The Black Belly of the Tarantula

Watch The Black Belly of the Tarantula

"With needles dipped in deadly venom the victims are paralyzed - so they must lie awake and watch themselves die!"
  • NR
  • 1972
  • 1 hr 29 min
  • 6.3  (3,496)

In 1971, Italian director Paolo Cavara released his masterpiece horror-thriller- The Black Belly of the Tarantula, based on a novel by Carlo Fruttero and Franco Lucentini. The film belongs to the "giallo" genre, a category of Italian horror-thriller movies that were famous during the late 1960s and 1970s. The movie stars Giancarlo Giannini as Inspector Tellini, who is investigating a series of murders in which the victims are found with a needle inserted between their first two toes. Claudine Auger plays Maria Zani, the wife of the chief suspect, Paolo Zani. Barbara Bouchet plays Laura, a beautiful woman whom Tellini meets as he tries to unravel the mystery. The movie is full of striking visuals, haunting music, and intense violence.

The movie opens with a beautiful woman named Maria Zani in a secret meeting with another man at a spa. Suddenly, they are interrupted by a masked figure who kills Maria by inserting a hypodermic needle into her foot, paralyzing her and then wrapping her in a cocoon of silk. Inspector Tellini is assigned to the case and starts investigating the spa and its clients. Meanwhile, more murders occur at the spa, and Tellini tries to uncover the identity of the killer.

As Tellini investigates, he meets a variety of people who are connected to the spa, including a prostitute named Jenny (Stefania Sandrelli) and Laura (Barbara Bouchet), who is a friend of Jenny's. Tellini learns that Paolo Zani (played by Rossella Falk), Maria's husband, is the chief suspect, as he had a motive to kill his wife. However, as the investigation progresses, it becomes clear that the situation is more complicated than it first appeared.

The movie has several striking visual motifs, including close-ups of needles and feet, as well as the killer's use of a tarantula to paralyze his victims before killing them. The film captures the mood of the 1970s with its chic fashions, spas, and luxurious settings. At the same time, it has an underlying sense of dread and horror that is heightened by the eerie score by composer Ennio Morricone.

The Black Belly of the Tarantula is an excellent example of the "giallo" genre, known for its stylized violence, dreamlike imagery, and unconventional narrative structure. It has a noirish sense of style, mixing moments of extreme violence with moments of quiet tension. The film also features an impressive cast, including Giancarlo Giannini, an accomplished actor who would later gain international acclaim for his work in films such as Seven Beauties and Hannibal.

Overall, The Black Belly of the Tarantula is a gripping and suspenseful thriller that is sure to captivate fans of horror and suspense films. It's a visually stunning movie that blends the atmosphere of the 1970s with a chilling sense of horror, thanks to the masterful direction of Paolo Cavara and the unforgettable performances of its cast. And while it has some moments of extreme violence, it's a film that is ultimately about investigating humanity's darker impulses and the lengths people will go to get what they want.

The Black Belly of the Tarantula is a 1972 horror movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 29 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3.

The Black Belly of the Tarantula
Where to Watch The Black Belly of the Tarantula
The Black Belly of the Tarantula is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV Channels, Shudder, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent The Black Belly of the Tarantula for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 29 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.3  (3,496)