The Joseph Brenner version was compared with the uncut Italian version. Both are on the US Blu-ray from Arrow.
In Perugia, students of art history fall victim to a serial killer one after another. The pretty student Daniela suspects that her fellow student Stefano is behind the murders and decides with some friends to find some distance to the horrible murders in a remote villa in the country. But the killer follows the young women, so that the initially carefree days end in a bloodbath.
Torso is an interesting movie in many ways. Filmed in 1973 by Sergio Martino, the film offers many elements that were taken from the slasher film, which had its heyday especially at the end of the 70s until the 80s. Pretty young women are immediately punished with death by a masked murderer for their immoral behavior (sex & drugs). The identity of the killer is only revealed at the end including some false traces. Further characteristics like a crime from the past that triggers the murders, a trauma of the killer, excessive nude scenes, bloody murders and the final girl are also present, so that one can definitely speak of a slasher prototype.
As soon as the girls move into the villa, the film surprisingly takes a different direction. The focus is on Suzy Kendall as Jane, who was only a supporting character and now faces the killer alone. He doesn't know that she is hiding in the villa, so that an exciting cat-and-mouse game is created, in which Jane tries to escape the killer while he covers his bloody tracks. Torso is therefore a terrific film that has much more to offer than sex and violent scenes for which it is mostly known.
On the US Blu-ray of Arrow there are four different versions of the film. The title designations from the Blu-ray menu are in brackets.
The Arrow Blu-ray is worth buying not only because of the different versions. Beside extensive and informative bonus material, the film contains a new HD treatment which pushes all previous Blu-rays (Blue Underground, X-Rated, Edition Tonfilm) in the shade (keyword: Scanner Noise). A image comparison can be found at here.
The region A lock of the BD is somewhat unfavorable for European buyers. If this is not a problem for you, I can recommend a buy/upgrade without hesitation.
Joseph Brenner Cut: 89:32 min.
Italian version: 93:35 min.
The Joseph Brenner Cut begins with a montage of the infamous forest scene. Carol runs through the forest, the killer pursues her. When she notices him, she runs away and stumbles. Then the title "Torso" is faded in.
The killer runs up the stairs. Jane turns to the side and "starring Suzy Kendall" appears.
JB: 50.14 sec.
In the Joseph Brenner Cut, the opening credits are mounted differently. Scenes of the love play can be seen, but no title fade in.
The Italian version now shows the opening credits during the love play.
In the Italian version, the lecture by Professor on St. Sebastian begins much earlier.
ITA: 3:09.94 min.
JB: 29.10 sec.
After the body has been covered, the scene continues in the Italian version. The homeless man is questioned. He loosely tells the commissioner that he needed to take a dump, but was disturbed and now suffers from constipation.
ITA: 34.91 sec.
The woman tells Roberto about her pain during the ride. He stops at the castle and wonders a bit. A careless truck driver smashes into the doctor's car. The driver gets out and begins to scold, but Roberto simply drives on.
Then you see Jane hiding in the room listening at the door. The killer lets his hand run over the corpse and remembers the doll.
ITA: 1:03.24 min.
The Joseph Brenner Cut has English end credits.
The Italian version shows the original credits.
ITA: 1:31.93 min.
JB: 57.04 sec.