Horrorfest 2018 Presents: The Black Belly Of The Tarantula (1971, Paolo Cavara)

Giancarlo Giannini is a legend in his own right, and starred in a movie featuring several Bond actresses and a score from Ennio Morricone, one of the greatest composers of all time. This movie is called The Black Belly of the Tarantula, a really good giallo despite the fact that l guessed the killer in the first couple of minutes. However I do not hold this against the film, mostly since I have spent almost a decade and a half viewing giallo films. Also parts of this film has more sex and violence than some giallos do, in addition to being the good type of mystery horror film that the Italians are known for creating.

Giannini plays a cop investigating a unique serial killer. This killer uses a paralyzing needle, then cuts open their victims while they are still alive. There is one freaky scene where this is shown in gruesome, open fashion. Also the killer humilates Tellini, the cop, by filming him having sex with his girlfriend and sending it to the police. I like that this film at times plays more as a detective film than a horror film, simply because that is an interesting take on the giallo that I have not seen before.

Despite being a tad slow at times, Paolo Cavara’s giallo is well made and mostly engaging. It is odd seeing Claudine Auger interact with Barbara Bouchet considering the former had already been a Bond girl and the latter became one years later. This also was one of the earlier giallos which plays in its favor. Tangling with a killer can be messy business, especially if the killer finds out you have someone you care about.

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