Monday, January 19, 2009

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

I like to drink a couple times a week at the local Williamsburg metal bar, Duff's. The bartenders are out of this world and the happy hour is a satanic blessing:PBR's for a buck until 9. This is New York City, there aren't that many places you are going to find PBR's for less than $3. And if there are, you sure as hell aren't going to find Amon Amarth on the jukebox. With that being said, anyway, Duff's just recently moved it's location and the digs are quite a bit swankier. Jimmy Duff put a fuck-ton of work into the new place to make it look like the Father of All Metal Bars. Giger prints, smashed guitars, a gimp cage, and horror/exploitation posters as far as the eye can see. One such poster is for the movie Torso, which I had never heard of. I didn't become curious to see it until I stumbled upon the trailer a few weeks ago.

After watching the trailer, I thought to myself,"looks like a grindhouse slasher, I bet the trailer is better than the movie" and decided I need to watch it for myself. If anything I could get a good laugh out of it. And it's got to be better than My Bloody Valentine. I was right. It was way better than My Bloody Valentine (just writing it makes me puke in my mouth). But I wouldn't call it the run-of-the-mill slasher either. It's giallo, which is a genre I've only just recently started to become familiar with. There are elements of slasher flick present, but the drive behind the psychokiller is a bit more indepth than sex-crazed teenagers fucking at an abandoned camp ground.

I take you now to a college campus in Rome, where the women are hot and love to argue with Art Professors about the validity of certain renaissance artists. Within a couple day period, two of the attractive lasses have died at the hands, or shall I say red and black scarf, of the neighborhood psychokiller. The school has been closed and the other hotties are scared shitless. One of them in particular, we'll call her Hot Brunette #1, has received threatening phonecalls and is a little more out-of-sorts than her three hot friends. Her uncle gave her permission to escape to the country villa for the weekend and bring her friends with her. She agrees, anything to get her away from her obsessive classmate who she thinks might possibly be the killer. I mean seriously, is some random strangler going to follow 3 beautiful women a couple hundred miles north? Don't answer that, of course he is.

Based on the way the movie begins, you would think Hot Brunette #1 is the main character and can't possibly be a victim. Wrong! Enter Dani, or shall I say Hot Blonde. She is an American transfer student who up to this time has been a supporting character. She is making the pilgrimage to the country with the rest of the girls, but has errands to take care of first. When she does finally make it up, she has to go and ruin her own getaway weekend by falling down the stairs and twisting her ankle. It was a very nice fall though. I expected a neck breaking or something equally horrendous. Not an ankle twist.

But anyway, after a series of murders the killer finally makes his way to the girl's sanctuary, and it doesn't stay safe long after that. Dani, after waking up late due to mixing alcohol and pills like a party girl, finds that the house is incredibly quiet. Upon further investigation, she also finds her three friends are quiet because they are incredibly dead. Here comes the kicker: Captain Cut-Em-Up is still on the property, and he's not done. Killing is not enough, appently the deed isn't done until every limb is extracted slowly with a hacksaw. Not only is Dani trapped, she has to witness her friends getting cut up bit-by-fuckin'-bit. Doesn't sound like too much fun to me.

This is where the story gets interesting and separates itself from a standard slasher film. The level of terror you witness is less scream-and-run-fast and more psychological. I like to think of giallo movies as Hitchcock with more boobs and violence. There is actually quite a bit of nakedness, like any good italian flick should have. I've read reviews on IMDB from assholes complaining about the lack of gore. If you want gore, rent a fuckin' cannibal movie. God knows the italians made plenty of those. Stylistically, Torso was also very nice. There was one shot of a body being dumped into a well, and the camera was actually filming from the bottom of the well. It was nicely done. I was even a bit surpised to find out who the slasher was. As with any murder mystery, you get possibility-after-possibility throughout the movie, but this one blind-sided me a bit. I gotta stay on my toes more the next time I watch a movie like this.

All together, I'm really liking the giallo movies I have watched recently and can't wait to getting a better grasp of the genre. i have the appreciation, now I just need to feel the love.

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