Welcome to William Schoell's GREAT OLD MOVIES blog. Feel free to leave a comment regardless of the date the review was posted -- I read 'em all. Or if you prefer -- and especially if you have any questions directly for me -- email me at email@example.com and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Click on a label link (labels can be found at the bottom of each post) to find other movies from that year, the star, that director or genre and so on. Or enter a title, director, genre, star or supporting player in the small Blogger "search blog" box at the far left up above and click search blog. [NOTE: While this blog mostly reviews films -- and TV shows -- that are at least twenty-five years old, we do cover films up until the present day.] HAVE FUN AND THANKS FOR DROPPING BY. William.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
TORSO (1973/Italy). Director: Sergio Martino.
While this Italian giallo film lacks the style, finesse and classy art direction of the best of Mario Bava and Dario Argento, it does manage to work up some suspense and chills in the final quarter. Young women are being stalked, murdered and dismembered in Rome. The suspects include a professor, a love-sick student, a handsome doctor, a co-ed's uncle, the "village idiot" and others. The heroine, Jane, (Suzy Kendall) retreats with three friends to a house in the country high atop a cliff, but finds she can not escape the killer. The movie begins inauspiciously and promises to be a pretty dull item, but it sustains interest until an excellent sequence when Jane hides from the maniac as he begins to dismember her friends. Later there is a very taut, chilling sequence when he goes through her room in search of her and nearly finds her. If the whole movie had been on the level of these tense scenes it really might have amounted to something. As it is, horror fans may find it worthwhile. The professor, Franz, is played by John Richardson, who co-starred with Raquel Welch in One Million Years B.C. (1967) and did little else of note. The script throws in a lesbian love-making scene for no apparent reason other than to presumably add some extra titillation. None of the killer's many victims, either male or female, ever seem to fight back. At one point he manages to dispatch three women (off-screen) at the same time!
Verdict: Not great, but of interest to fans of psycho-shockers. **1/2.