Sunday, July 11, 2010
The Black Belly Of The Tarantula
Paolo Cavara's brilliant Giallo "The Black Belly Of The Tarantula" contains a beautiful (Euro babe) cast, that would please James Bond afficianados everywhere. It contains three Bond Girls in one film! The wonderful Claudine Auger ("Thunderball"), Barbara Bouchet ("Casino Royale"), and Barbara Bach ("The Spy Who Loved Me"), all lending shady perversity to the proceedings. The title refers to the sadistic means in which a killer is performing on his prey. An acupuncture needle is inflamed with a paralysing poison that the killer inserts into the neck of his victim (realistically, this would probably kill someone, but hey... this is an Italian B Movie!) thus insuring that the victim is paralysed yet concience while the killer tears open their belly with a knife. The story primarily surrounds the investigation by Inspector Tellini (well acted by Giancarlo Giannini) of the murder of Maria Zani (Barbara Bouchet) who was being blackmailed before her death. Other murders follow, as the Inspector's trail leads to a Fashion Boutique, a Science Laboratory, and then a Health Spa, which are all linked to drug traffiking and sexual deviant politics. Like "What Are Those Strange Drops Of Blood Doing On Jennifer's Body" this film as well could be a kind of prototype Giallo film. If you are familiar with the genre, you can only laugh at the way the victim always says to the Inspector "I can't talk right now... but I think I know who the killer is. Come back later (or tomorrow), and I'll tell you. (another equally laughable sentence is: "I just want to check something out, but I'll meet you later!) This line is usually a recipe to get yourself gutted and tortured in the most painful of ways. Also, like "What Are Those..." this film again has the theme of moral avenger (quite often this theme is linked with something resembling impotence which has the killer striking out on poor girls with viciousness. The killer's use of fetishistic surgical gloves only insures that this is pure Euro-Trash at it's best. Giancarlo Giannini's Inspector Tellini is a slightly different breed of cop. The film interestingly delves further (then most Gialli) into the relationship of him and his wife Anna (played by the beautiful Stefania Sandrelli), and the moodiness surrounding his job. He neurotically says "I just don't think I can do this anymore. I want to quit." (echoing my own displays of verbal discontent in the work world, as my girlfriend pointed out) And in the end when Inspector Tellini loses his cool, as the killer gets closer to getting to his wife! This is a great little Giallo, with a cool Ennio Morricone score.