Director Sergio Martino has mastered all sorts of film genres: Cannibal movies (The Mountain Of The Cannibal God), spaghetti westerns (Mannaja), post-apocalyptic movies (2019 – After the Fall of New York) and gialli (The Strange Vice Of Mrs. Wardh). Martino made his directorial debut in 1969 with the documentary Mondo Sex, before he became a giallo master in the early 70’s with several superior murder mystery thrillers, often starring Edwige Fenech (his brother was married to her in the 70’s). The Case Of The Scorpion’s Tail
begins with an unfaithful wife who inherits one million dollars from an insurance policy after her wealthy husband is killed in a mysterious plane crash.
But an insurance investigator suspects her for somehow being involved with planting a bomb on the plane. When an ex-lover who tries to blackmail her is found murdered in her apartment, the suddenly rich widow decides to take the money in cash and escape to Tokyo. But a maniac with black gloves sneaks into her room, kills her and steals the money. A police inspector, an insurance investigator and a female photojournalist try to catch the killer. This film has all the necessary elements of a great giallo; A convoluted story, well staged murders, beautiful women, a catchy score by Bruno Nicolai, a cool title (the scorpion of the title refers to a cuff-link left behind at the scene of an attack) and the killer’s identity remains a mystery until the end.
The film takes place in London and Greece, and the stunning Anita Strindberg is great in the lead. The film isn’t as popular as Martino’s other gialli, probably because Edwige Fenech was indisposed. But Anita Strindberg is a more than worthy replacement. Seriously, if you watch this film without falling in love with her, there might be something wrong with you. Genre regular George Hilton is also great in the film, and euro babes Janine Reynaud and Ida Galli (credited as Evelyn Stewart) pop up in important supporting roles. The most memorable thing of this film, in addition to Strindberg’s beautiful smile, is Martino’s unique giallo style. He is second only to Lord Dario, and this clever masterful film feels like his declaration of love to the genre.
The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail (“La coda dello scorpione”)
Release year: 1971
Director: Sergio Martino
Starring: Anita Strindberg, Ida Galli, George Hilton
Style and coolness
Tension and gory death