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)

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

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").

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

They were very suspenseful, I felt the agony!

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

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.

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.

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 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.

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

Stunning giallo - a gripping thriller .

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Entertaining and truly top-notch giallo .

Don't waste your time...

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

This movie is a waste of time.

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

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.

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

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.

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

Glossy but boring giallo .

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

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

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

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

"Torso" is a simply stunning 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.

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

Sexy and entertaining .

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

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).

"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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

Bodies bare traces of carnal BOREDOM!!.

This scene is long and utterly pointless.

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

Definitely worth watching.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

What a stunning film!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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!

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

"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.

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.

Stylish and exciting slasher flick .

A slasher-giallo that is impressively tense and suspenseful .

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.

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

Don't waste your time with this.

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

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.