Sunday, October 15, 2006

Black Belly of the Tarantula

Black Belly of the Tarantula
Original Title; Tarantola dal ventre Nero, La
by; Paolo Cavara, France / Italy, 1971

Giallo / Thriller / Mystery, 98 min
Distributed by: Blue Underground

A crazed murderer is stalking poor young women. His method of death is that he first paralyses his victims by stabbing an acupuncture needle into the back of their necks. This makes them paralysed so that they get to watch themselves being murdered. Inspector Tellini [Giancarlo Giannini] is put on the case, but the killings are too much for him and he just wants to quit the force and spend time with his wife Anna [Stefania Sandrelli]. Determined to make this latest string of murders his last case, Tellini starts chasing down the maniac.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, there's nothing that beats a good giallo, the impressive craftsmanship that goes into these movies are what make them true wonders of seventies/eighties Italian cinema in my opinion. Never mind how much scriptwriters and directors spice up their stories with great average actors, over the top effects, sleazy sidetracks, frequent nudity and funky jazz scores, it always the camera man and his lust to create great art with his shots and his lighting in this case it being Marcello Gatti [The Battle of Algiers 1966]. I love these movies, because there's some sort of art house thriller feel going on all the time. Black Belly of the Tarantula is one of those movies that has got a great reputation. Probably due to the facts that there's three "hot" euro babes in bit parts, who all have been in Bond movies. Claudine Auger [Thunderball 1965], Barbara Bouchet [Casino Royale 1967], and Barbara Bach [The Spy Who Loved Me 1977], and the great look and style of the movie. The story is great with loads of the themes you come to expect from a decent giallo - nudity, gloved killer, wild plot twists, annoying "I think I know who the murderer is, let's talk tomorrow" scenes which work as an indicator for certain death, hidden clues in photographs, red herrings to keep you on the wrong track as you try unfold the plot which is full of mind bending twists that will make you gasp. Giancarlo Gianninni is great as the frustrated cop trying to stop the killer in his tracks and balancing his rocky marriage at the same time. A definite must see giallo with a pumping Morricone soundtrack to keep the flow going.

Widescreen 16:9 with English subtitles.

This Blue Underground release sticks out a bit further than the other titles in their Giallo collection as this one has an English and Italian soundtrack, both of them on Dolby Digital 2.0 mono.

Sometimes just a good movie isn't enough to satisfy all your giallo extra needs, Blue Underground have added an interview with Lorenzo Danon, the theatrical trailer, and a TV spot. Not much for a great movie to be accompanied by.

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