Wednesday, April 3, 2019


The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire (1971) d. Riccardo Freda (Italy) (96 min)

Dario Argento’s The Bird with the Crystal Plumage launched a wave of “animal-in-the-title” offerings, including this high energy (and equally high nonsense) effort which boasts a rogues gallery of perverse characters, violent murders, and ridiculous plotting where anyone could be the killer! Possibly the only giallo set in Dublin, Ireland, things kick off with an audacious pre-titles, acid-throwing, throat-slashing set-piece, with the victim’s naked corpse unceremoniously deposited in the trunk of the Swiss Ambassador’s limousine. When the icy government official (Anton Diffring, The Man Who Could Cheat Death) claims diplomatic immunity, the cops recruit former badge John Norton (Luigi Pistilli, Twitch of the Death Nerve) to find the killer.

In addition to being constantly pummeled and thwarted in his quest for the truth, Norton finds himself falling for one of the suspects, the ambassador’s daughter Helen (Dagmar Lassander, The Black Cat), while her mother (Valentina Cortese, The Possessed) flits and flirts in the wings.

Despite the somewhat muddled script by director Freda (as Willy Pareto) and Alessandro Continenza (based on a novel by Richard Mann), the charismatic performances, gorgeous score by Stelvio Cipriani (Nightmare City, Death Walks on High Heels), and Silvano Ippolitti’s (Caligula) globe-trotting cinematography keep things moving along quite nicely. Especially with all the new extras Arrow Video has added to their high-def release, fans of the genre should definitely check this one out.


New 2K restoration from the original 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

New audio commentary by giallo connoisseurs Adrian J. Smith and David Flint

“Of Chameleons and Iguanas” with critic and academic Richard Dyer (22 min)

“Considering Cipriani” with DJ and soundtrack collector Lovely Jon (26 min)

“The Cutting Game” with assistant editor Bruno Micheli (21 min)

“The Red Queen of Hearts” with actress Dagmar Lassander (21 min)

Original Italian and international theatrical trailers

Image gallery

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys

Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Andreas Ehrenreich

The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire is available now on Blu-ray from Arrow Video and can be ordered HERE:


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