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(aka "La coda dello scorpione" or "Tail of the Scorpion" or "Scorpion's Tail")

directed by Sergio Martino
Italy / Spain 1971

One of the major consequences of Western Europe's post-war Economic Miracle was the proliferation of international travel. Eager to tap into audiences desire to experience the glamor of the jet set lifestyle, the popular filmmakers of the day rushed to make the most of the exotic locales at their disposal.

Arguably no other giallo captured this trend as vividly as The Case of the Scorpion's Tail. The film begins in London, where Lisa Baumer (Evelyn Stewart, The Psychic) learns that her husband has died in a freak plane accident. Summoned to Athens to collect his generous life insurance policy, she soon discovers that others besides herself are keen to get their hands on the money and are willing to kill for it. Meanwhile, private detective Peter Lynch (George Hilton, The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh) arrives to investigate irregularities in the insurance claim. Teaming up with a beautiful reporter, Clťo Dupont (Anita Strindberg, Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key), Lynch resolves to unearth the truth... before he too ends up on the wrong end of the murderer s straight razor.

The second giallo by genre master Sergio Martino (Torso, The Suspicious Death of a Minor), The Case of the Scorpion's Tail combines stunning views of Athens and the Greek coastline with brutal bursts of violence, a typically tangled script by Ernesto Gastaldi (Death Walks on High Heels), and a cast overflowing with Euro cult talent, including Alberto de Mendoza (A Lizard in a Woman s Skin,) Janine Reynaud (Jess Franco's Succubus) and Luigi Pistilli (A Bay of Blood).

Posters

Theatrical Release: 16 August 1971 (Italy)

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Comparison:

NoShame Films - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman and Gary Tooze for the Screen Caps!

(NoShame Films - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT)

Box Covers

    

 

    

Distribution

NoShame Films

Region 0 - NTSC

Arrow Video
Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:31:12  1:35:12.081
Video

2.27:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced 
Average Bitrate: 7.18 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 49,538,194,681 bytes
Feature Size: 31,589,354,304 bytes
Average Bitrate: 37.13 Mbps
Dual-layered
Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Videos
 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:


 

NoShame Films

 

Bitrate:


 

Arrow Video Blu-ray

 

Audio Italian, English (Dolby Digital Mono)

 LPCM Audio Italian 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps

Subtitles English, None English (for Italian), English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio: NoShame Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.27:1

Edition Details:
• Creepy Crawl: The Scorpion's Shadow featurette (24:10)
• Original Italian Theatrical Trailer (2:27)
• Poster & Still Gallery (0:55)
• Collectible Booklet with liner notes and talent bios

DVD Release Date: May 31st, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Video

Disc Size: 49,538,194,681 bytes
Feature Size: 31,589,354,304 bytes
Average Bitrate: 37.13 Mbps
Dual-layered
Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Videos

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary with writer Ernesto Gastaldi, moderated by filmmaker Federico Caddeo (in Italian with English subtitles)
• New interview with star George Hilton (20:57)
• New interview with director Sergio Martino (47:10)
• New analysis Sergio Martino's films by Mikel J. Koven, author of La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film (20:06)
• New video essay by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films (15:35)
• Theatrical trailer (2:31)

Image Gallery
• 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
 

Blu-ray Release Date: July 16th-17th, 2018

Transparent Blu-ray case

Chapters: 13

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Arrow - Region FREE- Blu-ray - July 18': This is being simultaneously released in North America and Europe - with the exact same package - the UK and US discs are absolutely identical which means that no matter which package you buy, the discs will play in any Region A or B setup. The booklets are also identical, but there are minor cosmetic differences on the disc labels and sleeve to do with differing copyright info and barcodes, and the US release doesn't have BBFC logos.

Wow! - the new Arrow is a "Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative" and looks positively gorgeous - a gigantic leap beyond the 2005, dual-layered, DVD. Colors are richer and tighter, there is more information in the frame and the detail rises dramatically. I love the veneer of grain and the image is pristine on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. A brilliant transfer that allows the Italian or English title/credits - seamlessly-branched.

Audio offers the option of original Italian or an English DUB - both in, authentic,  linear PCM mono tracks. Effects are hollow with weakness in the high-end but are true to the film's original flat audio. The score is by Bruno Nicolai (All the Colours of the Dark, The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave, Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, Face to Face, The Perverse Countess, Torso, Ten Little Indians, Pasolini's Hawks and the Sparrows) which, totally suits to this Giallo with some nice flavor augmenting the style and jet-set atmosphere. There are optional English subtitles for the Italian, English (SDH) for the English DUB and subtitles for the Italian language commentary from Ernesto Gastaldi. The Blu-ray package is region FREE available on both sides of the Atlantic.

Arrow stack the supplements starting with an Italian language audio commentary with writer Ernesto Gastaldi, moderated by filmmaker Federico Caddeo offered with English subtitles. It has a few keener insights on the story and even the production aspects. I thought it was quite informative. There are also new interviews 21-minutes with star George Hilton, almost 50-minutes with director Sergio Martino who is always interesting. I enjoyed the new 20-minutes analysis of Sergio Martino's films by Mikel J. Koven, author of La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film and another strong visual essay by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films that runs 1/4 hour. Lastly we get a theatrical trailer and image gallery of lobby cards of the film. The package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon and for the first pressing there is an 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.

This is a super
Giallo that makes me fall in love with the genre all over again. Great murder story, Strindberg and Hilton are excellent. I loved the ending and the image crispness really brings the film home. You can't ask for much more and it probably has the best cover of the year! This exceptional Blu-ray has our highest recommendation!

 - Gary Tooze


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(NoShame Films - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(NoShame Films - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

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Box Covers

    

 

    

Distribution

NoShame Films

Region 0 - NTSC

Arrow Video
Region FREE - Blu-ray



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