aka 'La tarantola dal ventre nero'
Giancarlo Giannini, Claudine Auger, Barbara Bouchet, Barbara Bach
Beautiful women are being murdered by an unseen killer by injecting his victims with the venom from a rare species of wasp. The women are paralyzed and must watch helpless as the murderer mutilates their bodies. Inspector Tellini's dedication to his job as well as capturing the killer brings about danger to his personal life as the killer eventually targets his wife as his next victim.
I couldn't find a thread for this one as I thought there would be one considering this seems to be one of the more well known entries in the Giallo genre. There are some spoilers below but I imagine I'm probably the only one here who hasn't seen the film yet. I decided to watch one of the dozen or so of these I bought recently as aside from a number of Argento's and a few others, I'd seen relatively few Gialli.
Although I enjoyed it, I can't help but be slightly disappointed with the whole thing. The means by which the killer savages his victims is one of the more disturbing methods I've seen made even more creepy during a scene in which Tellini watches a film on a battle between a wasp and a Tarantula and learns what happens when the spider loses the fight. There isn't much gore to speak of save for the first murder but there is significant build up to each one most especially one sequence wherein Tellini desperately wants to speak with a suspect involved in a blackmailing scam that she may be the next victim. In fact, the killer is hiding out in another room in her apartment unknowingly to both her and the detective.
I guess with such a lurid title and the killers method of murder, I was expecting something a little more flashy in the gore department but taking the film as is, it's quite beautiful to look at with some striking compositions and shots with a few of them having a painterly quality about them. But considering the year in which it was made, the bloody violence hadn't crept into this genre yet. It is a bit slow going but the plentiful red herrings and the aforementioned beautiful photography not to mention the unusual and haunting score from Morricone make it a worthwhile film.
There wasn't as much Bouchet or Bach as I would have liked but the opening is undoubtedly the highlight especially when Bouchet gets up from the table and her glorious gluteus maximus is on display. I was a bit shocked when Barbara Bach was rather viciously butchered. You don't see anything but I was expecting her to not die in this film and her death scene was quite cruel even without any graphic gore on display.
All in all I liked the film but expectations dulled the experience for me a bit but with all the merits the film has going for it, I'm sure upon second viewing I will appreciate this movie on a whole different level.