Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971)

A great giallo from a director who made too-few forays into the genre but come up with the goods each time.

In particular, this (like “The Fifth Cord”) is a great example of how the giallo creates a particular physical space in which the drama takes place – all ultra-modern and chic, with all sorts of psychosis rotting away under the slick surface.

Highlights include a great chase around and on the roof of a modernist office, Giancarlo Giannini’s fine performance as a cop struggling with doubts about his abilities in a case that gets all too personal, a cameo by Walter Eugene from “The House With Laughing Windows”, a high quota of gorgeous starlets and one of Morricone’s best scores. And another guest-starring appearance by J&B scotch – surely worthy of a few PhD essays in it’s own right for it’s ubiquity in the genre (did the Italians drink an awful lot of this in the 60S and 70s or were they keen early adopters of product placement?)

Well worth a viewing for the general thriller fan and a must for any self-respecting giallo aficionado.