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My top 20 (all originals, unless specified):
Invasion of the Body Snatchers ('78 remake)
Don�t Look Now
Carnival of Souls
Dressed to Kill
Night of the Living Dead
Bird with the Crystal Plumage
La coda dello scorpione (1971)
excellent giallo- one of the best!
La Coda Dello Scorpione (a.k.a. Case of the Scorpion's Tail) was director Sergio Martino's follow-up to the wonderful giallo Strano vizio della Signora Wardh. This is the quintessential giallo, featuring all the aspects fans of the genre have come to know and love. Twisty plot, beautiful girls, black gloves, sharp blades, and a bit of gore all come together to make one heck of a piece of Italian exploitation.
A group of gialli favorites, both in front of and behind the camera, work to make this one of the best non-Argento gialli around. There's the aforementioned Martino adding his touches as director, giallo great Ernesto Gastaldi as the writer, Bruno Nicolai creating the music, and a host of giallo stars and starlets, such as George Hilton, character actor Luigi Pistilli, and the fetching Anita Strindberg.
With all this talent behind it, does Scorpione deliver? You bet. The film works on many different levels. It's a thrilling murder mystery, a tense and violent horror film, and a suspenseful thriller. All in all one of the best gialli around.
Martino definitely knows what fans want when it comes to gialli. At some points in the film, he almost seems to be channeling Argento in his approach. For example, there is a direct rip-off of the scene in Bird With the Crystal Plumage where the killer tries to break through the door, that actually outdoes Argento's flick.
Are there any problems with the flick? Hmmm... only minor ones. First, any scenes that aren't following the murders or the budding romance between the two leads begin to bore. But just before you fall asleep, the killer will pop out of nowhere and you'll be right back in the swing of things.
Also, towards the end, the twists get a little too bizarre. I mean, what purpose did the scorpion pins really serve? If you don't play close attention to the dialogue, you could easily become lost with the twisting, weaving storyline.
But these minor quibbles aside, La Coda Dello Scorpione is a tense, suspenseful, classy and all around entertaining film for giallo fans. Seek it out!