Torso (1973) - Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Hohum Score



A string of appalling lust murders shocks the University of Perugia as a sadistic serial killer strangles to death beautiful college girls with a red and black scarf.

IMDB: 6.5
Director: Sergio Martino
Stars: Suzy Kendall, Tina Aumont
Length: 92 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 13 out of 71 found boring (18.3%)

One-line Reviews (83)

I found this film to be a bit slow at times with not a lot happening.

This here is quite the enjoyable giallo and remains one of the best of the style.

It's terribly slow moving and very little happens for a long period of time.

This tries to be something new and present an exciting twist on something that was, by its time, well established; it failed at both.

Stunning giallo - a gripping thriller .

"Torso", or to use the more interesting literal translation of the Italian title, "The Bodies Presented Traces of Carnal Violence", is certainly one of the most entertaining gialli ever made.

Besides, it's a mediocre film in my opinion, that I found it a little bit boring at times.

Director Sergio Martino, who also co-wrote the luridly compelling script with Ernesto Gastaldi, delivers a tasty truckload of female nudity (the delectable Angela Covello, the foxy Carla Brait, the luscious Conchita Airoldi, and the comely Patrizia Adiutori all bare their sumptuous bodies in the leering name of all-out unapologetic exploitation), does his usual ace job of creating and sustaining a supremely creepy and unsettling atmosphere, stages the brutal murder set pieces with savage aplomb (the killing in the muddy fog-shrouded woods is a real vicious doozy), further spices things up with an explicit depiction of an unsparingly raw and perverse sexuality, offers a bevy of seedy male characters as likely suspects (Ernesto Colli in particular is especially memorable as slimy street vendor Gianni Tomasso), and really pulls out the suspenseful stops in the positively harrowing last twenty minutes.

One of the most dull horror films I've seen in years.

Bodies bare traces of carnal BOREDOM!!.

Particularly great is the beautifully atmospheric stalking sequence with Carol in the woods, as well as the highly intense scene where Jane must hide from the killer while he dismembers one of her friends.

The women are stunning eye candy, Suzy Kendall especially lovely to look at.

The first two-thirds of the movie are reasonably entertaining, just not the best you'll see from Martino.

Again, this movie is creepily effective, well-acted, and has great photography, and even if you do find it slow-moving, keep with it, as the finale is probably the best part of the film as the heroine has to watch the killer carve up her friends, one of the most unnerving sequences I have ever seen captured on film.

The film is incredibly suspenseful throughout, and the thrills do not stop for a minute.

It is the mystery in a giallo that makes them worth watching, trying to figure out who the killer is before the final reel.

This extended, deadly game of cat and mouse is really expertly handled by Martino and is one of the most suspenseful sequences in the giallo genre.

For what it's worth, the first hour is very suspenseful, as a group of sexually experimental girls attending college in Rome are stalked by an unseen assailant in black leather gloves (a genuinely creepy stalk-sequence that takes place in a bog is a high point, and foreshadows "Halloween").

Suzy Kendall and Tina Aumont are stunning as the main female characters.

The film features several sequences that stick out, and the last fifteen minutes or so are very thrilling indeed.

It's not a strong contender in the Giallo sub genre, a painfully slow pace and generally weak plot failing to match the promise of the inspired title.

If that sounds appealing to you, you will most assuredly find a modestly entertaining outing here.

The performers are fun to watch, with the attractive female cast members (also featuring Conchita Airoldi as Carol and Patrizia Adiutori as Flo) supported by the engaging Luc Merenda as the helpful Roberto and the solid John Richardson as Franz the professor.

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.

As well, the film manages to get quite a lot right here where the traditional stalk-and-slash aspects of a giallo are employed, letting this one really get quite a few really tense and suspenseful scenes into play.

"Torso" starts out as such a bang-up example of why the Italian giallos of the 1970s were such taut, intense fun, that you just feel like slapping the director and screenwriter when it completely falls apart in its last act.

The list of suspects is endless and the movie keeps you guessing right through until the drawn-out finale.

At the same time the movie is mysterious, interesting, and enjoyable.

This movie is incredibly suspenseful from start to finish and the extremely violent images are somehow illustrated stylishly.

Stylish and exciting slasher flick .

Entertaining and truly top-notch giallo .

Unfortunately the big three murders all happen off camera and at once and if the finale is suspenseful, it is also a little drawn out and maybe better pacing would have made this good film into a great one.

THE STRANGE VICE OF MRS. WARDH, 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 (COSÌ SIA) - 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 killings alternate between fairly suspenseful scenes with a decent build-up to ludicrously obvious set-ups in which characters get stoned and wander into a swamp all alone.

Sergio Martino's above average giallo is one of the finer examples of its kind, a riveting, sleazy, and creepy mystery working on themes such as chance and severe psycho sexual issues.

Of course, it's a cliche, every slasher needs to have naked girls, and I'm OK with that, and it's almost same with giallo.

Torso may not be the best giallo that Sergio Martino ever made, but I'll argue that it has some of the most intense moments found in any of his films.

"Torso" is a simply stunning giallo.

A slasher-giallo that is impressively tense and suspenseful .

Our heroine (played by a too old and bored looking Suzy Kendall) wakes up the next morning only to find all her friends butchered!

Sexy and entertaining .

TORSO is a rather formulaic example of the style of film-making, and one that includes the majority of the staples that have gone on to epitomise the type of film.

With an interesting, psychological motive for the madness, several suspects, and almost non-stop nudity, this gem also packs some thrills and suspenseful moments.

An essential must-see for Italian Horror fans, and an absolute priority for every lover of suspense-cinema in general, "Torso" is a stunning and brilliant Giallo that comes with my highest possible recommendations!

Don't waste your time with this.

The women are, for the most part, incredibly beautiful- Kendal and Aumount are especially stunning.

However, after this long stretch of unfocused sloppiness, Martino treats us with a superbly suspenseful game of cat-an-mouse between the killer and one of the young college girls locked up in a house.

Film features a scary opening sequence and an exciting finale, however the rest of the film is pretty pointless.

After a good first third, I found myself bored with the second third of it, before it recovered a bit in its final third.

In the middle there is a more mundane less sparkling aspect to it.

Martino managed to generate a fair amount of suspense,especially during the breathtaking climax as Jane and the masked murderer engage in a chilling contest of cat-and-mouse.

This movie is a waste of time.

This effort will be most entertaining to the exploitation fans, as the film has plenty of female nudity and the occasional bit of gore.

While there's nothing here to make Torso a certified classic, for at least 20 minutes it succeeds as a truly intense thriller.

What a stunning film!

Definitely worth watching.

In traditional giallo form, the movie exhausts us with red herrings to the degree where there's no point in trying to guess the killer's identity, and the constant scenes of lecherous males spying on the lovely ladies grows tiresome.

Don't waste your time...

It's full of pointless female nudity and lesbian sex scenes.

Stylish, thrilling, erotic and gripping, "Torso" gives most other giallo films a real run for their money.

First up is pretty victim Suzy Kendall, who engages in a suspenseful cat-and-mouse chase whilst hampered with a sprained ankle; John Richardson as kindly college professor Franz; and Luc Merenda as a friendly doctor.

Glossy but boring giallo .

Plenty of atmospherics, gorgeous girls, and violent bloodshed, but it is too slowly paced for me.

While it is MUCH different in style to his other films, as it is considerably more sleazy, as well as lacking the class and visual beauty of say "The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh", "Torso" manages to be very entertaining, with a clever plot that manages to keep the viewer guessing from the beginning to the end.

Their negative reactions often stem from the bad acting, laughable writing and slow pacing that plague these works and the scary part is that I have a hard time disagreeing with any of their complaints.

The contrived explanation at the end came off as incredibly awkward and forced, and the last try at a "is it or isn't it" scare was just pathetic.

Throw in some above average acting (especially from Kendall), a bit of gratuitous nudity, some vicious murder scenes, and an unexpected ending, and you've got a pretty decent thriller here.

There is a great sequence where a woman hides while her friends that puts you on the edge of your seat.

They were very suspenseful, I felt the agony!

The characters are likable and well-drawn out, the locations are fascinating and beautiful, and the plot is original for it's time.

The pace was quick and plenty happened on the screen; it seemed to relish its sleazy circumstances, and the visuals were engaging enough to keep up interest.

These are all nicely augmented by the various tropes of the genre throughout here and makes for a wholly engaging and watchable effort.

It is unfortunate that most of the brilliance was bunched into one thrilling 20 or 30 minute scene, but better to have 20 or 30 minutes of intriguing terror than 88 minutes of sheer acrimony.

Because the final third is so claustrophobic and intense it means that the wider mystery is almost forgotten about.

Instead, it just drags on and on, boring to the last...

Stick to Fulici or Argento if you want "giallo" style suspense or gore, don't waste your time and hard earned money.

The climax, in which the last remaining heroine desperately hides for the maniac, is amazingly compelling and it makes this movie a must for all giallo-fans.

Even in the uncut version the murders look censored and the pace is so slow.

The Case of the Scorpion's Tail was a classic-style giallo that had a strong mystery element, The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh added a significant layer of eroticism, Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key added intense melodrama into the mix along with the plot of Edgar Allan Poe's the Black Cat, All the Colors of the Dark combined the giallo with an occult horror story; what Torso did was move the genre closer to the slasher film.

This scene is long and utterly pointless.

Lesser Sergio Martino giallo still has a lot to recommend from it especially a very suspenseful finale.

Torso never quite finds the sweet spot, and the film is enjoyable more for its ambiance and historical value than it is for presenting a coherent and challenging murder mystery.

Whilst this approach does allow for the fear that each of the characters have to be fully expressed,it also sadly causes the movie to never spend enough time on a particular character,which along with making each of the characters disappointingly interchangeable,it also leads to the mystery element feeling rather dry,due to none of the characters appearing to heavily invest in the unmasking of the stranger.