30 May 2024
Iguana with the Tongue of Fire (1971)
92 min.
Directed by Riccardo Freda.
With Anton Diffring, Valentina Cortese, Luigi Pistilli, Dagmar Lassander, Dominique Boschero, Werner Pochat, Renato Romano.
Here, Director Riccardo Freda serves up a wantonly sleazy - but also shamefully dreary - giallo.

Set in Dublin, a young woman's maimed body is found in the trunk of the Swiss Ambassador's car, her throat slashed and her face eaten away by acid.

Police detective John Norton (Pistilli) is assigned to investigate the case. But he soon finds his workload growing, as the unknown killer continues his bloody rampage of terror and bodies begin to pile up across the city.

Could the Ambassador's sexy daughter Helen (Lassander) somehow be involved with the slayings? Or how about the politico's disgruntled, depressed wife (Cortese)?

The bewildering storyline features many of the typical giallo conventions, but there are way too plot holes and loose ends that will leave you running for your score card.

It's true that Freda dots the landscape with heavy doses of the red stuff (he does create a greasy enough mood), but Iguana gets mired in its own pit of oil and never becomes either unique or captivating.

The often lauded Freda (who gave us 1957's I Vampiri and 1962's Horrible Secret of Dr. Hichcock) should have delivered better.

Watchable, but banal.

Italian: L'Iguana dalla lingua di fuoco.

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