Torso / I corpi presentano tracce di violenza carnale (1973)

4.5 out of 5

Two college women are found murdered with a red and black silk scarf. Their bodies are left mutilated. Daniela, Tina Aumont, thinks she may have a clue to the killer’s identity and soon receives threatening phone calls. She seeks refuge in an isolated family villa, along with three female college friends, including Suzy Kendall as American exchange student Jane. Soon, they discover that the killer has followed them.

Although the first half of the film is clearly a giallo, the second half focuses on a stalk-and-slash formula. Torso’s influence on the slasher film cannot be overstated. It incorporates many elements that would later become staples of the genre, such as killer point of view shots, prolonged stalking sequences, graphic murders, and an early version of the “Final Girl”.

The last twenty minutes of the film are incredibly suspenseful and riveting as Jane finds herself trapped alone in the villa and stalked in cat-and-mouse fashion.

Sergio Martino’s brilliant giallo is stylish, sleazy, and highly underrated. It features a tense soundtrack by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis, breath-taking scenic locations, lots of female nudity, and Giancarlo Ferrando’s visually stunning photography.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics