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VINE VOICEon January 27, 2013
Sergio Martino takes a...ahem...stab at a giallo flick. And why not? Like most Italian directors, he's directed films in practically every genre anyway. It's not his only genre offering, but probably his best, and definitely his most well known.
A string of murders occurs on a college campus by a masked killer, and a group of female art students decide to escape the madness by taking off to a remote villa. Guess who follows?
The Italians really had this slasher thing down well before Friday the 13th came along. The murders are bloody and violent(for the time it was rather extreme, but not so much now for the typical horror fan), and there is a great deal of female flesh on display, including a lesbian scene! Whoopee!! Of course, this makes it easy to predict who will get slaughtered by the killer, as pretty much all the victims are shown nude at some point except Kendall, who naturally doesn't appear nude. The killer's identity is rather easy to figure out, but it's all about the journey, not the destination, right? In the giallo tradition, there is a heavy attempt to make a particular character seem the most likely candidate for the killer, but it's so obvious that he isn't the killer because of how disturbed and messed up they make him. And the fact that all the evidence points to him too! The last act with Kendall and the killer playing a game of cat and mouse in the villa is actually rather suspenseful at times. Like many giallos, it's stylish, and looks great.
The film's title more than likely refers to the fact that the killer likes to cop a feel on his victims after he murders them. Tasteful.
It may not quite be Argento, but Torso is required reading for the giallo fan.
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on November 17, 2013
This is an excellent blu-ray transfer of a rather rare giallo/slasher film that is given an introduction by writer/director of questionable renown, Eli Roth ("Cabin Fever" and "Hostel") that is truly scary. Blue Underground also provides an interview with the director of the film in which they claim and even coerce the director, Sergio Martino to agree "Torso" is his "masterpiece." The director has made many films and outran Dario Argento with three superior giallos starring Edwige Fenech, George Hilton and Ivan Rassimov: "The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh," "Your Vice is a Locked Door and Only I Have the Key" and "All the Colors of the Dark.." "Torso" is only more accessible especially to the general public who made "Friday the 13th" and other similar popular titles so big, of which it is basically a predecessor. What also gets in the way of "Torso" being on top is the tendency to include sensationalism, which in another genre Martino made a number of pictures like "Mountain of the Cannibal God." Suzy Kendall is excellent in "Torso." Color. Written by Martino and Ernesto Gastaldi, produced by Carlo Ponti, with good music and also with John Richardson.
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VINE VOICEon May 1, 2008
"Torso" is to Sergio Martino what "Deep Red" is to Dario Argento. It is a wonderful slash-and-stalk giallo with a delightfully high body count. Numerous American movies during the slasher frenzy era, especially "Friday the 13th," were influenced by this Italian giallo. Instead of a hockey mask, the serial killer wears a ski mask. Also, some of the musical score for "Torso" reminded me of that found in "Halloween." "Prom Night" was similar to "Torso" in that both movies involved a killer who had suffered a traumatic experience as a child.

Suzy Kendall (star of Dario Argento's "The Bird with the Crystal Plumage") is June, the blonde, virginal heroine in "Torso." She, like so many beautiful blondes in the slash-and-stalk thrillers of the slasher frenzy, is the last to survive the killer's fury. At a secluded villa, she awakes to discover the mutilated bodies of her friends.

The killings throughout "Torso" are imaginative and gruesome. However, they lack the realism found in Lucio Fulci's gialli such as "Don't Torture a Duckling" and "A Lizard in a Woman's Skin."

Sergio Martino directed "Torso" as well as other famous gialli such as "Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key" and "The Case of the Scorpion's Tail." It is understandable why he said that "Torso" was his favorite film in the seventies. He must have been constantly surrounded by beautiful, naked women. "Torso" has a stronger sexual content then most of his other gialli. However, the nude scenes are essential to the plot. They are also understandable considering the "sexual awakening" of the seventies Naturally, the movie also has plenty of drug use, promiscuity, and lesbianism, as much as there was in other gialli of that time period. European directors must've loved watching beautiful women kissing each other. Those crazy seventies.

The plot, characterization, acting, scenery, and musical score are superb. "Torso" is a great giallo and I highly recommend that you buy if for your giallo collection. The out of print Anchor Bay edition is very expensive, but there is a more affordable import. However, I've read that the audio and video are of higher quality from Anchor Bay. Hopefully, "Torso" will be given a new release either from Anchor Bay or Blue Underground.
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on February 15, 2010
This particular Giallo features a large roster of beautiful college girls that get killed off particularly quickly, with little time for any character development or attachment you watch the black gloved, gray ski mask wearing killer creatively eliminate each victim. What makes Torso stand out amongst slashers films with the same premise is the clever camera shots, angles and perspectives, which could have been an influence on John Carpenter for Halloween and I think even more so for Alexander Aja's High Tension. Halloween is praised for its credit for what it did for slasher films but I think credit should established for the amazing camera work in Torso. Concerning the blood and gore of the film, for 1973, hack-sawing limbs off of dead corpses and close ups of blood pools slowing draining in the muddy water while a minimalistic score seems pretty bold for the time and place of where this film was in the world of horror. Fortunately, the recent release of Torso on DVD may increase popularity along with the rise of in popularity of the Giallo genre, one would hope a 70's gem like this could be talked about in the next decade as one of the great contributors to horror.
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on November 28, 2011
After all these years of Torso being available on VHS tape, the past few years this Italian slasher flick has seen a few DVD releases and now this fantastic looking blu ray. I have been a fan of this classic since seeing it at the drive in during the mid '70s, now to own a copy of this movie that looks the best it has ever looked! Blue Underground just keeps releasing some good (and some bad) blu rays. It is hard to believe a film from 1973 could look this good. Glad I took the risk, because this blows away the DVD BU released several years ago. You have the option to watch either the English 90 minute version or the Italian 93 minute version. And the greatest part is you can choose English audio for the Italian cut!! That is so cool. Although some of it is spoken only in Italian, but not much.
The film is presented in its original 1.66 aspect ratio (where most prints have over matted the prints). Just glad a company took the time and money to make this classic look this great. This is a great looking blu ray of this forgotten Italian classic.
Keep bringing us great blu ray releases like this Blue Underground.
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on April 17, 2016
One of the best HORROR movies of the seventies. If you went to see it at the Drive In Theatre it was always paired with Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I remember as a kid it scared me to the point I never forgot about it and getting to see it once again was awesome. Still scares me. A must see for any vintage or current horror fan.
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on May 9, 2014
The film oozes with psycho-sexual tension. Voyeurism plays a strong role in the film. At face value, the film shows Italian males all to be dangerous and crazed sexual predators. The cinematography is excellent. You really see a lot of shots that are still used today in the horror genre. It looks like the French film, High Tension borrowed a lot from this film, and for good reason. Even the film is dated, the suspense is still there when watching the home invasion scene. There is one part where the female protagonist, (who is injured) can do nothing but hide in the closet, as she watches the killer take a hacksaw to his victims. The film makes every male character seem like some sort of sexual deviant because it wants you to keep guessing who the killer is. The problem, for me at least, is that it's painfully obvious. That was my only problem with the film.
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on April 25, 2017
Saw this when there were still drive-ins. Dvd plays well and it was an okay movie for its time...Brought back nice memories, glad to find it.
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on April 5, 2000
Anchor Bay's DVD of TORSO is incredible - the image is crisp, sharp, colorful and there is no artifacting whatsoever. The print is also UNCUT! For years the film was seen in the US only in an edited version with most of the gore and sex cut out. It's great to finally see the entire uncut film with it's original opening and the extra sex and gore bits....I love the head crushing scene (albeit kind of fake) plus there's extra shots of the killer sawing up the bodies into little pieces. What more do you want? There's the cool looking hooded killer plus lots of stylistic giallo touches...this movie is better than ever especially in this impeccable presentation. It's letterboxed and includes the fun US trailer-"Tor---so!" as well as the original euro-trailer. A few shots in the film are in italian with english-subtitles because either the english track was never recorded or it had been lost...but it's not annoying at all and you just can't help loving this disc...especially if you are into euro-sleaze! One of Anchor Bay's best!
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on April 21, 2017
A must have slasher with a hyperactive sex drive feeding off blood type of killer.
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