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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
A wealthy English lord is suffering a mental breakdown following the death of his red-headed wife, Evelyn, whom he feared was cheating on him. He tours local bars and dives, scouring for lovely red-heads willing to come back to his decaying castle in the country, where he seduces them, then tortures and kills them. His friend the doctor talks him into marrying again to help heal his slowly-rotting mind, which he does--but are the doctor's orders really what he needs? Written by
At times incoherent, this Italian Gothic horror piece has a wealthy aristocrat (Steffen) suffering from a psychotic in-balance that causes him to lure pretty red-heads and lookalikes of his deceased wife Evelyn to his dilapidated castle, for S&M and more. His doctor (Rossi-Stuart) is concerned about his condition and recommends he find a new wife - which he does in Malfatti, but things quickly deteriorate between the newlyweds when "Evelyn" appears to rise from her crypt.
Disjointed in parts with hokey special effects and poorly contrived plot set-ups, it's often described as "giallo", but I'd disagree with that definition being applied. Gothic horror perhaps, but the essence of giallo (everyday man witnesses an apparent crime, assumes amateur detective role, becomes the target of the killer) isn't present. The cast is reasonably proficient, although the dubbing is atrocious.
Not as violent or sadistic as I'd read, the scene in which the pet foxes "dine-in" on one of the scheming relatives isn't nearly as brutal as reputed (it's also very difficult to discern what's happening by virtue of the poor lighting). Atmospheric at times, the suspense never holds you for very long before it's back to the awfully dubbed dialogue and somewhat puerile haunted castle effects (endless mist, storms, creaking boards and cobwebs). There's a twist ending which partially redeems the movie, but it's too little too late and leaves a gaping plot hole in its explanation that won't go unnoticed.
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