Carnal Violence (1973)
By: David Michael Brown on March 13, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Stomp Visual (Australia). All Regions, NTSC. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0. 85 minutes
The Movie
Director: Sergio Martino
Starring: Suzy Kendall, Tina Aumont, Luc Merenda, John Richardson, Angela Covello, Carla Brait
Screenplay: Ernesto Gastaldi, Sergio Martino
Country: Italy
AKA: Torso

Often released under the name of Torso, Sergio Martino's Carnal Violence caused quite a stir on its initial release. Very rarely seen uncut, from memory the film also got caught up in the video nasty craze of the mid Eighties. Watching it now it still plays well but many of its moments have been repeated so often in the modern day horror genre that it unfortunately doesn't have the effect if probably once did.

Saying that, Martino fills his giallo with so much nudity, violence and general creepiness that all but the most hardened of Digital Retribution readers will fail to enjoy it. Once you get pulled into the storyline you'll be hooked.

The plot follows a balaclava-clad killer who is murdering young men and women in the area and keeping bits of them as a keepsake. When his attention falls on the local university three students decide to leave town and stay in a villa little knowing that have been followed by the psycho. That's about it but Martino's clinical approach to the killings and the films imagery give the film its guts.

Many will know the film's heroine Suzy Kendall from Dario Argento's The Bird with the Crystal Plummage and Martino's résumé includes such classics as Isle of Mutations, The Violent Professionals and the Giallos Excite Me and All the Colours of the Dark. In fact much of Martino's early career featured the fetishistic glinting knives and the prowling killer point of view shots that many love the genre for.
The transfer is not to bad, the image is fairly sharp and the vibrant blood reds are vibrant. The transfer can be a bit grainy at times but overall, not too bad.
The stereo soundtrack is adequate but lacks the punch that a 5.1 mix would have added to the film.
Extra Features
The disc is unfortunately a bit slim on the extras; all we get is a slideshow and a couple of trailers, one for The New York Ripper and one for Demons 3: The Ogre.
The Verdict
For anyone interested in Italian horror then this is a must see. It's obvious that many an American director will have watched Carnal Violence aka. Torso before filming the multitude of slasher movies of the Eighties. Some will find the film slow in places but anyone familiar with the Giallo genre will find much to enjoy.
Movie Score
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