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.
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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
Sergio Martino is a great director, who has contributed a lot to Italian genre cinema and, as far as I am considered, his Gialli from the 1970s are the undisputed highlights in his impressive repertoire. "La Coda Dello Scorpione" aka. "The Case Of The Scorpion's Tale" of 1971 is one of these impressive films Martino has contributed to Italian Horror's most original sub-genre, and another proof that the man is a master of atmosphere, style and suspense. My personal favorite of the Martino films I've seen so far is still the insanely brilliant "Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key" of 1972, followed by "Torso" (1973) and "The Strange Vice Of Mrs Wardh" (1971), all of which I personally like even more than this one. That's purely a matter of personal taste, however, as "La Coda Dello Scorpione" is an equally excellent film that is essential for every fan of Italian Horror cinema and suspense in general.
The film, which delivers tantalizing suspense from the very beginning has a complex and gripping plot that begins with the mysterious demise of a millionaire who has died in a plane crash. Insurance investigator Peter Lynch (George Hilton) is assigned to verify the circumstances the insurance company which is due to pay a large sum to the deceased man's wife. Soon after Lynch begins to investigate, a person is brutally killed, which is just the beginning of a series of murders...
"The Case of the Scorpion's Tail" excellently delivers all the elements a great Giallo needs. The film is stunningly suspenseful from the beginning, the score by Bruno Nicolai is brilliant, the plot is wonderfully convoluted, and the killer's identity remains a mystery until the end. Regular Giallo leading-man George Hilton once again delivers an excellent performance in the lead. Sexy Anita Strindberg is absolutely ravishing in the female lead. The includes the great Luigi Pistilli, one of the most brilliant regulars of Italian genre-cinema of the 60s and 70s, and Alberto De Mendoza, another great actor who should be familiar to any lover of Italian cinema. Athens, where most of the film takes place, is actually a great setting for a Giallo. The atmosphere is constantly gripping, and the photography great, and Bruno Nicolai's ingenious score makes the suspense even more intense. Long story short: "La Coda Dello Scorpione" is another excellent Giallo from Sergio Martino and an absolute must-see for any lover of the sub-genre! Stylish, suspenseful, and great in all regards!
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