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A series of sex murders shock a college campus, and four beautiful young girlfriends head for the safety of an isolated country villa. But as they succumb to their own erotic desires, their weekend of pleasure becomes a vacation to dismember at the hands - and blade - of the lecherous maniac.Directed by Sergio Martino (MOUNTAIN OF THE CANNIBAL GOD) and starring Suzy Kendall (THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE) and Tina Aumont (SALON KITTY), this Euro Horror chiller was originally released in America with much of its controversial violence removed by censors. Now fully restored from the original negative materials, TORSO is presented completely uncut and uncensored on DVD.EXTRAS:International CARNAL VIOLENCE TrailerU.S. Theatrical Trailer
There's a killer on the loose who's murdering and mutilating beautiful young college girls, and there's no shortage of suspects. Four comely coeds decide to escape the madness by vacationing in an isolated country villa, but the maniac has his eye on them--one of them suspects his identity--and drops in for a homicidal holiday. With a title like Torso you know what you're getting, but despite the high body count and the suggestion of dismemberment, most of the gore in this Italian giallo is offscreen... with a few exceptions (an icky eye gouging stands out). Director Sergio Martino is no Dario Argento and the film is blunt, direct, and vicious, as can be seen when the killer disposes of a witness by ramming his skull into a brick wall with his car, not once but twice (with the appropriate close-up). The killer, who hides behind a ratty ski mask and strangles his targets with a florid scarf, is haunted by some obscure childhood memory involving a porcelain doll and a traumatizing accident. He straddles two clichés, the Norman Bates-variety psychos and the hooded, zombielike automatons of Halloween and Friday the 13th. It doesn't make much sense, but like most slasher films, it's really about suspense, spectacle, and a body count, and Martino doesn't disappoint. To restore the film, Anchor Bay has included a few brief scenes in Italian with English subtitles. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This stylish, gripping giallo-thriller - the equal of anything directed by Dario Argento at the time - was co-written by veteran scribe Ernesto Gastaldi and director Sergio Martino, the latter a journeyman technician whose commercial ethos catapulted him from one genre to another within the dictates of Italian popular cinema (cf. BLADE OF THE RIPPER, THE VIOLENT PROFESSIONALS, SEX WITH A SMILE, etc.). Despite bland performances from an unremarkable cast (including Euro stalwarts Suzy Kendall [THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE], John Richardson [THE MASK OF SATAN] and Luc Merenda [THEY CALLED HIM AMEN]), and some pretty obvious red herrings amongst the supporting players, TORSO is augmented by a number of beautifully crafted set-pieces (most notably the stalking of a young woman [Cristina Airoldi] through desolate marshland by the masked maniac), photographed with stunning visual flair by Martino's regular DP Giancarlo Ferrando (THE CASE OF THE SCORPION'S TAIL) and edited to perfection by Eugenio Alabiso (MOUNTAIN OF THE CANNIBAL GOD). The second half of the movie, during which Kendall becomes enmeshed in a nightmarish situation at a remote but picturesque country villa, is genuinely nerve-racking, staged with cat-and-mouse efficiency by Martino at his most inspired. Spiced with audience-pleasing elements of sex and violence which tested the limits of censorship in 1973, TORSO is a minor gem.Read more ›
Director and co-screenplay writer Sergio Martino develops a loosely interesting mystery through the films course. However, after the first half-hour everything about Torso becomes tediously redundant and stale, and the murder scenes do not succeed in creating any horrific element at all (one scene, where the killer is chasing a witness through the city streets, is actually very effective, though). Redeeming the film somewhat, Torso does have some terrific performances and cinematography coutesy of veteran Giancarlo Ferrando.
Aside from the film, this Anchor Bay release lacks extras aside from two trailers. It also contains scenes where no English translation is present, making the switch from English to Italian at the drop-of-a-hat slightly frustrating (the same problem occurs in the Anchor Bay version of Argento's brilliant Deep Red). Overall, I don't recommend this one.
Most recent customer reviews
I didn't like this film very much. It was boring and tedious to sit though. I used the fast-forward on parts of it, it was that bad. Read morePublished on Nov. 3 2003 by Peter
I've seen many of Martino's movies and I can say he's one of the best directors of Italian Gialli in the 60's and 70's. Read morePublished on May 16 2003 by Wildenbruck
Torso is a great representation of what was going on with the Italian giallo scene in the early seventies. A great looking, very slick piece that is superbly suspensful. Read morePublished on June 11 2001 by Rich Bradson
Torso is a great depiction of the better side of italian cinema. There are a lot of really good italian horror/slasher films and a lot of bad ones. Read morePublished on May 13 2001 by kurlebj
Fans of spaghetti splatterfests beware- this is in no way a gore film. The title "torso" implies dismemberment; it implies bodies being cut apart with chainsaws, it... Read morePublished on April 2 2001 by David Madden
From the same director who gave us Slave of the Cannibal God comes Torso. Sergio Martino was a prolific Italian writer/director helming over fifty movies in his career, most of... Read morePublished on March 28 2001 by Bill W. Dalton
In addition to some great atmosphere and location, director Sergio Martino adds touches of voyeurism and fetishism to elevate his horror / giallo to minor classic status ... Read morePublished on March 8 2001
says the killer. which pretty much describes the modus operandi of TORSO, your average woman-slashing, daftly-scripted giallo. Read morePublished on Feb. 1 2001
I have ordered a bunch of horror movies, and this is the only one I regret. The story is mundane, there's little suspense involved and the murders are so obviously faked it made... Read morePublished on Aug. 31 2000
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