As a Child Mariale witnesses her father kill her mother. Years later, she spends her life with little contact from the outside world living in a gloomy castle. One day, however Mariale ...
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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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Grief-struck after the death of his wife, a young man attempts to keep her with him forever - by gutting her, stuffing her and replacing her eyes with glass eyes, turning her into a doll. But his bouts of insanity are just beginning.
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Peter Lee Lawrence,
As a Child Mariale witnesses her father kill her mother. Years later, she spends her life with little contact from the outside world living in a gloomy castle. One day, however Mariale decides to invite some friends over the weekend, but as the decadent party turns into an unbridled orgy the first gruesome murder occurs.
Romano Scavolini would go on to make the disappointing Video Nasty 'Nightmares in a Damaged Brain', but before that he made this film. Spirits of the Dead is a psychological drama come Giallo and focuses in the bizarre happenings inside a large mansion during a party. The film has shades of Mario Bava, though despite the grandeur of the setting and the strange costumes worn during the partygoers in the main part of the movie; Romano Scavolini is no Mario Bava and the film remains only an imitation of the Italian master. The plot has two sides to it and we begin at a setting in the past as a young girl named Mariale witnesses her father murder two lovers before shooting himself in the head. We then fast forward some years and a grown up Mariale is living in a mansion with her husband Paolo. She has mental problems and is often given drugs to quell the problem. She invites a group of friends to stay at the house with her and her husband, but the party soon degenerates into an orgy and it's not long before the guests are being picked off one by one.
The first ten minutes made me believe that this one was going to be an interesting little Giallo. The characters are all introduced rather quickly and we are soon made to believe that not everything is as it should be. However, the film then builds into the orgy; which makes up the bulk of it, and it's not long before intrigue turns to tedium. The film tries to put the focus on the characters and this is a problem because, as is the case with many Giallo's, the characters aren't interesting enough in their own right to build a film around. The cast is not bad, however; Giallo regular Evelyn Stewart takes up the lead role well, and gets good back up from the likes of Luigi Pistilli and Ivan Rassimov. The film doesn't really get going until the final twenty minutes; and by then it is unfortunately a case of too little too late. This type of film is famous for over the top and stylish death scenes; but Spirits of Death doesn't really deliver in that respect, with only a single death scene in a swimming pool of any real note. Overall, this is not one of the better known Giallo's and I'm not really surprised. I wouldn't call it one of the worst of the genre; but it's not one of the best either and I'd only recommend this to hardcore Giallo fans.
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