Seven Blood Stained Orchids (1972)
Sette orchidee macchiate di rosso
Roberto Gianviti screenplay
Paul Hengge credited on German prints
Umberto Lenzi screenplay
Umberto Lenzi story
Edgar Wallace story (uncredited in italian version)
Cornell Woolrich novel Rendezvous in Black (uncredited)
Lamberto Palmieri producer
Antonio Sabato – Mario
Uschi Glas – Giulia (as Uschi Glass)
Pier Paolo Capponi – Inspector Vismara
Rossella Falk – Elena Marchi
Marina Malfatti – Kathy Adams
Renato Romano – The Priest
Claudio Gora – Raffaele Ferri
Gabriella Giorgelli – Inez Tamborini
Aldo Barberito – Lt. Palumbo
Bruno Corazzari – Barrett
Franco Fantasia – Lt. Renzi
Petra Schürmann – Concetta di Rosa
Ivano Davoli –
Linda Sini – Juanda
Nello Pazzafini – Raoul
Carla Mancini – Anna’s maid
Enzo Andronico – Hotel Porter
Fulvio Mingozzi – Agent
Nestore Cavaricci –
Marisa Mell – Anna Sartori & Maria Sartori
Review by Sven Soetemans
All hail Umberto Lenzi!!,
These Italian horror directors never cease to surprise their fans, don’t you agree? No matter how notorious they are for extremely gore and gut-munching films, they nearly always started out with genuinely creepy and well-plotted gialli! Lucio Fulci has his “Don’t Torture a Duckling”, Dario Argento initially made “The Bird with Crystal Plumage” and even Umberto Lenzi, infamous for his nasty and downright repulsive cannibal flicks like “Cannibal Ferox”, “Nightmare City” and “Eaten Alive” stunned us with the delicious Giallo “Seven Blood Stained Orchids”.
THIS is the kind of horror that reminds my why I love the genre so much!
“Seven Blood Stained Orchids” (the title alone is exciting) stands for mystery and suspense from start to finish, atmospherically filmed by Lenzi and provided with a chilling musical score by Riz Ortolani (Cannibal Holocaust).
The idea is based on an Edgar Wallace novel and tells the unbelievable, yet truly intriguing story of a black-gloved murderer with seven beautiful women on his hit list. Initially it seems that there’s absolutely no relation between all these women and the only thing that brings them together is the symbol of a half moon, which the anonymous killer leaves behind on their bodies as a trademark.
After a few murders, the police still know absolutely nothing about the identity or the possible motives of this madman so one of the victims’ fiance starts his own investigation. The killer believes his third target is dead but she survived the knife-attack and she even begins to remember what the seven girls might have in common… The story is complex and every new clue or plot twist comes as a complete surprise to the main characters as well as to you, the viewer. No matter how badly you attempt to unravel the mystery before Mario does, you’re in the dark about this dangerous madman as much as anyone else. A constant high-tension level and a solid premise are Lenzi’s biggest trumps here, since the movie is pretty low on budget and scenery.
The actual murders are a bit tame but suggestive enough and the bonus for patient gore-fanatics comes near the end, when an unfortunate girl is literally drilled to death. The thing I like most about gialli is that they’re beautiful to look at and nearly always handled with an unusually large amount of style and elegance. Even though you wouldn’t give it to him considering his vicious reputation, Umberto Lenzi also proves himself to be a master in this as “Seven Blood Stained Orchids” contains several, downright beautiful sequences.
Although it has to be said that the cast also contributes a great deal to the beauty-element. All seven women come close to being goddesses, especially Marisa Mell who even plays two roles! Italy-cult freaks will definitely remember this girl from Mario Bava’s psychedelic masterpiece “Danger: Diabolik!”. This film is a must for everyone who ever showed interest in undiscovered horror highlights. This belongs to the category of films that truly define the brilliance and range of horror.