Iguana with the Tongue of Fire, The / L'iguana dalla lingua di fuoco (1971)

2.5 out of 5

The title of this giallo is excellent and suitably animal themed. The score is by Stelvio Cipriani and is perfect for the genre. It even provides little discordant cues where a prop is highlighted as a potential clue, thus aiding the armchair sleuth. Even the reveal and resolution is suitably bonkers for the fan of the convoluted.

The locations around Dublin are interesting and most welcome. The killings, where they occur on camera, are mean and bloody with the perennial favourite cutthroat razor and black gloves natch.

Luigi Pistilli and Dagmar Lassander are faultless as is the delightful Anton Diffring. It all should be perfect.

Unfortunately this is not the case. Something goes a little awry and pulled together The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire does not quite manage to amount to the sum of it's parts. It is difficult to ascertain what it is about the film that prevents it from being the gem that it could well have been but there is this certain something that gnaws away nevertheless. Maybe it is simply too generic and too formulaic to stand out despite the things that do, no doubt, work.

Genre fans will still, despite the criticisms here, find plenty to entertain but it may just, more often than not, seem overly familiar. It has all been done elsewhere, often in a more memorable fashion, albeit not often done in Dublin.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics