Torso

Torso

Female students at an Italian university are stalked by a mysterious killer. Four of them go to a secluded villa to escape the tension and terror in the city, but (surprise!) the terror follows them.

This movie has it all: Renaissance art history, bell bottoms, miniskirts, Mini Coopers, a hippie drug party, a masked strangler/slasher (five years before and an ocean away from “Halloween”), Technicolor blood, and lots of boobs. The first half is classic “giallo”: there are murders, and clues, and all the clues point to … well, pretty much all the men around the university. When the three friends (plus one, who arrives later) decamp to the countryside, we get a brief sex farce interlude, with the local yokels comically enamored of the sexy urban ladies, some lesbian interludes, and some nude sunbathing. But the last thirty minutes are truly harrowing, as the “final girl” first tries to keep her presence hidden from the slasher, then tries to signal for help in the town, and finally makes a break for it once the slasher’s identity is established.

Giallo movies tend to be a hot mess of blood and sex and plot holes, and this is no exception; but if you take a deep breath and go along for the ride, it’s a great ride, especially the last half hour.

This movie wasn’t streaming on any of the premium platforms (pity!), but I found it on YouTube as a not-bad dubbed movie with a mix of good and bad (mostly bad …) subtitles. My Italian isn’t good (my only successful transaction was negotiating an extra night at a pensione in Florence on my honeymoon about 20 years ago), but my English is good enough to know that there was something seriously amiss in some of the dialogue. Turn on the subtitles for the lecture on Renaissance art at the beginning (there’s actually some good foreshadowing there), and when the doctor is driving with the local woman in his (beautiful!) VW bug, but otherwise ride along with the dubbing and don’t look too closely at anyone’s mouths.