AKA-LA TARANTOLA DAL VENTRE NERO
REVIEWED BY-STEVE GENIER DIRECTED BY-PAOLO CAVARA CAST-GIANCARLO GIANNINI, CLAUDINE AUGER, BARBARA BOUCHET, ROSSELLA FALK, SILVANO TRANQUILLI, ANNABELLA INCONTRERA, EZIO MARANO and BARBARA BACH. SOURCE-RIPLEY'S HOME VIDEO DVD ( ITALY/PAL REGION 2 / 2005)
Inspector Tellini (Giannini) investigates a series of murders in which the victims are first paralyzed while they are forced to watch their own deaths. As the murders pile up, Telllini becomes discontent and mortified to the brink of leaving the police force. Still, the case keeps pulling him back in as fresh murders are committed, moving him even closer to the killer. Though the killer is one step ahead of him, eluding Tellini to any lengths, even if means dragging and exposing Telliniís personal life.
Now there is the usual gialli and there are the examples that set the ground work for future gialli. Paolo Cavaraís LA TARANTOLA DAL VENTRE NERO is one of those films that fall under this category. With itís very unique story and plot, itís beautiful cinematography and most of all overall style. The giallo is all about style, without it, it would just be another house hold thriller. Still, LA TARANTOLA DAL VENTRE NERO and itís director have never really gather the same claim as the films of Argento or Bava, but believe me, this LA TARANTOLA DAL VENTRE NERO is well worthy of this claim by all means. From itís opening killing scene, structured much like that of a Argento giallo, with itís steep use of imagery, camera angles and of course the usual giallo examples. There is no doubt that LA TARANTOLA DAL VENTRE NEROís pace is set and never lets up. Coupled with other factors such as a multi facet storyline, that intertwines setting a frantic pace, something reminiscent of Bava. Capped with a driving score provided by Ennio Morricone, one that is very gothic as well, though quite fitting of the style and substance Cavara has already visually set the tone with.
The cast of LA TARANTOLA DAL VENTRE NERO, like itís story is with much depth. Cavara uses his wealth of actors without wasting a single one. From itís lead of Giancarlo Giannini (THE BEAST, DARKNESS) who plays a police inspector who is investigating a series of brutal crimes that involve sex, drugs and of course black mail. The killings linked together by the killerís method of first paralyzing his victims by inserting a acupuncture needle in the back of the neck, then killing them by slashing them stomach up. Gianniniís protrayal of Inspector Tellini who is sick to the stomach with the gruesome senseless murders is almost flawless. Wanting to quit, just to get away from the horror and live a normal life with his wife Anna (Stefania Sandrelli). Even long time Euro-cult mainstays such as Barbara Bach and Barbara Bouchet are used in very different ways, displayed as even the powerful can fall to the gloves of the killer. A familiar face in this scenario isnít always the saving grace. Like many great examples of the giallo, LA TARANTOLA DAL VENTRE NERO is stacked with red herrings that are very effective in tricking you and ultimately gasping at the storyís ending twist. For what you know, isnít always the truth.
Director Paolo Cavara started his career as a second unit director on the 1959 film THE NAKED MAJA which was directed by Henry Koster. From there he gained much notoriety for his collaboration with Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi on the 1962 film MONDO CANE aka A DOGíS LIFE. Itís bold look at human life at itís most deprived and lurid times. He has certainly come a long way from that into BLACK BELLY.
This new Italian release from RHV is certainly one great investment. Though the extras are only with Italian options, thereís no real big lost. The most important aspect is the film itself and the state in which it is presented in. The print in which is used is quite clean and in an anamorphic wide-screen presentation of 16x 9 (1.85:1). Audio wise you have a choice of watching itís original Italian audio or in an English dubbed presentation. Either or, the audio is very good and both in 2.0 Dolby Digital. For the extras, as already mentioned, there are no English options. There is a 15 minute interview with Lorenzo Danon, oh I was wrong, an English trailer for the film as well as gallery of stills. The film itself is the biggest winner here, one that if you havenít seen yet, please make sure you do, a classic giallo in my opinion.
STORY/FILM-4/5 BITCH SLAPS PICTURE-3.5/5 BITCH SLAPS AUDIO-3/5 BITCH SLAPS EXTRAS-2.5/5 BITCH SLAPS OVERALL DVD-3/5 BITCH SLAPS
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