9 February 2008 | ferbs54
A Fun If Middling Giallo
"Seven Blood-Stained Orchids" (1971) is a middling, fairly goreless giallo from director Umberto Lenzi that should just manage to please fans of this genre. In it, a hunky-dude designer, played by Antonio Sabato in a one-note performance, investigates when his pretty fiancée becomes the latest target of yet another Italian serial killer. With the help of this fiancée, appealingly played by German actress Uschi Glass, the couple realizes that all previous murder victims had stayed at the same countryside hotel several years before. But will this bit of knowledge enable them to save future targets of the killer? And why does this homicidal whack job insist on leaving crescent-moon medallions (NOT half-moon, as widely reported elsewhere!) at the site of his slayings? The film, as you may have discerned, tells an interesting story, with a twisty, slightly confusing plot that does ultimately manage to hang together. Lenzi has directed his film in a competent, no-nonsense manner, while the picture's score, from Riz Ortolani, is alternately somber, cool, menacing and lovely. The film's killer utilizes many expedients to off his victims, including beating, drowning, strangulation and--in a scene that should please most gorehounds--a power drill, and this many years before similar nut cases picked up their Black & Deckers in films such as "The Tool Box Murders," "The Driller Killer" and "The Slumber Party Massacre." Several scenes are indeed quite suspenseful, such as the ones with the poisoned kitties and the female mental patient. Shriek Show is to be thanked for this fine-looking DVD (sadly, with no subtitles) of a film never before released in the U.S. Oh...one other thing. Do NOT watch the film's trailer before viewing this picture. Amazingly, it reveals the killer's identity not once but several times! Talk about spoilers!