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The Black Belly of the Tarantula
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Based on the hit books by Kenneth Bogh Anderson, Antboy returns in this explosive sequel to the original crime-fighting blockbuster movie. Picking up where he left off, Antboy finds his world thrust back into danger when a new band of super-villains arise. The Terror Twins, created by The Flea and fueled by his sinister DNA altering serum, wreak havoc on the city all whilst Red Fury, a friend turned dangerous foe, attacks Antboy and those closest to him in an attempt at revenge.
Black Belly of the Tarantula, following the release of Dario Argento's first feature, Bird With the Crystal Plumage, is one of the films that defined the Giallo genre's attractive blend of horror and high fashion. With a score by Ennio Morricone, direction by Paolo Cavara, and starring the handsome Giancarlo Giannini, Black Belly makes the story of a perverted serial killer who first paralyzes his victims with the poison wasps used to stun tarantulas seem cool and intriguing. This could be due to the fact that three of the killer's sexy victims went on to become Bond Girls (Claudine Auger, Barbara Bouchet, and Barbara Bach). Murders set in a massage parlor, an upscale fur shop, and in various white-sheeted beds showcase the aesthetic beauty of bloodshed. Giannini, who plays the suave police inspector, sleuths his way to the killer and finally fights him with the same vampiric ferocity that a wasp attacks a tarantula. In fact, stock footage of the carnivorous insects are interspersed throughout the film for added effect. Plots in Giallo films are basic; rather, the way murders are shot make the films memorable. The finest scenes in Black Belly occur during the stalker's pursuit of his "prey." Women's faces smear across the screen, their makeup palettes carefully matched to the rooms in which they are sliced open. With less actual gore than some other classic Giallo films such as Perfume of the Lady In Black and All The Colors of The Dark, Black Belly of the Tarantula relies more on style than on brutal violence. For this reason, it would be a good introduction to Italian horror for those who want to avoid witnessing serious carnage. --Trinie Dalton
- Aspect Ratio : 1.85:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : R (Restricted)
- Product Dimensions : 0.7 x 7.5 x 5.4 inches; 3.31 Ounces
- Item model number : BU1114
- Director : Paolo Cavara
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 29 minutes
- Release date : July 1, 2016
- Subtitles: : English
- Language : Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Unqualified
- Studio : Blue Underground
- ASIN : B000E41MTU
- Country of Origin : USA
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #68,705 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Nevertheless, The Black Belly of the Tarantula did have some positives. For example, performances were decent, but the acting definitely would have benefited from a stronger script and better direction. Cinematography was also good, especially the outdoor scenes. Most outstanding was the musical score composed by the iconic Ennio Morricone, who orchestrated a chilling, thrilling tone throughout this film. The killer's acts were also effectively menacing due to satisfactory special effects, but again the histrionics were distracting. Lastly, the killer's modus operandi was interesting and perhaps the most intelligent, innovative aspect of the story.
Bottom line, The Black Belly of the Tarantula has entertainment value, but do not expect the best giallo ever made--it's simply mediocre.
Blue Underground's 2011 release of The Black Belly of the Tarantula on DVD includes excellent audio/video quality, widescreen presentation, the original Italian soundtrack with English subtitles and an English dub (not recommended), a 15-minute interview with the producer's son mostly discussing his father’s legacy in film, and two trailers.
Women are being murdered acupuncture-style by a mysterious killer; a weary cop tries to make sense of the crimes.
Middling giallo thriller which has its moments but doesn’t offer much in the way of sustained suspense or excitement. Giannini is believably exasperated in the lead role as the inspector who’s stressed out by the crimes; but the film offers no real female lead for him to play off of. Star Barbara Bouchet doesn’t last more than a few minutes into the flick, and pretty Annabella Incontrera is murdered before she even gets a line of dialogue. What’s more, the female “heavy”, Claudine Auger, is not even introduced until the final third of the story.
I also had issues with the revelation of the killer—seemed like there were no clues dropped as to how and why that person was the one. The M.O. of the killer is unique, sure, but the story doesn't add onto it with any clever twists or explanations.
On the plus side, we have the exquisite and dreamy score by the master, Ennio Morricone, which serves to elevate the action to a more ethereal level than it probably deserves. Then there are the requisite groovy fashions, cars, and interior designs, always a fun eye-candy aspect of a film like this. And for the girl-watchers, there are no less than three Bond girls (Bouchet, Bach, Auger) on display for your viewing pleasure.
Not a bad flick, but there are many other giallos to seek out before getting to this one. 6/10 stars. Streamed on Amazon Prime (Blue Underground restored English dub).
Post script: (loose threads/plotholes): what was the "evidence" Auger was ready to give the cop before she was killed? How was Incontrera's drug dealer tied to the spa? And who was the fashionable short-haired woman who showed up at the Bouchet crime scene? And what was the point of the furniture delivery subplot??
Top reviews from other countries
This 1971 giallo really is of the highest quality and superior in all departments. The direction is ultra stylish and the build up to many of the deaths is outstanding filled with suspense and photographed superbly. It's not consistently high on gore but when it does come it's bloody and quite nasty and there's a decent score by the master Ennio Morricone. The story is good and always interesting and the cast is also impressive with the likes of Giancarlo Giannini, Barbara Bouchet and Barbara Bach.
Paulo Cavara throws in plenty of dynamic flourishes that keep you rivetted. The pace of the film is well managed and there is a lot of scenic variation and tone. For lovers of visually oriented cinema this is a must see.