Eli Roth Presents the Best Horror Movies You've Never Seen
The Splat Packer delivers seven of his favourites.
This was made before Texas Chainsaw Massacre. There's a whole wave of early-seventies Italian giallo films that aren't Dario Argento movies - everyone's seen the Argento giallos - which are lesser-known B-movies that have been overlooked by the fans. They're fantastic movies and Torso is a prime example.
Luc Merenda is in it, who plays the police inspector in the beginning of Hostel II questioning Jay Hernandez. Luc came out of fifteen years of retirement - he's now an antique dealer in Paris - to come and do this part for me. He was in a lot of these giallo films and he's a superb actor.
As Quentin says, the first 45 minutes to an hour of the movie almost dares you to keep watching it. It's so incomprehensible but it's actually an amazing film and I think it's a masterpiece.
The first ten minutes are confusing but the last thirty minutes are set at this house and once they get to this house it's amongst the best examples of the genre I've seen. It suddenly elevates to the level of Alfred Hitchcock in terms of filmmaking. It's so fucking scary and tense.
Torso is probably the most sexually-charged giallo film out of any of them. It starts off, during the opening credits, with a lesbian scene and there's an amazing lesbian subplot in the movie. There's tonnes of nudity, hippy orgies and stuff and the girls are so hot in it. But it's completely underrated.
Sergio Martino made Torso and then he made a film called Suspected Death of a Minor. He was one of these guys who just churned out a bunch of movies. He also made this movie called The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, but really Torso is his masterpiece.
Who Can Kill a Child? was just re-released on DVD and I was actually going to make a film that was pretty-much the exact same premise but now I don't know if I will because he did it so perfectly.
It's a great evil kid movie, but it's one of those things where the kids are running amok and you've got to kill them, and how could you kill a bunch of kids? That idea is fucking awesome.
And again what's so great about it is it's a slow burn. This and Torso were very influential on Hostel because these seventies Italian giallos start off with a group of students that are in Rome, lots of scenes in piazzas with telephoto lenses, and you get the feeling they're being watched. There's this real ominous creepy feeling.
The girls are always going on some trip somewhere and they're all very smart. They all make decisions the audience would make.