The Case of the Scorpion's Tail (1971)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Giallo, Psychological Thriller  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - Italy, Spain  |  
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The Case of the Scorpion's Tail is an interesting entry in the Italian giallo cycle. It contains the requisite amount of knife murders and plot twists, yet it never succumbs to the baroque stylistic eccentricities for which the genre is known. Sergio Martino directs the film with an eye for craftsmanship, making the most of his gorgeous English and Greek settings while keeping the pace taut and the suspense sequences genuinely nerve-jangling. He also gets solid performances from a cast of familiar European B-movie faces: George Hilton is likeable as the low-key witty insurance inspector, Anita Strindberg makes for a plucky love interest, and Janine Reynaud is suitably hateful as one of the scheming suspects. The end result isn't the best of the giallo cycle, but its sense of stylistic economy and the story's willingness to play fair with the audience make The Case of the Scorpion's Tail good entry-level fare for those new to Italian thrillers.