‘Enter… if you dare the bizarre world of the psychosexual mind.’
Torso aka – I corpi presentano tracce di violenza carnale “The Bodies Bear Traces of Carnal Violence” – is a 1972 Italian giallo horror thriller directed by Sergio Martino (The Mountain of the Cannibal God; All the Colours of the Dark; Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key; ) from a screenplay co-written with veteran Ernesto Gastaldi.
The film was shot on location in Perugia and the Italian countryside in early 1972, and was subsequently released on 4 January 1973.
Torso is considered to be one of the forerunners of the modern slasher genre and has developed a cult following among fans of the giallo genre.
Previously, Torso was released on DVD by Anchor Bay Entertainment in 2000 and on Blu-ray by Blue Underground in a new High Definition transfer on August 30, 2011. In the UK, Shameless is releasing the film as a numbered Blu-ray (which they describe as a “Yell-O-Ray”) on 28 August 2017. The disc will include a brand new Martino interview and the Shameless trailer collection. The cover art will be reversible; as per below, with the other to be revealed soon.
The murder of two college students (and one’s boyfriend) leads to a manhunt for the killer, whose chief weapon is a red and black ascot to strangle his victims.
When a young college student discovers that she recognizes the murder weapon, she becomes a target of the killer and agrees with one of her friends, who is acquainted with their art history teacher, to stay at a local villa located on a nearby cliff.
However, the isolated cliffside villa offers no protection for the killer, who runs over the street vendor who he buys his scarves from and who tried to blackmail him for his silence. At the same time, a young college student who is obsessed with one of the four girls and has been actively stalking her (and wearing a similar red and black scarf) and one of the locals in town, go up to the villa to spy on the girls only to be ruthlessly killed.
The young student who invited her friend to the villa breaks her ankle and a doctor gives her a sedative; as such, she is asleep when the killer makes his way into the house and kills the girls, including the one who can identify him. She wakes up in time to watch him dismember the bodies but hides to avoid detection.
However, the killer locks the house, trapping her inside while he prepares to dispose of the body. When he realizes that the last girl is alive, he baits her into coming out of the room she is hiding in and reveals himself to her…
Slick production values, stylish direction, picturesque provincial Italian locations and a great score by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis add up to another superior giallo thriller from Sergio Martino. Torso is only marred by an unsavoury element of leering Italian machismo and the somewhat protracted finale that stretches the suspense levels a tad too long.
Adrian J Smith, Horrorpedia
” …a standard, yet very acceptable “killer on the loose” story with about half a dozen suspects, most who are killed off by the third act. When the killer is revealed, his sadistic behavior is tied to a traumatic childhood experience, which is a common giallo ingredient. Martino’s film is a visual treat, full of pleasing European locations complimented by striking camera work.” George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In
“Watching Torso is like seeing a ‘making of’ feature for the entire slasher category. There is so much that was definitely borrowed from this for the template and it is done here with such panache that you have rarely seen it bettered. The masked assailant stalking a love-making couple in a parked car has been conveyed a billion times since, but there’s something crisp about its authenticity here.” Luisito Joaquín González, A Slash Above…
“The movie is rightly remembered for its intense murder scenes, but Martino really shines when it comes to staging some intricate suspense sequences. The killer savors playing cat-and-mouse with his prey and this results in some marvelous, purely cinematic stretches wherein the suspense is racked up to the maximum before Martino pays off with a tremendous shock effect.” Troy Howarth, So Deadly, So Perverse
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