Waynesville Mail

A Giallo Master Misses the Mark

The Scorpion with Two Tails (Assassinio al cimitero etrusco)


Genre: Crime, Horror, Mystery
Year Released: 1982, 2022 Full Moon Blu-ray
Runtime: 1h 38m
Director(s): Sergio Martino
Writer(s): Ernesto Gastaldi (story,) Dardano Sacchetti (story,) Mara Maryl (screenplay)
Cast: Elvire Audray, Paolo Malco, Claudio Cassinelli, Marilù Tolo, Wandisa Guida, Gianfranco Barra, Mario Cecchi, Franco Garofalo
Where To Watch: Available to purchase from Full Moon Direct www.fullmoondirect.com and to stream on Full Moon Features

RAVING REVIEW: THE SCORPION WITH TWO TAILS, helmed by the talented Sergio Martino, was released in 1982 and promised to be a thrilling and suspenseful horror-thriller. However, the film falls short of expectations despite its intriguing title (not to be confused with his other movie, THE CASE OF THE SCORPION’S TAIL) and Giallo roots, including screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi and some notable actors from the genre. Initially, the film was meant to be an 8-part miniseries for Italian television, but it was later re-cut for a theatrical release.

The film falls apart quickly, and the performances don’t match the film's scale. At the heart of the story is a young woman named Joan Barnard, played by Elvire Audray, who is plagued by nightmares of ancient rituals. Audray shuffles through the film with a blank expression that sometimes makes it feel like she isn’t even present.

The film lacks the thrills and graphic violence that fans of Giallo and slasher genres have come to expect. The story is weighed down by too many subplots and side characters, leading to an anticlimactic conclusion. Most of this can be put into its transition from a mini-series to a feature film. 

Martino, a master of the Giallo genre, had already started to experience a decline in his career by the time THE SCORPION WITH TWO TAILS was released, and it shows in the film. If you’re looking for a Full Moon title from this director, I suggest THE ISLAND OF THE FISHMEN. The potential was here, but the pieces felt forced together. There were still some issues, but you got to have a lot more fun with the experience.

In conclusion, THE SCORPION WITH TWO TAILS is a film that doesn’t quite live up to its potential. While the title and Giallo roots may be intriguing, the film fails to deliver the thrills, horror, or suspense that genre fans usually hope for with a title like this.

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[photo courtesy of FULL MOON DIRECT]