Jan 19, 2008

The Torturer

Lamberto Bava's The Torturer is a picky little film. It is a soft core porn and a ultra-bloody stylistic slasher film. It seems too much like the underrated erotica films entitled FANTOM KILER. A slew of attractive women accidentally pull off their blouses and get sexually mutilated until they are no longer desirable. While flashy, the plot is water thin and leaves a lot of confusion.

It follows a mysterious killer who tortures young, busty actresses in very inventive ways. Doesn't really pave too much room for any kind of feeling in the film at all. We have the suave yet shady theater director who auditions stunning sluts forcing them to do ludicrous acts. He then promises them the world. After that, some villian who's identity is cleverly hidden with darkness much like the Wizard of Oz, proceeds to torture these women in many different forms. All the torture scenes even open with the same guitar power chord which builds up nicely, but seeing as it plays about 30+ times during the film, it gets very repetitive and stale quick.

We then meet the heroine leading lady who finds an earring of her friends on the audition stage. She puts two and two together and realizes she is missing. So she begins a classy search for her friend while beginning a love story with the director. Cue the entering of his madness. He has some sort of psychological problem resulting in him hallucinating a red toy car and a creepy Carrie-esque loop of a child saying something.

While being a mundane film, it does have great effects. Gore that makes you slightly queasy from showing you new forms of methods. Most gore nowadays are all very similar. Dismemberments and such plague our horror film. We don't see anything new and wondrous to "ew" at. In this one, we are given a cheek mutilation and nipples ripped off. Spikes embedded in womens tender flesh and a soldering iron torture scene. Oh, did I forget the vagina ripping/melting? That scene caused me to shudder.

The film has a very inane story with very naive characters with some great effects. What really made me like this film in the least bit is the editing and look. It's glossy, stylish, and very pretty to look at. Too bad so much had to be sacrificed for this look. Don't expect A Blade in the Dark with this classic directors newer film.

You'll be sorely disappointed. Loaded with a shitty twist ending, a horrible last-minute plot device, it's visibly an attempt to make it sleazy with a brief scene explaining the filthy traits of women, and the worse acting/dub seen in an Italian giallo film, The Torturer is nothing special but has enough to prevent it from being recommendable. Italians should teach American directors a thing or two about well placed misogyny.


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