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(aka "The Black Belly of the Tarantula" or "La tarántula del vientre negro ")

 

directed by Paolo Cavara
Italy 1972

Black Belly of the Tarantula, following the release of Dario Argento's first feature, Bird With the Crystal Plumage, is one of the films that defined the Giallo genre's attractive blend of horror and high fashion. With a score by Ennio Morricone, direction by Paolo Cavara, and starring the handsome Giancarlo Giannini, Black Belly makes the story of a perverted serial killer who first paralyzes his victims with the poison wasps used to stun tarantulas seem cool and intriguing. This could be due to the fact that three of the killer's sexy victims went on to become Bond Girls (Claudine Auger, Barbara Bouchet, and Barbara Bach). Murders set in a massage parlor, an upscale fur shop, and in various white-sheeted beds showcase the aesthetic beauty of bloodshed. Giannini, who plays the suave police inspector, sleuths his way to the killer and finally fights him with the same vampiric ferocity that a wasp attacks a tarantula. In fact, stock footage of the carnivorous insects are interspersed throughout the film for added effect.

Excerpt from Amazon.com located HERE

***

This frightening horror-thriller stars Giancarlo Giannini as Inspector Tellini, chasing a killer whose victims are paralyzed with a poisoned acupuncture needle, forcing them to watch helplessly as their stomachs are ripped open with a sharp knife. This method duplicates the habits of the black wasp in slaying tarantulas, explaining the title. Much of the film is spent on a wild goose chase involving Silvano Tranquilli, the husband of the first victim (Barbara Bouchet). All of the suspects soon turn up dead and Giannini turns his attention to an upscale health spa, frequented by each victim, which is a front for blackmail and cocaine smuggling. The mystery itself is fairly obvious, but director Paolo Cavara includes a good deal of action and Ennio Morricone's score is effectively chilling. Among the cast are such genre favorites as Annabella Incontrera, Stefania Sandrelli, Claudine Auger, Rossella Falk, and Giancarlo Priete, and --as in many Italian thrillers of the period -- voyeurism is the primary motif. Barbara Bach and Carla Mancini appear briefly.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Poster

Theatrical Premiere: June 9th, 1971

 

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DVD Review: Blue Underground - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Blue Underground

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:37:42
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.21 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (English) or Italian
Subtitles English (for Italian-language version), None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Blue Underground

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with Lorenzo Danon (15:18)
• Theatrical Trailer (1:56)
• TV Spot (0:53)


DVD Release Date: August 4th, 2015
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Chapters 25

 

 

 

Comments

The Black Belly of the Tarantula is a quintessential example of the Giallo genre. It stars Giancarlo Giannini (L'Innocente), and plenty of gals (three of which were Bond Girls!); Claudine Auger (A Bay of Blood), always desirable Barbara Bouchet (The Red Queen Kills Seven Times, Amuck!), Annabella Incontrera (The Case of the Bloody Iris), Barbara Bach (The Unseen) and Stefania Sandrelli (The Conformist) . It is directed by Paolo Cavara (Plot of Fear) with a score by iconic Ennio Morricone (Property is No Longer a Theft).

Blue Underground's, anamorphic, single-layered DVD transfer is in around the 1.85:1 aspect ratio and has some minor edge-enhancement (SEE HERE) if you zoom in far enough. It's at BU's decent SD quality level - reportedly a port of the Italian DVD. The image is reasonably bright with acceptable contrast although a 1080P presentation would be greatly appreciated.  

Lossy Dolby surround track in both the Italian track (with yellow subtitles - see sample below) or the English DUB. The score is by Ennio Morricone (The Fifth Cord, Luna, A Bullet for the General, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, U Turn, Stay As You Are etc. etc.) sounds good augmenting the film's tension and drama. The DVD disc is in the NTSC format.

Extras include a 1/4 hour interview with Lorenzo Danon who is the son of the film's producer and screenwriter, Marcello Danon. There is also a theatrical trailer and minute-long TV Spot.

A murder mystery with a serial killer, knives and a unique mode of murder - with a stacked cast. While waiting for a Blu-ray the Blue Underground DVD allowed me to see this delicious Giallo gem.

  - Gary Tooze

 



 

DVD Menu
 

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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

  

Distribution

Blue Underground

Region 1 - NTSC

 




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