27 April 2016 | jadavix
Sexy and entertaining
"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 movie wastes not a scene and is never boring, has style to spare and boasts some fabulous T 'n A.
The plot concerns, as they always do, a black gloved killer stalking beautiful, promiscuous women. His choice of murder weapon is a red and black silk scarf, but after killing his victims he likes to gouge their eyes out, and in one scene, he apparently employs a hacksaw to dismember their already dead bodies.
One of the movie's four beautiful leads receives a threatening phone call that leads her to believe she has seen the killer, and may be next on the hit list. Her uncle suggests she escapes with her three gal pals to his villa in some remote location. Are you noticing parallels to the yet-unborn slasher film?
Aside from the "group of people in remote location so they can't escape the killer" set up, "Torso" also resembles a slasher more than the average giallo in that the mystery aspect of the movie isn't substantial. The red scarf clue is all but forgotten, and the big reveal of the killer's identity at the end, and explanation for his behaviour feels tacked on, as though Sergio Martino only did it because all of the other gialli did.
Like most other gialli, and in contrast to the slasher, the violence is really not as graphic as you'd expect, and is instead replaced by overt eroticism. In one scene a man is killed by being repeatedly rammed by a car. We see a shot, an obvious special effect, showing a dummy head crushed between the car's front bumper and a wall. Obvious or not, it's enough to make you wince... but then the movie cuts to a shot of the actor in his death throes, covered in blood, but with his head perfectly in proportion, despite what we just saw!
The movie does sex much better than it does violence. This is one of the most overtly sexual of the decent gialli, though in one unfortunate way it does resemble a slasher in this regard: the best looking girl, Tina Aumont, doesn't show any skin.