“The Iguana With The Tongue Of Fire”
Murder in Dublin
“The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire” is an excessive giallo film with a rogues gallery of perverse characters; violent, fetishized murders, and one of the genre s most nonsensical, red-herring laden plots (which sees almost every incidental character hinted at potentially being the killer). Set in Dublin, the film opens audaciously with an acid-throwing, razor-wielding maniac brutally murdering a woman in her own home. The victim’s mangled corpse is discovered in a limousine owned by Swiss Ambassador Sobiesky (Anton Diffring) and a police investigation is launched, When the murders continue and the ambassador claims diplomatic immunity, tough ex-cop John Norton (Luigi Pistilli) is brought in to find the killer…
This is a lurid over-the-top film directed by Riccardo Freda. It is trashy and filled with slashes and begins with the horrible mutilated, acid-splashed and razored body of a young Dutch woman being found in the boot of a Rolls Royce. Her murder is seen just after the credits, at the hands of a killer wearing dark glasses. The discovery sparks an investigation, which is hampered by Ambassador Sobieski’s diplomatic immunity. However, along with the Ambassador there are many shifty looking characters littering the embassy, including his opium addicted wife (Valentina Cortese); the sweaty chauffeur, Mandel (Renato Romano), who needs to wear dark glasses because of his conjunctivitis; the Ambassador’s beautiful daughter Helene (Dagmar Lassander) and his smarmy son Marc (Werner Pochat).
Another body turns up connected to the steely-eyed Ambassador. His mistress, a flame-haired nightclub singer (Dominique Boschero), is found slashed to death just after he was seen leaving her backstage dressing room. it is here that the frustration from their lack of progress causes the police bring in the unofficial help of ex-Inspector John Norton. Norton had been kicked off the force after his incompetence led to a man he was violently interrogating grabbing his gun and blowing his brains out (a moment lovingly shown in slo-mo several times). When not at home with his teenage daughter and amateur sleuth mother, Norton gets stuck into the case by getting stuck into the Ambassador’s daughter.
However, despite Norton’s best efforts, more of the Sobieski clan – and their friends and associates – end up at the wrong end of the iguana’s tongue of fire …
The film has many red herrings, from almost everyone owning a pair of dark glasses (like the one the killer wore during the first murder) to one of the characters protesting his innocence by producing a receipt from ‘Swastika Laundry’.
Director Freda seems to revel in gore to a level not usually seen in the giallo. The gore effects are wholly unconvincing but those who love sleaze should enjoy them— we see throats slashed emitting geysers of blood and a mannequin has acid thrown at her face. An exciting and improbable ending and confrontation with the killer comes at the end of the film.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
New 2K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
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
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Andreas Ehrenreich