Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Black Belly of the Tarantula

Go To

"With needles dipped in deadly venom, the victims are paralyzed-so they must lie awake and watch themselves die!"

The Black Belly of the Tarantula is a 1971 Italian Giallo film featuring music by Ennio Morricone.

A Serial Killer is on the loose bumping off beautiful women. His M.O.? Stab them with an acupuncture needle so they must endure torturous deaths while conscious and paralyzed. A detective is tasked with investigating the murders and discovers a deeper plot involving blackmail and drugs.

The film was distributed in the United States by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

This film contains examples of:

  • And I Must Scream: The killer injects his victims with a needle, paralyzing them but leaving them fully conscious while he does his work.
  • Animal Motifs: The killer has tarantula hawk wasps, whose hunting style he emulates with his kills. Likewise, his victims have tarantulas.
  • Big Bad: The masseur is the killer.
  • Blackmail: Our pool of victims is a group of models who are victims of a blackmail ring.
  • Dead Star Walking: Barbara Bouchet is top-billed on the poster like Barbara Bach. Bouchet is the first person to die and Bach does not have a big role and is killed during the third act.
  • Fanservice: The opening scene features a naked woman getting a massage, with closeups of her breasts and butt.
  • Obfuscating Disability: The killer is faking blindness in his civilian identity.
  • Red Herring: The entire blackmail plot turned out to have nothing to do with the killings. The killer just happened to work at the company; he was actually killing For the Evulz.
  • Sadist: The masseur learned he enjoys killing women after murdering his wife, and decides to paralyze his future victims with tarantula hawk wasp venom to make their deaths slower.
  • Spiders Are Scary: Subverted. Despite what the poster shows, this isn't a movie about giant killer tarantulas. On the contrary, it's the victims, not the killer, who are metaphorically linked with tarantulas.