Scorpion with Two Tails (1982)

Also known as Assassinio al Cimitero Etrusco (Murder in the Etruscan Cemetery), this is one of the few Sergio Martino giallo films that I had not seen. It was originally to be an 8 episode TV series called Il Mistero Degli Etruschi (The Mystery of the Etruscans) or Lo Scorpione a Due Code (The Two-Tailed Scorpion) before it was made into a full-length film, which was then cut down again to air as a two-part movie in Italy.

Working from a script by Ernesto Gastaldi and Dardano Sacchetti (with screenplay work by Maria Chianetta), Martino tells the story of Joan (Elvire Audray, Ironmaster), who foresees that her husband will die in the Etruscan tombs that they have been exploring. And with that, her husband Arthur dies in just enough time to get John Saxon a special guest star title.

Now, she wants to find the killer, working with her friend Mike (Paolo Malco,  Escape from the BronxThe New York Ripper) and going up against her father (Van Johnson), who may not be involved for altruistic reasons.

I always loved this Enzo Sciotti poster, which looks just like the one for The House by the Cemetery.

Everyone feels like they’re going through the motions here, which is kind of sad. It’s a great idea, mashing up ancient rituals and giallo murders. It should work, but it doesn’t. Even the Fabio Frizzi score sounds a bit like The Beyond, a much better film.

You can watch this on YouTube.

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