Review: Torso (Blu-ray)

2012/05/26 17:21:28 +00:00 | Derek Botelho

A mysterious killer is stalking female students at an international university in Perugia, Italy. As the body count rises, every male character the camera comes across seems to become a suspect.

Suzy Kendall plays Jane, a beautiful coed with a collection of equally attractive friends from all over the globe. To get out of dodge, the girls who are left, and don’t seem terribly affected by the deaths of their friends, decide to go stay at a remote villa for vacation.

As per usual with most post-The Bird with the Crystal Plumage gialli, the focus is on naked women and the death scenes. What makes this one stand apart is that it has a murder mystery that at works at times. Throw these girls into peril, combine a young doctor, a delivery boy at the villa, and a strange college professor, and you’ve got a cast fit for a nightmare written by Agatha Christie. However, the movie really is just a set up for the final twenty minutes or so. Interestingly, this slasher film turns into a suspense thriller with almost no dialogue, and Kendall doing an Audrey Hepburn Wait Until Dark-type turn. There is some great nail-biting stuff in here.

Blue Underground makes this bloody bounty shine and I highly doubt this movie looked this nice upon its initial release. The film will never be reference quality on any format I’m sure, but I was pleasantly pleased at how nice this looked. Even the odd grainy or funky looking shot doesn’t really detract from the overall detail and clarity. As an added bonus, the film is presented in its slightly longer Italian cut and the unrated U.S. version. The audio is decent with the English dub being a bit muddy at times, but it gets the job done and the Italian dub is quite a bit clearer. English subtitles are provided for those who require them for either audio option.

Director Sergio Martino kicks off the bonus features with an entertaining interview that runs about ten minutes, and is presented in HD. The rest of the bonus material is made up of American, International, and Italian trailers, a few TV and radio spots; and an optional introduction to the film by Hostel director and genre lover, Eli Roth.

Sergio Martino has crafted a minor classic of the Italian thriller genre, known as “giallo”. Kendall’s performance really doesn’t get going until the last half hour, but it’s great when it does. There are a few fantastic suspenseful scenes here, and the film is worthy of a look for fans of Italian horror and slashers, if nothing else to see how the slashers of the 1980’s came to be.

Film Score: 3/5  Disc Score: 3/5