Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 20th, 2008
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: November 26th, 2007
Approximate running time: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English (with some scenes in Italian)
DVD Release: Shameless Films
Region Coding: Region 0 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £12.99
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.
Shameless Films presents Torso in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Colors looks strong and details look crisp throughout. Black levels look good and the image remains stable throughout.
This release comes with audio options a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. There are a few scenes that were never dubbed into English. These are presented in Italian and English subtitles have been included. Outside of some minor instances of background noise this audio mix while not dynamic it is more than serviceable.
Extras for this release include trailers for Torso, Baba Yaga, Killer Nun, Phantom of Death, The Black Cat, Venus in Furs and The New York Ripper. To date all of Sergio Martino’s other giallo’s have been lavished with fully loaded DVD releases. While Torso remains his most neglected giallo when it comes to the various DVD release of them film. Overall Torso gets a DVD release from Shameless Film’s that is on par with the region 1 DVD release from Anchor Bay.