Director – Sergio Martino (Blade of the Ripper, All the Colors of the Dark)
Starring – Suzy Kendall (In the Devil’s Garden, fear is the Key), Tina Aumont (Two Orphan Vampires, Your Turn to Die), and Luc Merenda (Hostel: Part II, Hotel Fear)
Release Date – 1973
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 3/5
Italian horror is a fascinating sub-genre. There has been several phenomenal classics produced in Italy over the years that fans are absolutely rabid over. Zombie fans love the unofficial Dawn of the Dead sequel Zombi. Others are mesmerized by the gorgeous color pallets and crisp imagery in Dario Argento’s definitive giallo Susperia.
One film I’ve heard fans confess their love for, Torso, is another Italian horror film that I never had the opportunity to see. Torso looked like a bloody good time but I was always skeptical of which version of the film to buy. Most fans and collectors told me to stay away from certain editions because they were horrible transfers or was missing scenes. My frustration got the best of me and I stopped pursuing it. Recently my friends over at Shameless released the film on blu and they were kind enough to hook me up with a review copy. Thanks!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a group of college students who attend a university where several have been found strangled by a red and black scarf. Anyone of their fellow students and faculty could be the killer which leads to paranoia among the young women. They decide for a weekend getaway and leave town to stay at a friends but what they don’t know is the killer has followed them and their attractive bodies will force him to kill again…and again.**Spoiler Alert**
Torso was not the film I was expecting. I knew the film would be a great giallo but I was expecting something a little more gruesome. I was expecting something with some gory kills considering the film’s title is Torso and it brandished a saw on all the promotional material. The film is rather bland when it comes to the death scenes but it still delivers that giallo style.
The acting in this one is solid by the entire cast but no one really stands out from the others. The cast moves the story along and does a great job at keeping the killer’s identity a mystery.
The story for this one is a very well paced and tight mystery that keeps the viewer guessing with every passing scene. The film does an amazing job at tossing in red herrings to throw the viewer off. This was one of the few giallos that was not predictable.
Finally, the film has several on screen kills. We get some bright red blood and minimal practical effects making for some very lackluster kills. Like most giallos the focus is on the story and the payoff instead of the kills. Overall, Torso is a damn fine Italian horror film and a textbook example of what it means to be a giallo. Fans of Italian horror and giallo must see this one!
Unique Rebuilding of Film with Additional Footage
English and Italian Version