Blu-Ray Review: The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail

Of all the myriad sub-genres of horror cinema, giallo is possibly the most stylistically exuberant, nostalgically eulogised and vividly colourful. Whilst Dario Argento is the director usually associated with this style of film-making, much of his output fell outside of strict genre definitions. The master of the artform was unquestionably Sergio Martino (The Suspicious Death of a Minor, Torso). He took advantage of the economic boom sweeping Western Europe during the early 1970s to make the lavish and elaborate The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail.

After her husband’s plane crashes with deadly consequences, Lisa Baumer (Evelyn Stewart) inherits a small fortune. She goes to Greece to collect the money but soon discovers that she’s not the only one coveting it. Peter Lynch (George Hilton), a private detective, is dispatched by the insurance company to investigate irregularities with the claim. When people start dying, he teams up with a reporter (Anita Strindberg) to uncover the truth behind the murders.

The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail is a stylish and bloody crime thriller which twists and turns as the bodies stack up. Martino cleverly keeps his audience guessing. Whilst, at the same time, he builds the tension gradually. Death by death. Making great use of location. Greece provides a beautiful backdrop for the reign of terror. Whether it’s inner-city Athens or the rugged sunswept coastline. The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail paints the screen with broad bloody brushstrokes.

Special Edition Contents:

• Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative

• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation

• Original lossless mono Italian and English soundtracks

• Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack

• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack

• Audio commentary with writer Ernesto Gastaldi, moderated by filmmaker Federico Caddeo (in Italian with English subtitles)

• New interview with star George Hilton

• New interview with director Sergio Martino

• New analysis Sergio Martino’s films by Mikel J. Koven, author of La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film

• New video essay by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films

• Theatrical trailer

• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Rachael Nisbet and Howard Hughes, and a biography of star Anita Strindberg by Peter Jilmstad

The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail is released on Blu-ray by Arrow Video on 16 July.

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