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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.
Alberto de Mendoza
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A group of strangers wind up at a remote mansion one foggy night. Soon they are terrorized by a ghostly chauffeur and vampiric old woman.
This is a pretty solid Spanish flick that combines the feel of a thriller with spooky supernatural horror. It opens in such a way as you would be forgiven for thinking that you were in for some giallo mayhem, seeing as it quickly introduces us to a selection of shady characters. But pretty soon after the action moves to the fog enclosed environs of an old dark house and creepy graveyard. The combination of the two strands of film type works pretty well all-in-all with a decent enough amount of intrigue in the set-up and some quite effective scary moments. The latter is covered almost exclusively by the appearances of the two ghosts, who are utilised well. In particular, a scene where a woman turns in bed to be confronted face to face with the scary old woman is pretty spine tingling. The focus is really more on spookiness in general, as there isn't a lot of sex and violence in this one. Which isn't entirely surprising really considering this was made in Franco's Spain, in a climate that was very conservative about such matters. The cast of actors is good enough, with the star turn being Evelyn Stewart who appeared in several Italian pictures from the time including a very memorable role in the excellent giallo The Case of the Scorpion's Tail.
So all-in-all a somewhat under-appreciated film. It hardly breaks the mould but it does what it does well enough. Spanish films from the 70's tended to be poorer relations to their Italian equivalents. And while this one has its weaknesses, it is certainly one of the stronger Spanish thrillers from the period.
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