Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Night Evelyn Came out of the Grave (Italy, 1971)

The Night Evelyn Came out of the Grave is, in the grimy Sinema Diable release, marked as a must see for every euro-horror collector and I would agree. There is a certain EurotrashUtilityBelt approved aura about this film. It has the plot twists and requisite fiesty and busty eurogirls, but its hints towards knowledge of the Babalon Working and alchemical symbolism is something that I have yet to see noted by other commentators on this piece.

Lord Allen Cunnigham is a sick boy with a fascination for raising foxes and a deadly hankering for killing red headed hookers. His mental decline, hallucinations and obsessions drive the plot.

Allen can't seem to stay away from the flame-haired harlots and can't help himself to trick them into his lair.

Notice in their approach, a yet-to-be-illuminated All seeing Eye, the columns and the checkerboard- all part of the first degree Mason tracing board.

"You'll see dear, Polly'll make you happy..."

With money, many believe they can do what they will.

"But you must do as I ask. Here, put on these boots."

Two undercurrents of symbolism at work in this film are decidedly alchemical and christian ones. The name Evelyn is, of course, a version of Eve. Allen's (etymologically related to Adam) Cunningham's disturbed psyche springs out from his revelation of betrayal by his wife Evelyn on the grounds of his estate's Garden. The use of Genesis' symbolism doesn't end there, as a weaponized snake takes out a character in the garden. The one who pays the price is the one who was snooping for knowledge that he should not posses.

And now for some gratuitous booty...

"Evelyn" does have some fun and games too, especially with red-headed Erika Blanc and her coffin strip-tease. This scene is a memorable one in the history of ero/euro-trash cinema.

Yet even in this welcome display of the curvaceous female sexuality, we are subliminally treated to the death defying motif of the Third Degree Masonic tracing board, a rise from the coffin! See Indiana Jones and the Lost tracing Boards of Gnosis for more.

The Resolution of the Elements

Beyond the christian symbols, an elemental alchemy underscores the theme and I am definitely under the impression that Director Emilio P. Miraglia knew what he was dealing with. Miraglia's fixation on redheads leads to his employment of the 'Scarlett Woman' meme in "Evelyn's" story, recognizing the insatiable desire for the Fire which she embodies.

Note the likeness above between famed Babalon working vessel Marjorie Cameron and Gladys' (played by ice queen Marina Malfatti) hairdo when her and Allen's eyes first meet at the swinger party of his Cousin George.

Allen and Gladys have a nice roll in the hay that night and he proposes. They return to Allen's manor and encounter all sorts of maddening phenomena. As the plot grows more twisted, the All Seeing Eye is shown again, this time, illuminated.

Here we see another tracing board's symbols injected into the film, the Second Degree Mason board's use of the staircase - a descent from the staircase- and knowledge is returning to the world. (See the link to the Secret Sun's Lost Tracing Boards of Gnosis above.) This revelation signals Allen is beginning to catch on to the multitude of problems around him.

As stated previously, the overabundance of fire that the many redheads have brought to Allen's life have become too much for his sanity. It seems to me Allen himself with his dark hair and demeanor represents the element of Earth. Earth is easily overcome by fire but the surprising plot twists that occur in the last few minutes of this film culminate in an undeniable alchemical resolution, Allen is saved by the only element that can quench fire. What that element is and how it resolves Allen's imbalance is left for the viewer to find out.

There are a few other interesting moments for analysis in "The Night Evelyn Came out of the Grave", like the gypsy woman who led the seance in the beginning named Miranda (a nod to the beautiful Soledad Miranda?) and the encounter in the Garden with the Sacred Heart medallion that I will leave to more worthy researchers. (What was that thing and how come it followed Allen everywhere?) Apparently, director Emilio P. Miraglia disappeared after making 6 films and I wonder if his reluctance to do more films has anything to do with him fiddling around with people who are actually living an Allen Cunningham-like lifestyle. Maybe some fascist P2 Masons like Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi didn't want someone dishing out stories combining themes of hooker killing and Masonry together. Maybe they said "stop now or your life" and Miraglia listened. Who knows? So, with its dark setting, its symbolic manipulation and its intrigue, I recommend you check out The Night Evelyn Came Out of The Grave


Anonymous said...

The shots are simply horrible.
Please try to buy the DVD edition by NOSHAME and you'll simply re-discover the movie.

Sydney Familiar said...

THANKS for stopping by Anony, do you work for no shame or something? heh heh.