Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 29th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1982
Director: Sergio Martino
Writers: Ernesto Gastaldi, Jacques Leitienne, Mara Maryl, Dardano Sacchetti
Cast: Elvire Audray, Paolo Malco, Claudio Cassinelli, Marilù Tolo, Wandisa Guida, Gianfranco Barra, John Saxon, Van Johnson
DVD released: February 24th, 2009
Approximate running time: 98 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Scorpion with Two Tails was directed by versatile Italian filmmaker Sergio Martino, whose notable films include The Strange vice of Mrs. Wardh, Case of the Scorpion’s Tail, All the Colors of the Dark, Your vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, Giovannona Long-Thigh, Torso, The Suspicious Death of a Minor, Mountain of the Cannibal God and 2019: After the Fall of New York. The score for Scorpion with Two Tails was composed by Fabio Frizzi who is most known for his numerous collaborations with Lucio Fulci. If you get a feeling of déjà vu while listening to the score for Scorpion with Two Tails, it is because many of the music cues sound like they have been recycled by Fabio Frizzi from other scores that composed.
The plot for Scorpion with Two Tails is an unimaginative yarn about an ancient people and death that befalls anyone who trespasses on their sacred tombs. Even though there are a slew of killings the tedious plot never manages to build any tension. Sure there are a handful of characters that get their neck snapped and head twisted around. Visually the film is a pedestrian affair that lacks the style that is evident in director Sergio Marino’s best films. Performance wise all the cast (including a very brief cameo from John Saxon) all seems to be sleep walking through their various roles. Ultimately Scorpion with Two Tails is an uneventful thriller that quickly overstays its welcome.
Scorpion with Two Tails is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. There is mild print damage throughout, colors in some scenes look faded and details are a tad too soft. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. It should be noted that this film was originally planned as a TV miniseries before it was eventually edited into a feature film and that this may account for some of the flaws present in the source materials. Overall the transfer is on par with Cecchi Gori’s transfer for their region 2 DVD release.
This release comes with two audio options English and Italian. Both audio mixes are presented in a Dolby Digital mono. Quality wise there really is no difference between the two audio mixes. They both sound clear and evenly balanced. Even though an Italian language mix has been included with this release, there are no English subtitles.
Extras for this release include a poster gallery (9 images) and alternate opening credits and three deleted scenes from the aborted TV version of the film. All four scenes are in Italian with English subtitles and they are all presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio. The four scenes are titled “Opening Credits” – (2 minutes 28 seconds), deleted scene #1 “Author Finds the Tomb” – (4 minutes 43 seconds), deleted scene #2 “The Photographer looks for the Treasure” – (7 minutes 17 seconds) and deleted scene #3 “Giorgio is Found Dead” (5 minutes 2 seconds). The three deleted scenes all open with text that explains the origins of each scene. Overall Scorpion with Two Tails gets a lackluster release that leaves room for improvement.