HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
   
 
Newest Articles
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Black Belly of the Tarantula, The Caught in the web
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, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
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 3507 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: