Horror Movie Review: Torso (1973)

Torso aka The Bodies Bear Traces of Carnal Violence is an Italian giallo film directed by Sergio Martino from 1973. A lazy slasher with not much suspense, a ton of nudity and a disjointed story.

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If there is one thing Torso wants to be more than anything, it is sexy art. It spends more time focusing on the naked bodies of its female cast. Almost always portrayed with items obscuring the lower half of their bodies and with romantic music playing during sexual trysts. That this is how we open might make you think you accidently put on a softcore porno film.

In the Italian city of Perugia, several university students are murdered by a masked killer. One who strangles his victims with a red and black foulard. Once dead the killer then mutilates their bodies.

One particular student, Dani (Tina Aumont) becomes a target after she thinks she recognises the scarf on a man who has been stalking her. Along with her friends, she heads to her family’s country villa in Tagliacozzo. However, the killer isn’t far behind.

It’s nowhere as exciting as it sounds. Both the plot and the eventual killer reveal has no impact. The reasoning for the murders, childhood trauma stemming from a death, is seriously flimsy. It’s also not helped by piss-poor acting from just about everybody. A final standoff between the final girl, her rescuer and the villain feels incredibly low-stakes. Particularly because up to that point, there has been next to action.

A ton of nudity can’t make up for its shortcomings even if there is some comedy value in just how horny/pervy the male population are. Seriously, the men in this film can barely hold their desire for the women at bay.

Slow pacing, very little blood or gore and a monotonous story makes this a chore to get through. If you’ve seen your share of giallos, you’ll find this overly familiar. Much to its detriment.


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