bears more than a passing resemblance to the supposedly dead old man…) has the answers and they’re all going to a party there very soon…    
A fairy tale for grown ups ‘Queens of Evil’ is like some kind of far out hybrid of 'Hansel and Gretel', 'Rosemary’s Baby' and 'The Wicker Man' all shot with the unmistakable panache and style of  the best of 70’s Italian cinema. All the leads are great with Ray Lovelock turning in a fine effort as the wayward hippy (and even singing the Bob Dylanesque theme tune over the opening and closing credits!). The three ladies (Silvia Monti, Haidee Politoff and Evelyn Stewart) are stunning, if I found these three in a remote house in the woods I wouldn’t want to leave either! With excellent period sets, a typically 70’s soundtrack, gorgeous women, a handsome leading man and weird supernatural shenanigans this is a gem of a movie and deserves to be tracked down and watched or indeed re-mastered and released on DVD

Fantastic news sir, I'd be really curious to know if it runs longer than the UK version...

I just timed them both and the Italian VHS is 10 seconds longer. The UK VHS might be shorter due to print damage or it could be cut, I'll find out when I do the dubbing.

Stephen Grimes:
Looks lovely Jonny,really looking forward to this Italian version as it's one of my favorite films.
I've got the original Japanese cinema program on the way soon which i'll post here.
Btw was there a booklet included with the tape?

Unfortunately no booklet. Still chuffed with the tape though, looks miles better than I thought it would. Good sound on the Italian track too, when I do the dub I'll do an optional Italian or English track.


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