The Case of the Scorpion's Tail begins with the mysterious death of a millionaire and spirals into the murder of his suddenly rich wife, which draws the attention of a dogged investigator, who follows a trail of blood to the bitter end.
A plane explodes; one passenger is a London businessman who's insured for $1 million. His unfaithful wife is the beneficiary. The insurance agency arranges to pay, but also assigns their top investigator, Peter Lynch, to sniff out irregularities. The widow goes to Greece for the payout; Peter follows her, introducing himself. He becomes her protector and her companion, but the relationship is short lived. She has decided to take the money in cash and plans an immediate trip to Tokyo. Is she guilty of her husband's murder, and if so, who's her accomplice? An Athenian police inspector, an Interpol agent, and a French photojournalist join Lynch in the investigation. Written by
After dipping his toes in the giallo pool with the masterful film "The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh" (1971), director Sergio Martino followed up that same year with what turns out to be another twisty suspense thriller, "The Case of the Scorpion's Tail." Like his earlier effort, this one stars handsome macho dude George Hilton, who would go on to star in Martino's Satanic/giallo hybrid "All the Colors of the Dark" the following year. "Scorpion's Tail" also features the actors Luigi Pistilli and Anita Strindberg, who would go on to portray an unhappy couple (to put it mildly!) in Martino's "Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key" (1972). (I just love that title!) I suppose Edwige Fenech was busy the month they shot this! Anyway, this film boasts the stylish direction that Martino fans would expect, as well as a twisty plot, some finely done murder set pieces, and beautiful Athenian location shooting. The story this time concerns an insurance investigator (Hilton) and a journalist (Strindberg, here looking like Farrah Fawcett's prettier, smarter sister) who become embroiled in a series of grisly murders following a plane crash and the inheritance of $1 million by a beautiful widow. I really thought I had this picture figured out halfway through, but I was dead wrong. Although the plot does make perfect sense in this giallo, I may have to watch the film again to fully appreciate all its subtleties. Highlights of the picture, for me, were Anita's cat-and-mouse struggle with the killer at the end, a particularly suspenseful house break-in, and a nifty fight atop a tiled roof; lots of good action bursts in this movie! The fine folks at No Shame are to be thanked for still another great-looking DVD, with nice subtitling and interesting extras. Whotta great outfit it's turned out to be, in its ongoing quest to bring these lost Italian gems back from oblivion.
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