Apr 052019

The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire is a middling, even confusing, giallo horror film that doesn’t have a whole lot going for it, outside perhaps the unique filming locations in Ireland.



The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire

Genre(s): Thriller, Horror
Arrow Video | NR – 96 min. – $39.95 | April 9, 2019

Date Published: 04/05/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Riccardo Freda
Writer(s): Richard Mann (book ‘A Room Without a Door’); Riccardo Freda, Alessandro Caontinenza and Günther Ebert (screenplay)
Cast: Luigi Pistilli, Dagmar Lassander, Anton Diffring, Valentina Cortese, Werner Pochat, Arthur O’Sullivan, Dominique Boschero, Renato Romano, Sergio Doria, Ruth Durley
Features: Commentary, Interviews, Trailers, Image Gallery
Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (PCM 1.0), Italian (PCM 1.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH, English
Disc Size: 43.14 GB
Total Bitrate: 39.13 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Arrow Video provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 2.5/5

Plot Synopsis: Set in Dublin, when a young woman’s brutalized body is found in the trunk of the Swiss Ambassador’s car trunk, an investigation is launched and as the bodies pile up and a serial killer is on the loose, ex-cop John Norton (LUIGI PISTILLI) is on the case with numerous suspects: Ambassador Sobiesky himself (ANTON DIFFRING), his wife (VALENTINA CORTESE), daughter Helen (DAGMAR LASSANDER), amongst others.

Quick Hit Review: I’m no expert on the giallo horror genre, but I have seen enough to where I have my favorites that worked and others… not so much. For instance, a few of my favorites include The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Death Walks on High Heels and even Death Walks at Midnight (albeit hardly perfect). But the last couple of these movies, Strip Nude for Your Killer being the other, were rather difficult to sit through, not because of the violence but lacked any sort of style. Here, with The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire, besides its awkward title, was pretty bland in terms of direction yet also managed to featured some hapless characters uttering stilted and poorly dubbed dialogue.

But I guess I wasn’t the only one disappointed. The film’s director,  Riccardo Freda, was so dissatisfied that he removed his name and it was replaced with the pseudonym Willy Pareto. Can’t blame the guy, although I will say, it’s by no means a terrible film, just one of those giallos that you can pass on by.



No slip cover but there is a reversible sleeve featuring the original artwork. Inside is a nice booklet with essays and production photos.

Audio Commentary with giallo connoisseurs Adrian J. Smith and David Flint. This is fairly interesting, the two deep diving into the movie, what it was well and where it succeeds within the giallo genre.

Of Chameleons and Iguanas (21:55) is a new video appreciation by cultural critic and academic Richard Dyer, providing a history of the project.

Considering Cipriani (25:58) – This is a new appreciation for composer Stelvio Cipriani and his score by DJ and soundtrack collector Lovely Jon.

The Cutting Game (20:58) – New interview with assistant film editor Bruno Micheli.

The Red Queen of Hearts (20:38) with Actress Dagmar Lassander discussing her career.

Last up are the Original Trailers and Image Galleries.


VIDEO – 5.0/5

Arrow Video releases the Blu-ray of The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and given a new 1080p high-definition transfer. The movie was restored via the original 35mm camera negative with the repair work done, removing thousands of instances of debris, scratches and other instances of film wear. I found this transfer, as with most from Arrow, to be absolutely fantastic. Detail is incredibly well defined and colors are in keeping with the era and how it was filmed. The natural film noise and grain was retained giving it a near-theatrical experience, perhaps even better than how it was shown in Italy back in 1971.

AUDIO – 3.75/5

While not quite as impressive, both the English and Italian-dubbed PCM Mono tracks, though they too were remastered, taken from the optical sound negatives and as noted, the synch will be to some extent loose against the picture, due to the dialogue being recorded in post-production. While I did notice some inconsistencies with the lines matching with the lips, I didn’t find it terribly distracting.


OVERALL – 3.25/5

Overall, The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire is a middling, even confusing, giallo horror film that doesn’t have a whole lot going for it, outside perhaps the unique filming locations in Ireland. This Blu-ray release from Arrow Video does feature an excellent video transfer, decent audio and a good selection of bonus material.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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