Lisa Baumer (Ida Galli) is having an affair. While with her lover she receives a phone call that her husband Kurt was killed when his plane exploded over the Pacific. There were no survivors. Lisa is told that her husband had an insurance policy worth a million dollars, but she must go to Greece to collect it. Lisa goes. While she is in Greece she is approached by Peter Lynch (George Hilton) who is an investigator for Insurance International, the insurance company that sold Kurt the policy. He tries to keep an eye on her trying to determine if she had anything to do with the death of her husband.
Lisa is also contacted by her husband’s mistress, Lara Florakis (Janine Reynaud). She tells Lisa that her husband was going to change his will and make her the beneficiary. She wants half the policy proceeds or she will have her henchman, Sharif (Luis Barboo) mess up Lisa’s face. Lisa flees and ends up saved by Peter.
The next day Lisa gets her check from the insurance company and goes to the bank to cash the check. She wants the proceeds in cash. The bank tries to talk her out of it but Lisa is adamant. Cash in hand Lisa makes a reservation for a flight to Tokyo and returns to her hotel room to pack. Before she can leave someone breaks into her hotel room, kills her, and takes the money.
In addition to Peter, Inspector Stavros (Luigi Pistilli) from the Greek police and Interpol agent John Stanley (Alberto de Mendoza) are also involved. All three men agree to work together to find out who killed Lisa and what happened to the money. In reality no one trusts anyone and they all start following each other. Cleo Dupont (Anita Strindberg) is a reporter who inserts herself into the investigation by latching on to Peter. This is something that Peter is OK with.
The investigation turns up Lara. Then Lara turns up dead along with her henchman Sharif. As the murders begin to pile up the question arises: What if Kurt Baumer is really alive?
“The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail” AKA “La coda dello scorpione” AKA “Tail of the Scorpion” was released in 1971 and was directed by Sergio Martino. It is an Italian thriller mystery and a giallo. It is also what is known as a jet set giallo as it incorporates world travel in addition to large sums of money. The film starts in England and quickly moves to Greece which is where the movie was filmed.
This was a great film. Director Martino has done some really good gialli. “Scorpion’s Tail” was the second in his resume. As is usual in this subgenre, there are plenty of murders and naked people. There is also a really good story with some nice mystery, a trail of clues and a list of suspects that get dwindled down in great gory giallo fashion. There is more red here than just the herrings.
The movie probably has the biggest kill count if you include the hundred or so passengers that were blown up with the killer’s bomb in addition to the seven regular victims.