Monday, May 24

Like Rondo Hatton and the Violent Shit series...

The two simply don't mix. This especially holds true for the country of Japan and scissored up media on home video. Hell, as long as genitalia is optically censored, it's fine to have a chick spraying hapless naked obese men and shaved farm animals with an arrant stream of milk and fertilizer cut forth from her...well, this a "hard R" blog after all. Anyway, veterans of the whole Interneting thing know this from merely existing in the perils of cyberspace, but in applying this to horror fans, those who experienced the import VHS wars before the days of DVD also know of Japan's uncensored trustworthiness. Japan, The Netherlands, and Greece were the reigning champions of usually widescreen, uncut copies of virtually every horror film floating around in existence. It's were diehards and bootleggers alike looked for reference length presentations.

Imagine my surprise when I popped in the Japanese DVD of David Blyth's Death Warmed Up and found it to be several minutes shorter (78 minutes, 11 seconds) than the domestic Vestron Video VHS (82 minutes, 23 seconds). Well, maybe the credits or something are cut off? Nope, checking out the violent bits revealed the awful truth--footage was missing. The parts left intact are the squib-happy shotgunning of a couple, a millisecond head explosion, and some open brain surgery. Missing are some gloriously spurting flesh wounds and one nasty flying rebar impalement.

My second viewing of this film went down much smoother and my previous comment of myself "warming" to it came true--there's definitely something strangely charming about this heady downunder sci-fi/horror/Mad Max-infused mix. At least I didn't pay much for the disc on eBay. Here's a scan of the Japan Video Distribution's DVD and some raw captures for those curious about the disc's quality which is a 4x3 full frame, interlaced video master that does look better than the VHS. Still censored though...

On the VHS, this nurse is seen writhing in agony in close-up with blood spraying from her chest.

Braindead (Dead Alive) fans will know Ian Watkin as Lionel's nosy and repugnant Uncle Les.


1 comment:

Aylmer said...

I saw Ian Watkin in a play a couple of years ago. Also saw this movie on it's first run on the big screen. Haven't seen it since then, should revisit. you dare tread upon the staircase?

Basement of Ghoulish Decadence, Basement of Ghoulish Archive, and all original material Copyright © 2009-present by Jayson Kennedy. All rights reserved.