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Lord Alan Cunningham is the central antagonist in the 1971 giallo film The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave. Cunningham is a nobleman and a sadistic serial killer later targeted by the supposed risen spirit of his dead wife he wanted to murder, presumably to get revenge for his vendetta.

He was portrayed by the late Anthony Steffen.

Biography

Lord Alan caught his wife, Lady Evelyn Cunningham, having an affair with another man, causing Alan's resulting mental breakdown to land him in an insane asylum. When Evelyn died, Alan was released, but he could never get over his failed revenge to personally kill Evelyn himself. As such, Alan would lure sex worker with red hair, the same color as Evelyn's hair, to his home to torture them to death before disposing of their remains.

Alan attends a seance where Evelyn is apparently contacted, causing Alan to be horrified enough to black out and faint from loss of consciousness. When he wakes up, he's greeted by his cousin and heir, George Harriman, who offers to Alan staying at his mansion for mental recovery. While there, Alan goes to a strip club with George, ending up trying to lure another stripper, Susan. Susan escapes Alan and runs for her life, only to disappear shortly after.

When George recommends a marriage to a woman looking similar to Evelyn, Alan moves to London and meets Gladys, whom he marries. Evelyn's brother Farley and Alan's aunt Agatha, who is disabled and yet still staffed at Alan's mansion, are brought to live with Alan and Gladys. Gladys is unnerved by paranormal experiences at the house and Farley and Agatha giving her the cold shoulder.

Alan is unnerved when Gladys believes Evelyn faked her death, and Alan becomes more unhinged after the murders of Agatha and Farley. When Alan believes he sees Evelyn's risen corpse in his bedroom ready to take him to the grave with her, he has a complete psychotic breakdown again and is once again institutionalized. Gladys and George later celebrate at the mansion, revealing they arranged the haunting scam and killed Farley and Agatha to collect Alan's full inheritance while he rots in a padded cell.

Susan, the escaped stripper, is revealed to be the Evelyn impersonator by George's hiring. George brags to Gladys how Susan poisoned her champagne so he can have the inheritance to himself. Gladys kills Susan in a struggle before the poison does her in and she dies. Then, Richard Timberlane, Alan's first doctor, appears in front of George.

Alan appears after him and reveals he played along with every crime and let it all happen to reveal the conspiracy. George tries to fight his way through an escape, but he knocks sulfur fertilizer into a mansion pool and falls in, where George suffers horrific acidic burns before being fished out and arrested. Ala then smugly gloats in silence over getting away with his own crimes.

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