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Torso (1973) – Episode 137 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Death is the keeper of secrets.” In other words, three can keep a secret if two are dead? Join your faithful Grue Crew – Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr – as they check out exactly how many secrets are kept in Torso (1973), Sergio Martino’s giallo all’italiana.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 137 – Torso (1973)

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A string of appalling lust murders shocks the University of Perugia as a sadistic serial killer strangles to death beautiful college girls with a red and black scarf.


Jeff sees several giallo tropes present in Torso and thinks the first hour seemed a bit pedestrian. During the last half-hour, however, the tension really ramped up. Though not a big giallo fan in general, Chad also thinks the first hour is a tough slog, but the third act more than makes up for it. The trailer for Torso is one of Bill’s favorites and he agrees the film’s tone flips about an hour into it. He also gives it credit for being pretty stylistic, especially for the time in which it is released. Doc, however, found himself rather surprised that he likes Torso as much as he does, citing its brutality, the switch in the main character, and the abundance of suspects as reasons why.

The Decades of Horror 1970s Grue-Crew appreciate Torso, some more than others, but they all agree it is worth a watch, especially if you’re a fan of giallo films. As of this writing, Torso is available to stream from Shudder and on physical media as a Special Edition Blu-ray from Arrow Video.

Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1970s is part of the Decades of Horror two-week rotation with The Classic Era and the 1980s. In two weeks, the next episode in their very flexible schedule will be Patrick (1978), chosen by Chad! Be sure to join us for that one. 

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.