Thursday, November 5, 2009


1973/Italy/Directed by Sergio Martino


A prime example of vintage Italian giallo (a term derived from the series of mystery/crime pulp novels first published in Italy entitled Il Giallo Mondatori, taking their name from the yellow cover background), Torso is a brutal, at times shocking thriller about a psychotic killer doing away with young women from a local college campus. When four of the girls head for the supposed safety of a mountaintop country villa, the killer tags close behind and the terror continues.

Starring Suzy Kendall, Tina Aumont and Luc Merenda, Torso can be seen as something of a template for the wave of slasher films that became popular in the late-seventies and eighties, and features some gruesome murders, groovy fashions, great locations, cool music (by Guido & Maurizio De Angelis) and lots of beautiful European dames! It has also been released under the titles Bodies Bear Traces or Carnal Violence and just Carnal Violence. The print of the film I watched this morning was from the DVD released in the US by Blue Underground, which replaces all the trimmed scenes of violence and gives you the option of watching the film in Italian or English dubbed language (although unfortunately there are no English subtitles for the Italian language track).

opyright John Harrison 2009