"Seven Blood-Stained Orchids"

Seven Blood-Stained Orchids (1971) has never had a US release of any kind until the new DVD I screened. If I said it was a Giallo, and a good one, you would get the idea, but that wouldn't be technically accurate. It was written and directed by Umberto Lenzi, who got the idea from his favorite US mystery writer from the 50's, William Irish. My education did not include this author, but after some Web research, I've decided it should have.

CORNELL WOOLRICH (aka William Irish and George Hopley) 1903-1968

Despite the fact that he will probably be forever remembered as the author of Rear Window, one of Alfred Hitchcock's most famous films, Cornell Woolrich, to mystery aficionados is the father of noir. Born in 1903 in New York City, he spent most of his childhood in revolutionary Mexico with his father who was an engineer. He studied journalism at Columbia University but left rather soon when his fiction became profitable. He wrote six novels in the manner of Scott Fitzgerald that met with tepid success. After a disastrous marriage (it was annulled when his bride found his secret diary of his homosexual escapades) and unsuccessful career as scriptwriter, he went to live with his mother in New York. His first mystery, The Bride Wore Black (1940) is the classic noir and one of the major books of the genre. More followed - especially short stories - with the characteristic that readers were never sure if the ending was going to be a happy one or a sad one. This is probably why Alfred Hitchcock and many other film makers were so attracted to his work. Woolrich is one of the most "filmed" mystery authors with Rear Window as prime example. He had much to do with the inspiration for Twilight Zone as well. He lived most of his life secluded, especially after he had his leg amputated following an untreated foot infection. Woolrich died in 1968.

Most of his work was what was popularly called pulp fiction, published in 10 cent paperbacks, but he has been the inspiration for many films. His "It Had to be Murder" became Hitchcock's Rear Window. In this case, it was his "Rendezvous in Black" that gave Lenzi the idea for Seven Blood-Stained Orchids (Sette orchidee macchiate di rosso). For more biographical information, click here. To call him colorful would be an understatement.

So, the first problem with calling this a Giallo is that it is not based on an Italian mystery, but rather on an American suspense thriller. The second problem is that it is a joint German/Italian production. Those familiar with Lenzi's more typical gore-fests will be amazed that he directed this well balanced thriller. Sure there is some gore and some nudity, but neither is excessive, and, in fact, some of the murders actually take place off camera. Each murder is by a different method, including the first use of an electric drill as a murder weapon.

Women turn up dead, and each has an amulet placed in her hand. One of the intended victims is recently married, and her husband sets out to solve the mystery. Clearly, if he finds the connection among the murdered women, it will help him learn the identity of the murderer. As I am recommending this film highly, I won't give away any more plot, other than to say that the murders are caused by a death a year and a half before the murders start. Thus, there is a logical motive for the killer, rather than resorting to the "it is a random insane serial killer" cliche. Set design is very nice, it is a Widescreen film with an excellent transfer, and even the dubbing is tolerable, compared to the usual in Italian films. Recent interviews are included on the DVD with Lenzi, and actress Gabriella Giorgelli. From the Where are they Now? notebook, see Giorgelli image 19 for a look at her in the recent interview. Her most recent credit at IMDB is from 1999. Her 37 year career gives her 63 credits.

Giorgelli, despite playing a nearly cameo role as a hooker who is murdered, has the best exposure, with many shots of her breasts, and most of her buns in panties. Marina Malfatti shows breasts as another victim, in what is one of the eerier scenes in the film, where she is surrounded by poisoned and dying pet cats as the killer is stalking her in her apartment. Several unknowns also show breasts at a party. IMDB readers have this at 6.7 of 10. No reviews are available, but IMDB comments are highly favorable. This is a timeless mystery thriller in the Hitchcock tradition, and is presented in a beautiful transfer for the first time in the US. Even if you generally dislike Giallo, you may well like this one. B-.

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  • Gabriella Giorgelli (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)
  • Marina Malfatti (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  • Unknown (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)


    The Outsider (2002- TV)

    The Outsider is a small-budget Western. It stars not one but two Carradines and Tim Daly, facts which should fix its place in the hierarchy for you. IMDb says it was made for TV.

    Naomi Watts stars as a Quaker wife whose community is quietly, decently raising sheep on land that they legally homesteaded.

    I don't have to tell you the next bit. Same as always. Mr. Rich Cattleman tears down all their fences to run his cattle, and insists that the land is his and has always been his, since his great grandpappy worked it in the time of the Caesars. The cattle baron and his gang of roughnecks then proceed to shoot a bunch of sheep, whereupon Mr Cattleman offers to buy the farm from Naomi's husband. The husband refuses, Mr Cattleman strings him up as a cattle thief, and Naomi is left as a helpless widow with a small boy and a bunch of sheep. The Cattle Dude figures that Naomi must sell to him at that point.

    Now I don't have to tell you that the plot supplies a convenient deus ex machina to save the day for her, but I do have to tell you precisely what it is. Tim Daly is the world's greatest gunslinger, fastest gun in the West, and he is wandering around dazed and injured somewhere on Naomi's land.

    We now return to the regularly scheduled parts that I don't need to tell you about. She nurses him back to health, and ....  Well, as I said, you know the rest.

    Tim Daly and Naomi Watts are surprisingly good in this movie, but there was nothing they could have done to overcome the script, and it is way, way, way too long (119 minutes) for a film with nary an original thought

    There was some good news:

    • Daly has a painting somewhere that is aging in his place. He was 46 years old here, and looks 10 years younger.
    • Watts took off her shirt briefly, first time since Mulholland Drive, I think (1, 2)




    IMHO Jenny Agutter had one of the great nude careers.  I first saw her in 'The Railway Children' - a popular kids film here in England - in which she removes her red bloomers to wave at a train in order to make it stop before it hits an obstruction (no exposure alas) and it was a few years before I saw her in 'Walkabout' when - WHAMMO - she's full frontal.  What I didn't appreciate at the time was that she made Walkabout before she made Railway Children (and IIRC, she was 16 when she made Walkabout).

    After that, she seemed to have a near clean sweep of nude appearances, at least in her movies which intruded into my dim, teenaged consciousness: Logan's Run, Equus, American Werewolf etc.

    I live in Chelsea and about ten years ago I was sitting at a street cafe, reading the paper and drinking cappuccino, when she came and sat at the next table with her small child.  I remember thinking then that I hadn't seen her in anything recently.

    However, she did pop up in a lead role on a British TV drama serial about MI5 recently.  The series was a pile of crap and I only watched one or two episodes, but she is still in good shape and clearly hasn't given up acting.


    The Snapper

    Note: Snapper's point about Walkabout is quite correct. The film was released after Agutter's 18th birthday, but was filmed when she was 16. If memory serves, director Nick Roeg, the old satyr, offered her the role when she was 13 or 14!!

    Scoop: Hey, I have a question that has been bugging me for the past few years as I have never seen the answer on any edition of the fun house I've read for the past 2-3 years, so hopefully you or someone else (namely Graphic Response, who did some collages) can answer my question(s) and satisfy my curiosity and help me out.
    Here goes, The movie The Presidio (1988) with Meg Ryan has 2 sex scenes (the one with nudity in it is the second one) and both versions of the film I have watched (a rental from 1989 and my personal DVD version) have both scenes omitted and edited out and slightly different takes in the first scene before the cut (the first about the 30 minute mark and the second approximately at the 1 hour mark). So here are my questions.  Where did Graphic Response get a copy of those scenes? (The ones he made his avi file/captures from) What version of the tape/DVD is available with these included?  And for what reason were those scenes deleted from the US home market versions? (Did Meg Ryan ask for them to be removed? Did director Peter Hyams remove them himself? Or did the studio take them out of the movie?)  I'd like to know if anyone has any idea of the circumstances/reasons behind this.

    Since Paramount has a nasty habit of doing this with a lot of their films and not including deleted scenes on their DVD releases. (e.g. The Presidio, Mission Impossible, MI:2, and Payback). I could also ask the same question of the DVD release of Mission Impossible, Tom Cruise's love scene with Emanuelle Beart was omitted as well. (That is clearly shown in the movie trailer included on the disc, and that I also remember seeing on the VHS/Cable versions as well) so again why did Paramount take it upon themselves to omit this from the movie when the scene was in previous versions of the film?  Can anyone answer this either? Or have insight into why it is done?
    The main reason I bought the DVD version to begin with was for that scene and much to my disappointment after watching the film and seeing both scenes were omitted, I was shocked and saddened to see they were not there. So I come to you Scoop, I need to see if you, Graphic Response, or any of the other fun house readers can answer my question(s). I'll be interested in what you have to say, thanks for your help.

    I'm no help at all on this one. If anyone knows anything about the Presidio, or his other questions, please tell us all. I do have a good non-verbal response, however. Here is an additional capture of Ryan's nude scene in The Presidio, from Palrune.

    Scoop: JILL NICOLINI (Married by America) was in the Playboy Cyber club special editions.  From that page:

    "Jill Nicolini heated up the pages of Special Editions' fall 2001 College Girls issue. In February, she won the title of Miss Long Island 2002. But rather than accept the numerous rules of the pageant -- not to mention negative reactions to her Playboy pictorial -- Jill relinquished her crown. We're glad Jill stood up for her freedom of expression. And we're happy to bring you exclusive photos -- including some never-before-published images -- from Jill's College Girls photo shoot. You can see the full story on"

    Many thanks



    Other crap:

    What're the odds?


    Odds to win the 2003 Dubai Desert Classic Emirates Golf Club, Dubai, UAE Mar 06 - Mar 09, 2003.
    Closing Date: Mar 06, 2003 00:00.

    Ernie Els is not complaining - Tiger withdrew from the tournament, Sergio and Lefty are not playing. Els is now an overwhelming favorite.

    Bet Selections Win Odds
    Ernie Els 9/4
    Padraig Harrington 10/1
    Trevor Immelman 10/1
    Darren Clarke 10/1
    Thomas Björn 25/1
    Robert Karlsson 33/1
    Paul McGinley 33/1
    Bradley Dredge 33/1
    Arjun Atwal 38/1
    Ian Woosnam 40/1


    Here are the latest movie reviews available at

    • The yellow asterisks indicate that I wrote the review, and am deluded into thinking it includes humor.
    • If there is a white asterisk, it means that there isn't any significant humor, but I inexplicably determined there might be something else of interest.
    • A blue asterisk indicates the review is written by Tuna (or Lawdog or Junior or C2000 or Realist or ICMS or Mick Locke, or somebody else besides me)
    • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

    Graphic Response
    • Pam Grier the blacksploitation Queen topless in scenes from "Friday Foster" (1975).

    Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website.

    Zenguru's latest Runway models showing skin while workin' it on the catwalk.

    Jessica Miller
    (1, 2)

    Two topless scans of the model by Blackshine.

    Jennifer Love Hewitt
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    Very tight shirts and terrific cleavage from the Jackie Chan movie "The Tuxedo". Vidcaps by DeadLamb.

    Barbara Niven
    Seidy Lopez
    (1, 2, 3)

    Vidcaps by Vejiita from the movie "Depraved" (1996). Niven looks great topless in the tub, and Lopez bares breasts and bum.

    Teri Polo
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    The co-star of "Meet the Parents" topless and showing a little rear nudity in scenes from "Quick" (1993) starring one of our heroes, Jeff Fahey! Vidcaps by Señor Skin.

    Julie Brown
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

    Not the "Down Town" version, but rather the comedienne. Here she is topless and baring her bum in scenes from "Bloody Birthday" (1981). Thanks to MaSH for the 'caps.

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    Oh, Please! - There's yet another Michael Jackson expose, this one by Maureen Orth of Vanity Fair. Among its claims: that Jackson paid six figures to a voodoo doctor for a cleansing bath with sheep's blood and $150,000 to another for a voodoo death curse on 25 enemies, including David Geffen and Steven Spielberg. It involved sacrificing 42 cows...That Michael is $240 million in debt, Neverland costs $4 million a year to maintain, and the amusement park rides were nearly repossessed in 2001...And that Michael wears a prosthetic nose tip and without it, he looks like a mummy with two nostril holes in his face.

  • Tell us something we don't know!
  • He does look more like a mummy than a daddy.
  • Michael's deep in debt because he practices voodoo economics.
  • The curse didn't work too well. The only thing that died was 42 cows...And he had no beef with them.
  • He's deep in debt because his health insurance doesn't cover voodoo doctor bills.

    World's Sexiest Man: Al Jolson - Forget about bulging muscles and big breasts: Prof. Michael Cunningham of the University of Louisville, Kentucky, found that couples are attracted by the size of each other's lips. In a 15-year study, he found that women are attracted to men with medium-sized, sensual but not-too-feminine lips, while men like full, red, warm lips on women. He said that it's possible for lips to be too big and become unattractive, but "generally speaking, big is better than small."

  • Then why do men complain when women have big mouths?
  • So if Angelina Jolie and Mick Jagger had a kid, it would be the sexiest person in the world!
  • Big, red lips...That's what makes Carol Channing so unbelievably sexy!
  • Instead of putting five pounds of silicone into your breasts, inject it into your lips.