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Black Belly of the Tarantula

Black Belly of the Tarantula
Tarantola dal ventre nero, La – 1971

With needles dipped in deadly venom the victims are paralyzed – so they must lie awake and watch themselves die!

Paolo Cavara

Marcello Danon
Lucile Laks

Marcello Danon producer

Giancarlo Giannini – Inspector Tellini
Claudine Auger – Laura
Barbara Bouchet – Maria Zani
Rossella Falk – Franca Valentino
Silvano Tranquilli – Paolo Zani
Annabella Incontrera – Mirta Ricci
Ezio Marano – Masseur
Barbara Bach – Jenny
Stefania Sandrelli – Anna Tellini
Giancarlo Prete – Mario
Anna Saia – Maria’s friend
Eugene Walter – Ginetto, the waiter
Nino Vingelli – Inspector Di Giacomo
Daniele Dublino – Entomologist
Giuseppe Fortis – Psychiatrist
Guerrino Crivello – Informer
Fulvio Mingozzi – Surgeon
Giorgio Dolfin – Policeman
Carla Mancini – Client at beauty parlor

Review by Sven Soetemans
Definitely one of the best giallo ever made!,

Judging by its plot, atmosphere and absolutely beautiful cinematography, “Black Belly of the Tarantula” to me felt like a sweet amalgamation between Dario Argento’s “Bird with the Crystal Plumage” and Mario Bava’s “Blood and Black Lace”. And, if you know a little something about Italian horror cinema, you’ll agree that there are far worse titles out there to get compared with than these two!

This is a masterfully staged and creatively scripted murder mystery with bloody-yet-tense massacres and likable characters for once. A gloved psychopath is killing models of fashion house by paralyzing their nerve systems before slicing them open with a knife. This ingenious modus operandi he borrowed from the killing rituals of a wasp species that hunts tarantula spiders. The young police inspector Tellini investigates the crimes but his own life and that of his beloved wife are soon endangered by the culprit as well.

This 70s Italian horror gem features one of Ennio Morricone’s finest musical scores and director Paolo Cavara professionally stuffs his seventies film with typical giallo-intrigues like drugs, sexual deceit and blackmail. The girls are beautiful (and showing lots of ravishing naked flesh), the suspense is omnipresent and class actor Giancarlo Giannini makes a perfectly credible police hero. “Black Belly of the Tarantula” contains a handful of powerful sequences that fans of horror genre will consider pure craftsmanship, like the rooftop chase and the super-violent climax.

It’s not easy to come across a (decent) copy but try your best, as this is essential viewing for all giallo-buffs!

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70s Films

A tour through the great and not so great films of the seventies The seventies saw a huge change in styles and genres from the advent of the slasher horror movies like Halloween and the blockbuster summers films started by Jaws. More...

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