TORSO (1973)

Directed & Story By: Sergio Martino
Written By: Sergio Martino & Ernesto Gastaldi 
Cinematography: Giancarlo Ferrando 
Editor: Eugenio Alabiti 

Cast: Suzy Kendall, Tina Aumont, Luc Merenda, John Richardson, Roberto Bisacco, Ernesto Colli, Angela Covello 

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.


This film is bathed in sex and nudity more than expected. Even though at times the film tries to make it more artistic but still feels excessive.

This should be a teenage boy’s dream in the 1980s and 1990’s before the internet came forward. This is the type of foreign film you were hoping to catch on cable television that the TV guide said contained nudity and sexual situations but was usually more on the artistic side.

This film is more a murder mystery slasher where most of the characters who survive are suspects.

The actors playing college students in this movie all look way too old, but that is to be expected. 

In living up to the film’s title, the killer carved up their victims after death. The film makes it feel fetishistic. As the camera and the killers’ hands Roam the victim’s naked body

Usually the torso before dissecting it and poking out the eyes. (Trust me the violence sounds worse in the description than what is shown) other times the camera lingers on the actress’s beauty also bodies.

As a product of The Times when it was released the film is definitely misogynistic. As most of the victims are female and the male victims are either afterthoughts or killed more aggressively and gruesomely. The male characters’ attitudes towards women are just as gruesome.

The final reveal is so ridiculous. As usual with a bit of a far-fetched initial motive for the killer.

As the film seems to maleness the death scenes more iconic while the Women look to live up to the killer’s view of them As living dolls.

With a happy-go-lucky soundtrack and each death explained except for the one person of colors. Who the film leaves as more of a discarded accessory’s. As they all gawk and the female characters are mo resemble fashion models at the time.

The film also has the male characters have ugly attitudes towards women. So that each seems like they could be the Killer. No matter how minor the character. Though her crime might be that she is a lesbian also for the film.

It offers very fun surprises and almost seems to get tired of creating more elaborate Murders.

Also seems that some characters are added to only be victims and up the body count as well as seem fairer in the number of male viewers 

GRADE: B-

THE SEDUCTION OF MIMI (1972)

Written & Directed By: Lina Wertmuller
Cinematography: Daria DiPalma
Editor: Franco Fraticelli 

Cast: Giancarlo Giannini, Mariangela Melato, Agostina Belli, Luigi Diberti, Elena Fiore 

After voting against the powerful Mafia candidate in Sicily, in what seemed like a secret ballot, impecunious Mimì finds himself with his back to the wall. Desperate, and having no one to turn to, Mimì abandons his wife, Rosalia, and relocates to the bustling city of Turin, only to fall for the beautiful Trotskyist, Fiore. One child later, and as one thing leads to another, Mimì gradually realizes that he is not ready to accept the new social morals that prevail in the industrialized north, catching, once more, the Mafia’s attention. Now, political beliefs, loyalty, infidelity, and revenge become inextricably intertwined, and once again, Mimì is left with nothing, having no other choice but to return to Sicily. But, can he keep his life in Turin secret?


This film has the set-up of a comedy with a cowardly protagonist who it’s hard to feel sorry for as he keeps getting himself in trouble out of machismo, Revenge, and sex. Where somehow he usually fails up. Getting promotions and more money. Though supposedly anti-government.

Once he finds true love he works for it. But continues to fail. As he can’t even be loyal to a political party, but that is More due to pressure and assassination attempts. So that is understandable. This is truly the tale of a man who stands for nothing and pays the price for it.

I was introduced to the tale years ago watching it’s American remake “WHICH WAY IS UP?” Starring Richard Pryor abs tailor-made for his talents. Dipped into the politics at the time as background. The only difference is that Pryor played different characters In his version. 

This film is also dipped into politics. We watch as the main character gets what he wants but keeps messing. It up due to hubris and when threatened quickly shows how cowardly he is. Along the way, he is never truly satisfied.

The third act at first makes no sense but as you learn more about it, it feels ridiculous though also, in the end, feels like a punchline. As it is all about foolish pride. Which truly becomes his undoing and exposes his character losing all he has.

Mariangela Melato again is a screen goddess. Still as amazing and fiery as in SWEPT AWAY co-Starring with Giancarlo Giannini again. 

you can understand and see why he gets obsessed and tries to seduce her. Why he is willing to risk it all for her. Even as she makes her rules clear though amazed she stick by him. So thoroughly throughout and why she leaves after such a minor betrayal compared to his many others that She can forgive. He has no loyalty to anyone, including his family 

Some scenes seem there to just add to the artistic surreal quality of the film and while there are build-up and reasons for these scenes. They also feel like episodic escapes. 

The film is lively and ridiculous, but so artistic that it feels naturalistic and beautiful constantly and comes across deeper than it actually ends up being. Though it is heartbreaking. It is a comedy at heart, though so sad.

One of my favorite classic iconic directors to keep discovering her movies. Who might happen to be one of my favorite directors, who happens to be female (at least next to Nicole Holofcener) she has truly outdone herself here. 

In the end, the film plays off like a grand comedy of morals and cowardness. That feels gross and political all at the same time.

Grade: B-

I AM LOVE (2009)

Directed By: Luca Guadagnino

Written By: Luca Guadagnino, Barbara Alberti, Ivan Cotroneo & Walter Fasano 

Cinematography By: Yorick Le Seux 

Editor: Walter Fasano 

Cast: Tilda Swinton

The polished rooms of a Milanese villa ignite with anxious activity as the wealthy industrial family, the Recchis, prepare to celebrate the birthday of their patriarch. It is an occasion designed to ensconce family traditions—the handsome grandson, Edoardo, introduces his new girlfriend; his sister presents another piece of her artwork to her grandfather; and the grandfather, knowing this is his last birthday, names the successor to his empire. As the refined familial machinations unfold, the woman of the house, Emma Recchi , skates along the tight seams of the family, exuding elegance and uncertain turbulence. Change is like a fog at sea that quickly consumes the land.


The film is beautiful to look at atmospheric and naturalistic but it also tries to be grand like an opera almost. Since there is limited dialogue and a constant score throughout the film. It makes the film seem more experimental than it needs to be.

It’s an ensemble piece but feels more like a showcase for Tilda Swinton. The film plays like a romance novel dipped in sorrow. Yet not as exciting as it sounds. Though when it comes to scenes of actual love and passion the film is on point, but the other scenes that are more or less showing the longing of the characters in the film, It becomes more remote and boring. If that was the intention.

It’s an interesting choice but as an audience member, it feels indulgent and doesn’t make the film move any faster. The only thing of note here is the cinematography, It is rich and luscious as is the art direction and scenery.

The film will be way too melodramatic like an international soap opera played to grand artistic proportions. The ending which seeks to be poignant that comes off more as laughable. There were very few parts of the film that held my interest.

Beauty without depth just makes it all the more vapid.

I will admit to being bored quite a bit. I’m sure others will love this film but it really wasn’t for me

GRADE: D

THE STRANGE COLOR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS (2014)

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Written & Directed By: Helene Cattet & Bruno Forzani
Cinematography By: Manuel Dacosse
Editor: Bernard Beets 

Cast: Klaus Tange, Ursula Bedena, Joe Koener

Following the disappearance of his wife, a man finds himself on a dark and twisted trail of discovery through the labyrinthine halls of his apartment building. Led on a wild goose chase by cryptic messages from his mysterious neighbours, he becomes entangled in a hellish nightmare as he unlocks their strange fantasies of sensuality and bloodshed.

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DOGMAN (2019)

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Directed By: Matteo Garrone
Written By: Ugo Chiti, Matteo Garrone, Massimo Gaudiso, Giulio Troli, Fabio D’innocenzo, Damiano D’innocenzo & Marco Perfetti
Story By: Ugo Chiti, Matteo Garrone & Massimo Gaudiso
Cinematography: Nicolaj Bruel
Editor: Marco Spoletini 


Cast: Marcello Fonte, Edoardo Pesce, Adamo Dionisi, Nunzia Schiano Marcello 


a small and gentle dog groomer, finds himself involved in a dangerous relationship of subjugation with Simone, a former violent boxer who terrorizes the entire neighborhood. In an effort to reaffirm his dignity, Marcello will submit to an unexpected act of vengeance. This is really a tale of good versus evil you would think but there are so many grey areas It’s hard to truly describe it that way. As the film comes off as a fable more than anything else.

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LORO (2018)

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Story & Directed By: Paolo Sorrentino
Written By: Paolo Sorrentino & Umberto Contarello
Cinematography: Luca Bigazzi
Editor: Cristiano Travaglioli 


Cast: Tom Servillo, Elena Sofia Ricci, Riccardo Scamarico, Kasia Smutniak, Euridice Axen, Alice Pagani, Fabrizio Bentivoglio 


During a tumultuous period in the career of Silvio Berlusconi, as his marriage to second wife Veronica Lario fractures, LORO speculates on what may or may not have taken place behind closed doors, depicting a wide variety of characters from multiple levels of society and their attempts to either ingratiate or distance themselves from him.

 

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PSYCHOUT FOR MURDER (1969)

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Story By & Directed By: Rossano Brazzi 

Written By: Rossano Brazzi, Diana Crispo, Renato Polselli & Piero Regnoli 

Cinematography: Luciano Trasatti 

Editor: Amedeo Giomini 


Cast: Adrienne LaRussa, Rossano Brazzi, Nino Castelnuovo, Paola Pitagora, Alberto De Mendoza, Idelma Carlo 


Mario consigns his girlfriend Licia to a whorehouse for an evening in order to get the photographic goods to blackmail her father with. To get her out of the way, Licia is then consigned to a mental hospital by her father.

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