The Film (4/5)
Umberto Lenzi was truly a master director in all genres. The man during his career could make a film in any genre of film, and make it not just quality, but entertaining, and he did this with zombie films (Nightmare City), cannibal films (Cannibal Ferox), Poliziotteschi (Rome Armed to the Teeth), and giallo thrillers such as the January Code Red/Kino release Seven Blood-Stained Orchids.
Oddly, Lenzi was not as well known for his gialli as many of his contemporaries like Argento and Martino, but the quality of his output in the genre was top-notch making such fare as Knife of Ice, Paranoia, and Eyeball that were as excellent at times as anything else in the coming out at the time. This tradition of excellence continues with the director's Seven Blood-Stained Orchids.
Seven Blood-Stained Orchids follows the exploits of the "Half-Moon" Killer known as such, because of the crescent moon pendant he leaves on the bodies of his victims. These victims are all women, who have seemingly nothing at all in common, and this lack of commonality is causing problems for the police as he is leaving no evidence to trace him behind. That is until his attempted murder of Giulia (Uschi Glas) during a train ride with her fiancé, Mario. She survives, and is soon able to figure out something she has in common with the other victims.
The film is pretty much a text book example of a post-Bird with the Crystal Plumage giallo, but it's fun. The story has nice interesting quirks to it, and Lenzi brings some nice visual flourishes to the film. The cast is populated with some genre stalwarts like Antonio Sabato (Escape from the Bronx) and Marisa Mell (Danger: Diabolik). There are some solid scenes of violence sure to please genre fans, and an odd score by Riz Ortolani, that appears to be at least partially made up of queues from other films he was involved with.
Code Red/Kino present Seven Blood-Stained Orchids in a splendid 2:35:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer. Everything looks quite solid here with nice organic textures, and detail, and lush gorgeous colors well represented, and solid blacks.
Audio chores are handled with DTS-HD mono tracks in English and Italian. There are optional English subtitles set for the English audio. The audio sounds just fine with no issues detected.
We get a solid and informative commentary by film historian Troy Howarth. there is also a new interview with Umberto Lenzi filmed just before his death. Following on from that there is an archival interview with Lenzi, and one with actress Gabriella Giorgelli. There is also a still gallery, and theatrical trailer.
Seven Blood-Stained Orchids is another fine giallo from director Umberto Lenzi. The Blu-ray from Code Red/Kino Lorber looks and sounds quite excellent, and has quite a nice slate of extras. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.