The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire (1971) (Blu-ray Review)

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The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire (1971) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Riccardo Freda
Starring: Luigi Pistilli, Dagmar Lassander, Anton Diffring
Rated: UR/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Arrow Video

In Dublin, a young woman is brutally murdered in her home by a maniac that throws acid in her face and then slits her throat with a razor. Her mangled body is later discovered in the boot of a limousine owned by the Swiss Ambassador Sobiesky. The Ambassador, who was the dead woman’s lover, refuses to cooperate with the police due to his diplomatic immunity. John Norton, an ex-cop famed for his brutal working methods, is brought in to help and gets too deeply involved when he starts an affair with the Ambassador’s beautiful step-daughter, Helen. Meanwhile, the brutal killings continue…

Well, I don’t know if anyone would call The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire the best Giallo film ever made, but it certainly got the M.O. for how to make everyone look like they could be the killer. After we see the first kill everyone thanks to a zooming closeup sort of looks like they could have done it and once the sunglasses the killer wore is also used to make even more red-herring, we have something that should probably be considered pretty ridiculous, but remains funny anyway. The movie is slow, which is expected with me when it comes to these types of films, but this one feels even slower in spots. Usually, you can at least count on violence to help hold things down in between plot points but even there this one doesn’t always deliver on the blood and the kills. We have some that are really good, but we have some that are lacking from your typical movie like this. Or maybe it is just that thanks to people like Dario Argento we are spoiled when it comes to such things. Cool title or not, this movie isn’t on the level of some other nifty Giallos we’ve seen and some even more recently from Arrow on Blu-ray as well.

The finale is probably the best this one has to offer up outside some pretty faces and some over the top effort in trying to make everyone we see on the screen look as guilty possible. We have some weird flashbacks and we have some pretty awkward kills. It isn’t hard to see why one might call The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire a “love it” or “hate it” type movie. I’m not really that keen on it and the dull ways of it might be the main reason. Arrow took care of this one, however, with some a good transfer and a whole list of extras to keep you busy once you’ve watched it. I can’t say that this one is my favorite, but it gets pretty silly for my taste and what is the most eye-catching thing about it is, they didn’t mean for it to be considered silly. If you love Giallo movies you can give this one a chance, but if you don’t, then you’ll probably want to avoid this one when all is said and done.

Extras

– NEW 2K RESTORATION FROM THE 35MM CAMERA NEGATIVE
– Uncompressed mono 1.0 LPCM audio
– Original English and Italian soundtracks, titles, and credits
– Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
– New audio commentary by Giallo connoisseurs Adrian J. Smith and David Flint
Of Chameleons and Iguanas, a newly filmed video appreciation by the cultural critic and academic Richard Dyer
– Considering Cipriani, a new appreciation of the composer Stelvio Cipriani and his score to The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire by DJ and soundtrack collector Lovely Jon
– The Cutting Game, a new interview with Iguana’s assistant editor Bruno Micheli
– The Red Queen of Hearts, a career-spanning interview with the actress Dagmar Lassander
Original Italian and international theatrical trailers
– Image gallery
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
– First pressing only: Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Andreas Ehrenreich

Quality of Transfer: 95%

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