La coda dello scorpione/ The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail (1971)


Director: Sergio Martino

Starring: George Hilton, Anita Strindberg, Alberto de Mendoza,Ida Galli.  Italy. 1h 33m

Martino’s The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail is an engrossing Giallo film but strangely it focuses more on the investigation than outlandish slayings. A woman,  Lisa (Galli)  inherits a massive fortune when her husband dies in a freak accident which results in his plane blowing up mid-flight, she leaves her lovers embrace and collects her money. Close on her heels is the suave and seductive an agent Peter Lynch (Hamilton) sent by the insurance company, checking to see if she had anything to do with the freak accident. They become close as a mysterious stalker starts slaughtering the people around Lisa including her husband’s bit on the side who also wants a cut of the fortune, their marriage of convenience is nothing of the sorts now, with a deluge of lovers and mysterious people entering the frame it’s a total nightmare to work out who the culprit might be, but the local police look clueless and are unable to offer answers or protection, Lynch eventually falls for and investigates the murder with an ambitious anchor woman, Cléo Dupont (Strindberg). A small heirloom holds the key to identifying the deranged killer but will the lovers find the answer before it’s too late.

Drawing on the true essence of Giallo the film is pretty stunning, it generally follows the numbers, it doesn’t have the avant garde feeling that a lot of the popular Giallo films interlace, there isn’t a huge amount of crazy colours backgrounds and sadly no Goblin soundtracks but it’s a grounded mystery film with a healthy dose of slashing but concentrates less on the violence and more on heated romance,  some crazy camera angles are used in the occasional hacking scene, often filmed from above or through windows and in mirrors, otherwise it’s just like any other 70’s crime thriller. The romance seemed quite genuine, which is a frequent element of Hamilton’s films and he’s no stranger to the Giallo scene, having performed in some of the cult classics such as The Killer must Kill again (1975)



Rating 6/10

R:The Killer Must Kill Again (1975), All the Colors of the Dark (1972), The Devil Has Seven Faces (1972), The Sweet Body of Deborah (1968),

L: A-Z of Giallo,

5s – George Hamilton

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