Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by BLUEPLANET, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. BLUEPLANET

    BLUEPLANET Guest

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    Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971)
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    Inspector Tellini investigates serial crimes where victims are paralyzed while having their bellies ripped open with a sharp knife, much in the same way tarantulas are killed by the black wasp. As suspects keep dying, Inspector directs his attention to a spa all the victims had a connection with.

    Black Belly of the Tarantula is both a great thriller in its own right and surely one of the best entries in the Giallo cycle. The film is reminiscent of several like it, but this one is the most cerebral and most sadistic Giallo I've seen. The modus operandi of the killer at the centre of the story involves jabbing his victim with a poison laced needle which induces paralysis. He then proceeds to gut them while they're still alive and unable to do anything about it! Director Paolo Cavara seems to realise just how malicious this plot is, and so the film is not gratuitous. The reliance on the idea behind the murders is far more shocking than any amount of gore; so it doesn't matter that there isn't a lot of the red stuff. Typically, the film works from an extremely convoluted plot which sees a woman, who is also a member of a private health club, become the victim of blackmail. Around the same time; dead bodies start piling up and our hero; an insecure police detective by the name of Tellini learns that the murders are done in the style of the black wasp killing a tarantula...

    As ever with Giallo, the film isn't particularly easy to follow; as there's so much going on that it's easy to miss one or two key plot elements. This is, however, far better than having too little going on and unlike many Giallo's, at least this one mostly resolves everything by the conclusion. There's a very potent stream of sleaze running throughout the film also; as if the killer's methods weren't enough on their own. The film features plenty of sex, and it will please some to learn that many of the murders are depicted with the female victim in the nude. The murder scenes themselves are well orchestrated, and director Paolo Cavara delights in showing us the gentle way that the paralysis needle slips into the victims' necks before having their stomachs ripped open with a hunting knife. The cinematography is superb, and it's safe to say that Black Belly of the Tarantula is one of the better looking Giallo films out there. The locations bode well with the film's style, and scenes that take place on a rooftop and in a luxury swimming pool provide visual treats. Highly recommended!

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