They sent me a couple I-Talian pictures to check out. And one good thing about foreign movies is that their scream queens WILL get nekkid on ya in a hurry. The first of the gruesome twosome is Torso (1973, 92 minutes), followed by Autopsy (1973, 100 minutes). Both flicks, shot in and near Rome, feature lots of skin and creepy dudes peeping up gal's skirts and into their windows. Those dirty Italians.
Of the two, Torso's a heckuva lot better, but I'll go on and tell you about Autopsy right now. Armando Crispino directed the movie, which had a mess of names including: Macchie Solari (Sun Spots), Tarot, Evil Sun and The Victim. When they shipped it off to the good ol U.S. of A the weenie censors cut a bunch of the good stuff out -- but don't worry, it's all back for the DVD version.
Now, you purists out there are gonna be a might upset because I watched the movie in ENGLISH on account that's what I understand and there weren't any subtitles. So, pipe down.
The movie: It's the middle of the summer, and people are checking off the planet in a variety of ways. Slashing their wrists. Jumping in the river. Introducing a machine gun to their belly button. Blowing themselves up. Stuff like that. Makes for a great opening sequence. Pretty soon they cart the bodies down to the morgue, and that's were we meet our heroine Mimsy Farmer (as Simoma Sanna). She's carvin up corpses and working on a thesis about suicide. But the sun must be getting to her also, because pretty soon she's seeing dead people ... getting up from their slabs and humping each other on the floor. For a gal who's always daydreaming about undead S-E-X, she's pretty uptight, as she doesn't let her boyfriend play nekkid Twister with her. The whole movie goes in the dumper, though, when her daddy's latest conquest gets a bullet to the brainpan. Simoma tries to apply her expertise in order to determine if the girl's death was a suicide, and that's about the time a whole lot of plot starts bogging down the story. The movie never really recovers. But watch for Torso's Ernesto Colli as the horny morgue weasel, Ivo.
Notables: 17 breasts. 15 corpses. Wrist slashing. Gratuitous surly cabbie. One road pizza. Wild driving. Dog attack. Multiple diddling. One seizure. Dog beating. Gratuitous autopsy photos. One car race with crash and burn. Gratuitous shower scene. Exploding car. Hypodermic closeup.
Quotables: Kudos to the oily Ivo for using the direct approach on Simoma, "Brains leave me cold. But if you're interested in a little warm meat, doc -- I'd be glad to oblige. Modestly speaking, I'm well endowed ... What do you say if I brought it over one day, huh? A little home demonstration?" And to Ray Lovelock (as Edgar) who actually says, "Wanna see my etchings?" And it worked. Cuz before long she coos, "Undress me."
Time codes: Edgar and Ivo's wacky gag (7:10). "Hey, kids, let's all go down to the Criminal Museum!" (45:26). Nudie slide show as foreplay (55:30).
Audio/Video: Excellent picture throughout. Good clear audio. There's only a few brief moments where there's no English audio track and subtitles kick in.
Extras: Two trailers (U.S. theatrical and international The Victim trailer).
Final thought: Never better than its first reel. Way too much plot getting in the way of the story. Rent it.
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G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.