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Torso (1973)
"I corpi presentano tracce di violenza carnale" (original title)

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Romance  |  13 September 1974 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 3,094 users  
Reviews: 62 user | 97 critic

Someone is strangling coeds in Perugia. The only clue is that the killer owns a red and black scarf, and police are stumped. American exchange student Jane and her friends decide to take a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Suzy Kendall ...
Jane
Tina Aumont ...
Daniela
...
Roberto
...
Franz
Roberto Bisacco ...
Stefano Vanzi
Ernesto Colli ...
Gianni Tomasso, the scarf vendor
Angela Covello ...
Katia
Carla Brait ...
Ursula
Conchita Airoldi ...
Carol Peterson (as Cristina Airoldi)
Patrizia Adiutori ...
Florence Heineken
Luciano Bartoli ...
Motorcycle guy #1
Gianni Greco ...
Motorcycle guy #2
Luciano De Ambrosis ...
Inspector Martino
Enrico DiMarco ...
Village idiot
Giorgio Dolfin ...
Slim boy in the village
Edit

Storyline

Someone is strangling coeds in Perugia. The only clue is that the killer owns a red and black scarf, and police are stumped. American exchange student Jane and her friends decide to take a break from classes by going up to Danielle's uncle's villa in the country. Unfortunately the killer decides to follow, and the women begin suffering a rapid attrition problem. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Enter... if you dare the bizarre world of the psychosexual mind. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 September 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Torso  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The fuzztone guitar instrumental featured in the American theatrical trailer is a song called "Hippy" by Alan Parker. See more »

Goofs

In the train, the camera operator's arm is reflected in the carriage door. Also, when the man enters the train carriage and closes the door, the camera crew and boom pole are reflected in the glass. See more »

Connections

Featured in Murders in Perugia (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A slasher-giallo that is impressively tense and suspenseful
19 February 2012 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

Between 1971 and 1973 Sergio Martino directed a series of five astonishingly good horror-thrillers. In fact, it could convincingly be argued that in those years Martino was the premier Italian director in this genre. Torso is the final film in this sequence and while it may possibly be the least of the five it still remains an excellent entry in the giallo sub-genre. All five of his gialli had different angles that meant that they were not copies of each other. The Case of the Scorpion's Tail was a classic-style giallo that had a strong mystery element, The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh added a significant layer of eroticism, Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key added intense melodrama into the mix along with the plot of Edgar Allan Poe's the Black Cat, All the Colors of the Dark combined the giallo with an occult horror story; what Torso did was move the genre closer to the slasher film. To do this the movie is stripped of much of the detective mystery strand that typified the genre in the early 70's and instead focuses on the sex, violence and tension. Maybe by 1973 the Italian public were growing tired of the plethora of mystery-driven gialli? I can't say but Torso certainly marginalises this and magnifies the salacious content.

The story revolves around a group of young college women who are terrorised by an unknown black-gloved killer. The girls themselves are, of course, gorgeous. Most of them seem to spend quite a lot of time lying around semi-naked as well. So from an erotic point of view this is a film that doesn't exactly mess about. In terms of its violence it's probably not as nasty as its reputation suggests although there is the famous hack-saw sequence that is admittedly quite grim albeit not especially graphic. There are several individual stalk and slash scenes, the best of which is a sequence in the woods. This part is very atmospheric, helped also by the effective music. Its scenes like this one and the saw idea that make this one feel like a precursor to the slasher films that would follow a few years later. But the best thing about Torso is its final third. In this part lead actress Suzy Kendall is trapped in a villa with the killer at work in the same house but unaware of her presence. This extended, deadly game of cat and mouse is really expertly handled by Martino and is one of the most suspenseful sequences in the giallo genre. It is ultimately what defines this film.

Torso is yet another excellent giallo from Sergio Martino. It comes highly recommended to fans of the genre. Just be aware that it's less concerned with plot mechanics and much more on suspense and vicarious thrills. Because the final third is so claustrophobic and intense it means that the wider mystery is almost forgotten about. But if this doesn't trouble you too much and you are happy with thrills that don't trouble your brain too much then this is a quality ride.


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