Sergio Martino deserves the same amount of name recognition as his Italian directing peers such as Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci and Mario Bava. For fans of giallo, Martino is starting to get attention as more of his classic films are getting released on Blu-ray in America. After recently putting out Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key and The Suspicious Death of a Minor, Arrow Video will release The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail on July.
After the success of The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, Martino came back with another tale of homicide and wickedness. A widow finally gets her inheritance only to end up dead before she can share the fun with her lover. An insurance investigator is placed on the case of finding the killer. The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail starred George Hilton, Anita Strindberg, Alberto de Mendoza and Ida Galli. There’s been no announcement on the bonus features.
Arrow has taken a bigger step in giving the director a spotlight with the release of All The Colours Of Sergio Martino by Kat Ellinger. The biography is offers concise coverage of his life and filmography. Sergio and his brother Luciano were busy for decades as a director and producer combo. The duo got their start in the cinematic eras of Sword and Scandal epics and the Spaghetti Westerns. But the duo really scored with the The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh. Sergio scored a name with Edwige Fenech playing a rich heiress who fears all the men in her life are out to kill her. Luciano ended up partners with Edwige for a long time. Sergio went on to make All the Colors of Dark and Torso. Ellinger shapes her book around how the Martino brothers changed genres to reflect what was happening in the market place. She doesn’t just focus on Martino’s giallo. She sheds a light on how after the killing, Martino teamed up with Edwige to make successful female driven comedies. After this, the director found himself working in police driven films (Gambling City), cannibal flicks (The Mountain of the Cannibal God) and post-apocalyptic visions (2019, After the Fall of New York). The book gives a sense of why the Italian cinema calmed down in the late ’70s.
The most frustrating part of the book is reading about Martino’s two longer projects. Scorpion with Two Tails was a two part TV movie with John Saxon (Enter the Dragon) that lasted 200 minutes, but was butchered down to 93 minutes for the international market. In the early ’90s, Sergio matched up with Edwige to create Private Crimes, a six hour TV special. She plays a journalist investigating why her daughter and people around her died. You can’t help but read it and hope that Arrow is teasing us that these two films along with Strange Vice and All the Colours of Dark will be coming from them in the near future. All The Colours Of Sergio Martino makes a fine case that the director should be embraced as a filmmaker whose career reflected the trends in Italian cinema, but did more than just coast along with impersonation title.
Tags: Arrow Video, Case of the Scorpion's Tail, Sergio Martino