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The Black Belly of the Tarantula (1972)

Cast: Silvano Tranquilli, Silvano Tranquilli, Danielle Dublino, more...
Director: Paolo Cavara, Paolo Cavara
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Blue Underground
Genre: Horror, Killer Critters
Running Time: 98 min.
Languages: English, Italian
Subtitles: English
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This frightening horror-thriller stars Giancarlo Giannini as Inspector Tellini, chasing a killer whose victims are paralyzed with a poisoned acupuncture needle, forcing them to watch helplessly as their stomachs are ripped open with a sharp knife. This method duplicates the habits of the black wasp in slaying tarantulas, explaining the title. Much of the film is spent on a wild goose chase involving Silvano Tranquilli, the husband of the first victim (Barbara Bouchet). All of the suspects soon turn up dead and Giannini turns his attention to an upscale health spa, frequented by each victim, which is a front for blackmail and cocaine smuggling. The mystery itself is fairly obvious, but director Paolo Cavara includes a good deal of action and Ennio Morricone's score is effectively chilling. Among the cast are such genre favorites as Annabella Incontrera, Stefania Sandrelli, Claudine Auger, Rossella Falk, and Giancarlo Priete, and --as in many Italian thrillers of the period -- voyeurism is the primary motif. Barbara Bach and Carla Mancini appear briefly. ~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

A Good Giallo With Horror Appeal by colintappe June 9, 2009 - 4:25 AM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Well, it's a giallo, straight up and down. There's some wonderfully shot cringe-inducing death scenes (involving a needle to the back of the neck, yikes!), larger than life foxy ladies, a disillusioned detective, an oppressively lurid tone, and of course a plot that loses you from time to time only to bludgeon you with a twist ending. In fact, if I'd have to strongly recommend this flick to any adventurous neophyte looking for a baseline, meat and potatoes giallo. Yes, I've seen better (and I'm only a casual fan of the genre, at best), but I've also seen MUCH worse. I tend to come at the genre from a horror perspective, so most of the time I watch a giallo I'm just twiddling my thumbs waiting for the next grizzly death scene (same mindset as watching a slasher, admittedly a terrible way to go into these movies), but this kept my attention the whole time, and I actually enjoyed some of the characters and detective work. Damn, this is actually making me want to go poking around for some more giallo obscurities. I'll let you know how it goes...

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.27)
15 Votes
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