'The Case of the Scorpion's Tail: Special Edition'
(George Hilton, Anita Strindberg, Alberto De Mendoza, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1971) 2018 / Arrow Films UK)
Overview: 'The Case of the Scorpion's Tail' begins with the mysterious death of a millionaire and spirals into the murder of his suddenly rich wife, which draws the attention of a dogged investigator, who follows a trail of blood to the bitter end.
Blu-ray Verdict: Lisa Baumer (Ida Galli) collects on her husband's life insurance—a cool $1m—after he is blown to smithereens in an air disaster. Several people suspect Lisa of foul play, including a junkie ex-lover who resorts to blackmail, her husband's mistress Lara (Janine Reynaud), who also feels entitled to some of the money, and insurance investigator Peter Lynch (George Hilton).
But when Lisa is murdered after cashing her check, and the money goes missing, the case becomes much more complicated.
Sergio Martino's 'The Case of the Scorpion's Tail' might not be the most innovative of giallos, but it does meet many fans' expectations of the genre, making it a very enjoyable way to waste some time.
So, taking a wholly different approach to this review, here's what to expect, all located somewhere within this highly entertaining movie:
An animal in the title: the insect of the title refers to the Scorpion-shaped cuff-link discovered at the scene of an attempted murder.
A convoluted plot: this one's got twists and turns aplenty, making it a thoroughly engrossing mystery from start to finish A character struggling to recall a vital clue: Peter Linch is convinced that he knows something that will help to solve the case.
Red herrings: there are lots of these, but to tell you about them would be to spoil the film.
Exotic locations: the film opens in London, but the action soon moves to sun-kissed Athens.
Stylish cinematography and lighting: Martino employs some crazy camera angles to help spice up proceedings, and lights certain scenes with vivid color.
Sexy women in peril: there are several Euro-babes in this giallo, a couple of whom meet very nasty fates. Anita Strindberg as French photojournalist Cléo Dupont, Peter's love interest, provides the obligatory T&A, happily showing off her '70s silicone implants.
Creepy dolls/freaky paintings: it has absolutely nothing at all to do with the story, but there is a scene featuring several dolls with missing eyes and limbs, and a portrait of a man with bug-eyes.
Gruesome murders: Martino ensures that gore-hounds are kept happy with two bloody throat slashing's, a nasty knife in the abdomen, an even nastier broken bottle in the eye, and a victim having the back of their hands slashed with a switchblade before falling from a height to their death.
A leather-gloved killer: goes without saying!
Blatant product placement: fancy a glass of J&B Scotch? You might do after watching this film.
Cops who figure out the truth in the nick of time: the law waits till the very last moment before arriving on the scene to save the heroine.
In fact, all that's missing is a haunting lullaby/nursery rhyme! I loved this movie and I hope you do also. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original lossless mono Italian and English soundtracks
Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
Audio commentary with writer Ernesto Gastaldi, moderated by filmmaker Federico Caddeo (in Italian with English subtitles)
New interview with star George Hilton
New interview with director Sergio Martino
New analysis Sergio Martino s films by Mikel J. Koven, author of La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film
New video essay by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Rachael Nisbet and Howard Hughes, and a biography of star Anita Strindberg by Peter Jilmstad.