HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
Satanic Panic
Claudine
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Black Belly of the Tarantula, The Caught in the webBuy this film here.
Year: 1971
Director: Paolo Cavara
Stars: Giancarlo Giannini, Claudine Auger, Barbara Bouchet, Stefania Sandrelli, Rosella Falk, Ezio Marano, Annabella Incontrera, Silvano Tranquilli, Giancarlo Prete
Genre: Horror, Sex, Thriller
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Here’s how you kick off a great movie! A naked Barbara Bouchet is given a sensual massage set to a sultry Ennio Morricone score. Everyone’s favourite Euro-blonde bombshell plays Mrs. Zani whose cuckolded husband (Silvano Tranquilli) is none too happy receiving adulterous photographs from a mysterious blackmailer. Moments later, Mrs. Zani is murdered in her house by a (sing along, all you giallo fans) madman in a black hat and trenchcoat. However, in a kinky twist the killer forgoes the usual black leather mitts for surgical gloves.

Intrepid Inspector Tellini (Giancarlo Giannini) is assigned to the case and his suspicions fall not unreasonably on Mr. Zani. He also discovers the killer uses an acupuncture needle to paralyse his victims. Meanwhile, Zani hires a portly private eye to trace his wife’s former lover (Giancarlo Prete). However, the killings continue including a fashion boutique owner (Annabella Incontrera, for once not playing a chic lesbian!) with a sideline in cocaine trafficking. A willowy young woman (Claudine Auger) arrives at the aftermath of every murder. Tellini struggles to fathom what is going on and is especially unnerved when the killer strikes close to home.

Aside from Barbara’s regrettably early exit, The Black Belly of the Tarantula is a giallo firing on all cylinders. This was a departure for former mondo filmmaker Paolo Cavara and he certainly rises to the occasion. Marcello Gatti’s scope photography is superb and heightens several striking suspense sequences: a murder in roomful of creepy costume mannequins paying tribute to Mario Bava; a breakneck chase across the labyrinthine rooftops of a semi-futuristic structure; and the edge-of-your-seat finale, all crackle like a pan full of popcorn. Cavara does not skimp on the sleaze, style or sadism that are the guilty pleasures of the giallo genre, but pays equal attention to the psychological toll being taken on our hero. Some giallo fans complain about the lingering domestic scenes between Tellini and his caring wife Anna (Stefania Sandrelli), but their inclusion adds a layer of emotional content absent from other hardcore horror efforts. In one particularly creepy scene, the killer spies on Tellini and Anna making love, then sends his 8mm film footage for the inspector’s colleagues to leer at and laugh. At one point the pressure gets too much and Tellini threatens to quit, till he is coaxed back by the gentle reassurances of his sagely spouse. Stefania Sandrelli went on to become one of the finest actresses in Europe, working with the likes of Bernardo Bertolucci and Bigas Luna.

Celebrated method actor Giancarlo Giannini is quietly charismatic and a more vulnerable police investigator than was the norm in these movies. Giannini went on to an up-and-down international career with notable roles in the likes of Mimic (1997), Hannibal (2001) and Casino Royale (2006). This latter screen credit is part of a veritable spider’s web of threads tying this film to the James Bond series. Claudine Auger, one of the best Bond girls of all time in Thunderball (1965), has a strong and atypical role as the suspicious proprietor of a health spa for women, and watch out for future Bond girl Barbara Bach among the needle-wielding killer’s comely victims. Screenwriter Lucile Laks, one of the few female giallo scriptwriters, justifies the typically florid title with a sequence showing a tarantula subdued by a large wasp and impregnated with its larvae, which will feast on its flesh as it lives on in agony. A convoluted metaphor perhaps for Tellini’s fracture psyche by the movie’s end.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2900 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: