Torso (1973)

Spread the weird

RATING– ✮✮✮½

DIRECTOR– Sergio Martino

PLOT– A deranged killer is on the loose in swinging 70s Italy and no braless college co-eds are safe.

The police are dumbfounded because, unfortunately, every single person in Italy acts suspicious and has multiple motives for killing young women.

Luckily, the killer used a red & black scarf and everybody knows that there is only one vendor on the face of the earth that sells a red & black scarf. When the police visit this guy, he remembers the identity of the killer but claims he doesn’t.

The street vendor decides to blackmail the killer and demands some money for his silence. The killer decides to kill him with the bumper of a Mini-Cooper instead and save the money.

After fleeing to a secluded villa to escape the killer, a group of co-eds orders some eggs, sunbathes nude, and falls down some stairs.

The extremely suspicious town doctor shows up and, after fondling a foot, lears at a few young girls.

The killer finds out where the girls are hiding and knocks on the door. The gaggle of girls, hoping it’s the doctor again so they can endure more learing, open the door.

They all die, are dismembered, and buried in the yard.

Fortunately, one of the girls went to bed early and missed the murder party. However, she wakes up and stumbles upon the killer halfway through his work.

Just then, the extremely suspicious doctor shows up again and throws the killer off a cliff.

3 THINGS WE LEARNED

  1. Italians are deathly afraid of parrots
  2. Folks in Italy loooooove presentations about fabric
  3. The dental and optical industry in Italy needs a desperate upgrade

REVIEWTorso is a typical 70s Italian Giallo. Actually, I’d say it’s a slightly better-than-typical 70s Italian Giallo.

It’s got top-notch cinematography (filmed by Giancarlo Ferrando who had an extremely inconsistent career… for every Torso-type film, he also shot a Warriors of the Lost World-type that seemed to suggest that, on some films, he simply didn’t care).

The acting is pretty good for the genre (especially Suzy Kendall who plays Jane, the reluctant female who finds herself suddenly caught up in a killer’s demented nightmare).

The score for the film was done by Guido De Angelis & Maurizio De Angelis and it is outstanding (it builds with a wonderful crescendo as the cat-and-mouse game plays out across the screen).

But, as with almost every single Giallo, the script is puzzling at times and downright stupid at others (there’s a killer on the loose and he’s already stalked and murdered a few of your friends! What’s that? A knock on your door in the middle of the night? And the person on the other side of the door won’t answer when you ask who it is? Well, hey… just open the door!).

Additionally, the casting is bizarre. A few of the main characters look extremely similar. It creates complete bewilderment and the viewer is left confused about who’s who.

Who just killed that lady?

Why is that girl so mad at that guy?

Is one of the college students also a prostitute?

Is that a policeman or somebody’s uncle?

The plot is confusing enough that when the casting is added into the mix the movie just becomes 100 minutes of slasher-chasing-victim over and over.

However, it’s still a pretty fun and interesting film despite its flaws and that makes you wonder… would Torso be considered a classic if a little more care was put into the production?

Quite possibly.


Gloria’s attempt at shaving the enormous bush growing under her arm went horribly wrong.