Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 2nd, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1973
Director: Sergio Martino
Writers: Ernesto Gastaldi, Sergio Martino
Cast: Suzy Kendall, Tina Aumont, Luc Merenda, John Richardson, Roberto Bisacco
DVD released: July 28th, 2009
Approximate running time: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Mono Italian
Subtitles: English (on scenes only shot in Italian and never dubbed for English language)
DVD Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.95
Synopsis: After a few of their classmates are murdered, four college coeds go to a remote villa in the country. What starts out as a relaxing weekend! Quickly turns into a nightmare when the four girls find themselves at the mercy of a madman.
Torso was directed by Sergio Martino who was one of the prominent giallo director’s of the 1970’s. Besides Torso Sergio Martino’s other giallo’s include The Strange vice of Mrs. Wardh, Case of the Scorpion’s Tail, All the Colors of the Dark, Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key and The Suspicious Death of a Minor. The screenplay for Torso was co-written by Ernesto Gastaldi a frequent collaborator with Sergio Martino. Other notable giallo’s that Ernesto Gastaldi’s wrote screenplays for include The Sweet Body of Deborah, So Sweet… So Perverse, Forbidden Photos of a Lady above Suspicion, Death Walks on High Heels, The Case of the Bloody Iris and Death Walks at Midnight. The score for Torso was composed by Guido De Angelis and Maurizio De Angelis who’s other notable scores include Giovannona Long-Thigh, Street Law, The Big Racket, Keoma, A Man Called Blade and A Blade in the Dark.
Torso like Sergio Martino’s other giallo’s is well made film that features stylish cinematography, inventive murder set pieces and a bevy of beautiful women in various stages of undress. The most memorable murder scene is when the killer stalks one of his victims in the woods. Torso is Sergio Martino’s most graphic giallo. The film evenly spreads out its numerous red herrings all leading up to a satisfying ending. The film hits its stride once the four girls have arrived at the secluded villa. Their isolation further adds to the films building tension. The film features a strong cast which includes Suzy Kendall (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage), Tina Aumont (Lifespan), Luc Merenda (Violent Professionals) and John Richardson (Eyeball). Ultimately Torso is a well made thriller that perfectly exploits many of the giallo genres cliches.
Blue Underground presents Torso in an anamorphic widescreen that frames the image in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. In 2000 Torso was previously released in North America by Anchor Bay and Blue Undergrounds DVD release is a direct port of this previous release. In 2007 Shameless films in the UK released a DVD of Torso that included all the footage from a lecture scene which can be heard over the opening credits on the Blue Underground and Anchor Bay DVD releases. The Blue Underground DVD clocks in at 91 minutes and 37 seconds and the Shameless Films DVD clocks in at 89 minutes and 35 seconds. Blue Underground’s transfer for Torso looks pretty good for a DVD transfer that is technically almost nine years old.
This release comes with two audio options a Dolby Digital mono mix in English and a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian. Some scenes were never dubbed into English and these scenes are presented in Italian with English subtitles. Outside of these scenes the rest of the Italian audio mix is not subtitled in English. Both audio mixes sound clean and clear with some mild instances of background noise.
Extras for this release are limited to two trailers, the U.S. trailer (3 minutes 30 seconds) and the international trailer titles “Carnal Violence” (3 minutes 7 seconds). Overall Torso gets a well rounded re-release from Blue Underground and at a more than affordable price.