The Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971) Movie Review
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Paolo Cavara
Producers: Marcello Danon
Writers: Marcello Danon, Lucille Laks
Date Released: August 12, 1971
Giancarlo Giannini as Inspector Tellini
Claudine Auger as Laura
Barbara Bouchet as Maria Zani
Rossella Falk as Franca Valentino
Silvano Tranquilli as Paolo Zani
Annabella Incontrera as Mirta Ricci
Ezio Marano as blind masseur
Barbara Bach as Jenny
Rating = 1/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The story is about a police inspector who was tasked to solve a crime. The suspects include the ex-husband and the doctor practicing acupuncture. They both denied the accusation until more victims appear with no connection to the first murder but the method of killing was the same. With more people getting involved, it is up to the inspector to find out who the murderer is before his wife becomes the next target.
As a crime movie showing the murders with the same method of using poisoned acupuncture needle and knife, all the killings were bloody. It was great that there were brutal scenes where the slicing of the abdomen was shot in close up.
The Grave Review
This movie was not much of a horror but more of a crime mystery. The entire time was spent with the never-ending cycle of murders and search for the killer.
There were a lot of problem areas in this movie. The acting was a bit bland. There were a lot of characters who were mostly minor, but they all lack emotion, especially during the murder scenes. Speaking of characters, the introduction and development of each role were presented in a confusing way. There was no way to tell who’s who in the mix of possible suspects and victims.
In the duration of the film, there were times when the music gets mixed up with the sound effects. It’s annoying, coupled with the dizzying close-up shots of the surroundings whenever the killer lurks near his victims.
Towards the end, it was disappointing to see the inspector let go of his gun and had a fistfight with the killer instead. It was only then when he passed out that the backstory was revealed. He was a mentally disturbed man who killed his unfaithful wife and went on as a blind masseur to continue killing women.
It was a senseless reason and it should have been better if the backstory of how the killer’s madness was triggered was acted out in a flashback instead of just someone telling the story. It would’ve also been better if there were no inclusions of side crimes such as drug dealing in tarantula cages, the blackmailing, the pornography, and the long chase. They just made the entire movie confusing.
Overall, this movie is still recommended for those who love to solve murder mysteries and are into Italian giallo films.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971) one grave out of five graves.
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