Blu-ray Review: Torso (1973)

One sick mofo with a twisted fashion sense is murderin’ college co-eds with a black and red ascot, and American exchange student Jane (Suzy Kendall) has a notion in her noggin that she has seen that sinister scarf somewhere before. With that revealed, J-dawg and her gal pals head to a remote villa for safety…but of course that murderous madman is clued in to where the one person that could blow his cover is layin’ low and he brings his horror-biz “A”-game to the countryside, stalkin’ and slayin with wild abandon! Soon Jane finds herself B.D. in a game of killer cat and mouse with the black gloved assailant in a fight for her life!

Director Sergio Martino delivers one hell of a sleazy, violence packed giallo with Torso. Filled with all of the trademarks of the genre; stylish murder set pieces, a black gloved clad killer, et.al.; this entry ups the nudity and sexual content…while still managing to maintain a great sense of mounting suspense (especially during the climax as Jane faces off against our resident psycho), some striking locations, and another memorable soundtrack from those masters of arcane audio; the DeAngelis Brothers (who also provided amazing scores for Yor: the Hunter From the Future, Keoma, Mannaja among many, many more).

Along with the feature, those breathtakin’ beauties at Arrow Video have included some bonus content in this Blu-ray release including: 4 versions of the film (the original Italian version, a hybrid Italian.english version, and two versions with alternate titles), a scholarly and lively audio commentary by Diabolique editor Kat Ellinger, interviews with Martino, Actor Luc Merenda, Co-writer Ernesto Gastaldi, Filmmaker (and Sergio’s daughter) Federica Martino, Mikel J. Koven, author of La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film, a Q&A with Martino, and two trailers for the film.

An often over-looked, yet supremely entertaining, entry in the giallo genre; Torso is a tense thriller packed with suspense, ample amounts of naked flesh, and style to spare and shouldn’t be missed by horror hounds!




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