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Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971)

La tarantola dal ventre nero (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror, Mystery, Thriller | 9 June 1972 (USA)
A series of victims are paralyzed while having their bellies ripped open, much in the same way tarantulas are killed by the black wasp. The victims all seem to have a connection with a spa.


Paolo Cavara


Marcello Danon (story), Lucile Laks (screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Giancarlo Giannini ... Inspector Tellini
Claudine Auger ... Laura
Barbara Bouchet ... Maria Zani
Rossella Falk ... Franca Valentino
Silvano Tranquilli ... Paolo Zani
Annabella Incontrera ... Mirta Ricci
Ezio Marano Ezio Marano ... Masseur
Barbara Bach ... Jenny
Stefania Sandrelli ... Anna Tellini
Giancarlo Prete ... Mario
Anna Saia Anna Saia ... Maria's friend
Eugene Walter Eugene Walter ... Ginetto, the waiter (as Walter Eugene)
Nino Vingelli ... Inspector Di Giacomo
Daniele Dublino ... Entomologist
Giuseppe Fortis Giuseppe Fortis ... Psychiatrist
Learn more

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Inspector Tellini investigates serial crimes where victims are paralyzed while having their bellies ripped open with a sharp knife, much in the same way tarantulas are killed by the black wasp. As suspects keep dying, Inspector directs his attention to a spa all the victims had a connection with. Written by lukejoplin@infolink.com.br

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


With needles dipped in deadly venom the victims are paralyzed - so they must lie awake and watch themselves die!


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?


One of several Italian "gialli" films to reference an animal in its title (and plot) after the success of Dario Argento's The Bird With The Crystal Plumage in 1970. See more »


The scientist who is arrested for drug smuggling refers to the tarantula as an insect. Spiders have 8 legs and belong to the class of arachnids. No scientist would make such an error. See more »


Featured in Trailer Trauma 2: Drive-In Monsterama (2016) See more »

User Reviews

Does the job for me
27 September 2017 | by BezenbySee all my reviews

In 1999, these films were impossible to get a hold of, and you had to look hard to find someone who would sell you them on the grey market. It is for this reason that my mate Marco and me found ourselves in the back room of some video store on Ingram Street, Glasgow city centre, staring into a filing cabinet jam packed with video nasties, category 3 Hong Kong films, and otherwise unavailable films like this. Marco bought this one. I watched the first five minutes and decided it looked boring, little knowing how obsessed by these films I'd be in a few years time. Also, I had no idea how bald I would become. And I didn't know YouTube would exist either. We were all young and naïve back then.

If there was a generic starters pack for giallo newbies I'd definitely include this one. It's a straightforward giallo plot as in it has one masked/gloved/hatted killer, plenty of suspects, a couple of red herrings, a clue at the start of the film, quirky characters, nudity and a bit of gore. It doesn't deviate from the formula but it's a good film anyway, thanks to Ennio Morricone's music, the lovely cinematography, and some good moustache action from Giacarlo Giannini.

It all starts off with Barbara Bouchet (a Bond girl) getting a nude massage from a blind guy and then getting into a fight with her husband because someone's sent him a nude picture of her with a mystery man. Next thing you know some gloved killer has paralysed her with a needle, then cut her open while she can only watch in horror.

Depressed policeman Giancarlo Giannini (whose eccentric wife has sold all the furniture in the house!) is on the case, and thinks the husband did it, but when another victim appears and he uncovers a drug smuggling ring into the bargain, things heat up a bit. It doesn't help that he's the laughing stock of the force when the killer plants some evidence that turns out to be a covertly made film of the policeman and his wife in bed.

There's a neat rooftop chase in this one too, and although it's a case of one killer all the way through, it makes for a good journey all the way through, thanks to appearances by Claudine Auger (a Bond girl) and Barbara Bach (a Bond girl) and Giancarlo Prete (not a Bond girl). There's also the requisite scene in a fashion store amongst mannequins that these films seem to require by law.

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Italy | France



Release Date:

9 June 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Belly of the Tarantula See more »

Filming Locations:

Roma, Lazio, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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