Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Torso (1973)

One of the most meaningless issues in the world of movie-nerds is if Torso should be considered a ”slasher” or a ”giallo”. Yes, it’s true. I run into this discussion at least once a year, which makes it a more serious issue among horror fans than famine, war and child abuse. So now we need to get some stuff straight here: Torso is a giallo, the Italian thriller. It has everything a typical giallo should have: a childhood trauma, a killer with a knife, dolls, lots of murders and nice music. The only thing that make it slightly similar to what some people claim is a typical slasher, are the fact some of the young female victims goes to a villa on the countryside and get’s killed there. That’s it. And it does not mean the genre is “slasher”. Seriously, if a movie like The Prowler or House or Sorority Row was made in Italy they would be considered giallos, because they are thrillers. Damn, Agatha Christie is considered giallo in Italy!

Puh. Fuck it. Sergio Martino’s Torso is one of the most prolific and famous giallos of the 70´s, and it’s easy to understand. It has a lot of nudity, the gore is primitive – but plenty and the classy score the De Angelis-brothers are among the most famous and popular. And maybe it’s the future US slasher-ingredients what makes this movie even more entertaining because the final is one of kind and delivers a lot of tension without being especially violent. Even the mass-slaughter inside the villa is off screen, just the aftermath is shown. Genius, because one of the thing people remember is the über-violent ending! It’s the TCM-hypnotism once again, people just imagine and it turns out even better than the filmmakers probably planned.

I’ve always wonder if the crappy effects in the two first murders are meant to be that way. Both the girls, when the knife hits and when they eyes are pushed in, are very plastic – in one case almost doll-like. Or maybe that just fitted with the killer’s obsession with them being dolls? Probably just a weak day for special effects-guy and nothing more to read in to it, but I always react when I see it. Somewhere, I don’t remember exactly where, I’ve seen the infamous Il Mostro di Firenze-case being mentioned as a inspiration to this movie, but this is of course totally wrong. The first – maybe – murder was in 1968, which wasn’t that famous. The second incident happen in 1974, but it wasn’t until 1981 the police understood that there was a serial killer on the loose. So I think we count the Il Mostro-case out as inspiration for Torso.

This wasn’t so much about the story, which I think no one complains about. One million other blogs has already talked about the plot and the kills, but I feel Torso with it’s unique twists and turns, to be a one of a kind giallo that deserves slightly higher recognition than being presented a pre-slashers and a gore-movie. This is a high class thriller with ideas that even today feels quite fresh.

A classic.

1 comment:

CiNEZiLLA said...



...and thanx for making me wanta see this movie again you bastard!:D