A comparison between the cut and uncut versions.
As mentioned during my review, there are 2 very different versions of this film in existence. A "soft" version, which is basically a sanitised action/adventure film for use in countries like the US and UK, and an extra-gorey "hard" version, for countries like Japan and Mainland Europe that demanded a "stronger" version.
To ensure continuity, the director filmed different takes on several key action scenes. The differences between the 2 prints are listed as follows. For this comparison I have viewed three different releases of the film, the uncut US DVD by Anchor Bay, the uncut Hong Kong video by Continental films, and the UK video of the soft version by Medusa pictures.
The UK (PAL format) video of the "soft" version clocks in at 1hr 24min on my machine, whereas the Hong Kong release of the "hard" version (also in PAL) runs for 1hr 26min.
The run times given here relate to the "soft" version, which is generally the more commonly available in the UK and parts of Europe, and is a PAL format video release which runs at 25frames per second (note, NTSC run times are different as they run at 24fps).
The Intro fight
The first major difference occurs about 3 mins into the feature, during the intro fight scene at the Columbian cocaine production plant . As Quecho (Michael Berryman) throws a person off the end of the pier, in the soft version we see him throw the body into the water, however in the uncut hard version the scene cuts just as he throws it and we then see the body impaled on a wooden stake sticking out of the water.
The next difference occurs 30 seconds later as the two women at the plant are raped by the attacking natives. The soft version cuts this scene at the point where the two women are being held down, but in the hard version the scene continues for another 25 seconds, showing them being forcibly stripped and their legs impaled to the floor of the pier with stakes.
After Colonel Horne has landed his plane, we then see Quecho instructing the natives to get off the women. However in the next shot (4mins 12s) where Quecho is stood over the women's bodies, in the soft version the women have still got most of their clothes on, whereas in the hard version they are completely naked.
Quecho then kills the two women off camera with his machete, then in the soft version it cuts to the next scene showing the natives loading up Colonel Horne's plane with the stolen cocaine. But in the hard version, this scene continues for another 16 seconds, showing Quecho standing over the decapitated bodies and then climbing back down into the water.
Drug House Massacre
Following the intro credits, about 11min 38s in, the reporters Fran and Mark (Lisa Blount and Leonard Mann) stumble into the aftermath of the drug house massacre, in the uncut hard version there is blood splattered all over the walls, the bodies are extremely bloody and the dead woman has had her clothes removed. Whereas in the soft version there's no blood on the walls, the chest wounds on the first victim are less bloody, the other body is partially covered by shreads of newspaper and the woman still has most of her clothes on.
The scene at the jungle camp when Vlado (John Steiner) and Manuel (Gabrielle Tinti) visit Ana's (Valentina Forte) cabin, 26min 54s in, was shortened in the soft version and cuts just after she gives Vlado the radio message. In the hard version this scene continues for another 25 seconds with there being some additional dialogue where Vlado tells Manuel he may "fuck her till she screams". 19s later, the soft version also removes a 13s scene showing a close up of Manuel on top of Ana, prior to where Tommy looks through the window and see's what's happening.
Jungle Camp Fight
The scene where Quecho kills the first guard just prior to the jungle camp fight was not only shortened, but re-edited for the soft version, which was intercut with another scene. The soft version shows Quecho about to stab the guard in the neck with a spike at the 34min 24s mark, but the scene then switches to a 6 second shot showing Tommy and Ana preparing the runway landing lights, then cuts back to show Quecho swinging a machete at the dying guard, which is heard striking off camera. The scene then goes back to Tommy and Ana finishing off the runway lights.
In the hard version though, the scenes with Quecho killing the guard and Tommy and Ana on the runway were shown as 2 entirely seperate sequences and did not intercut with each other. In this version, we actually see him stabbing the guard, complete with a close up of the spike going into his neck, then the body slumping against a tree. Quecho then hits him in the stomach with his machete, which is followed by a 3 second close up shot of the guards guts spilling out. This is then followed by the scene with Tommy and Ana preparing the runway lights.
During the jungle camp fight, the scene where Manuel is killed at the 37min 58s mark, is quite different in the hard version. The soft version shows him being hit by one of the natives blow darts and falling to the floor. In the hard version, after being hit by the dart, one of Horne's henchmen suddenly appears and decapitates him with a machete, sending his head flying.
2 different shots were used for the scene following the machine gun fight where one of Vlado's men is macheted through his cabin door 39min 11s. The soft version shows a reaction shot of the mans face as he's macheted through the door, then pans down to show the blade sticking out of his stomach. Whereas in the hard version, you actually see the machete come bursting through his stomach, complete with blood spurting out, then panning up to show his face. The hard version also has an additional 2s shot immediately afterwards showing Vlado shooting through the door and hitting his friends body after he turns round to see his man impaled.
When Ana finds Manuel's body near the runway (40min 32s) after getting separated from Tommy, the soft version shows her tripping over and landing next to his body, complete with the dart still sticking out of his neck. But in the hard version when she trips over she lands next to his severed head.
Two entirely different takes were used for the scene at 42min 51 where Fran and Mark are surveying the aftermath of the jungle camp massacre. Just before she gives the line "As you can see the bodies have been horribly mutilated" the body lying on the floor had a simple blood stain on the chest, but in the hard version the dead body was of a completely different person, who's arms and legs had been hacked off.
The dead body with the grey T-shirt we see slumped against a tree 5 seconds later, has a knife sticking out of his chest in the hard version, but not in the soft version. Another dead body in a blue shirt shown immediately afterwards has a vulture picking at his chest wound in the hard version, but again not in the soft version.
Heading out of the Jungle
When Tommy stumbles accross Vlado tied to the jungle trap (47min 46s) the resulting scene was considerably shorter in the soft version. In this, after telling Tommy to shoot him, we hear a snap as the trap begins to spring, followed by a shot of blood splashing up, then a close up of Tommy firing his pistol. In the hard version, we actually see Vlado's body being pulled apart by the trap, just as Tommy shoots him.
The scene where Mark investigates the gunshot and find's Vlado at about the 48 min mark omits a 6s scene from the hard version which actually shows a close up of his remains being pecked at by vultures. Instead it just cuts to the next shot showing vultures circling overhead.
Fran and Mark find Ana staked to a tree at 52min 02s. In the soft version the scene cuts just as they find her body. But in the hard version the scene is extended by another 15s showing Ana still barely alive, then dying in Marks arms.
Colonel Horne's Death
The final difference is near the end where Colonel Horne is decapitated (76min 18s). In the hard version we see his head come off and land on the ground. The soft version cuts just as his henchman swings his machete, then cuts to next scene showing a long shot of Hornes body falling to the ground.
The UK video, and US R-rated release were of the soft version. The uncut extra-gorey hard version, sometimes referred to as the "Directors Cut", has been released in Hong Kong and Japan (in English language), in Belgium (French language) and Germany (German Language). The original Italian language release was also of the uncut version.
The US DVD by Anchor Bay is of the uncut hard version, and is in English. However, the extra gore scenes are in Italian with English sub-titles. They claimed the reason for this was that the uncut version was never dubbed into English, however this was not entirely true. An English language track for this version does exist as it was used on the uncut Hong Kong and Japanese releases, and is identical to the audio track used on the soft version. The Italian language print however has some additonal lines of dialogue in some of the scenes, so it would appear that Anchor Bay decided to use the Italian track where the additional dialogue was used.
Two instances in this case, the scene where Vlado says to Manuel "Fuck her till she screams" does not appear in the soft version, and yet is in English on the Anchor Bay release. Whereas the scene where Vlado finds Carlos murdered, and the subsequent machine gun fight is identical in both the soft and hard versions, but the Anchor Bay release shows these two scenes in Italian language, irrespective of the fact these scenes appear intact and in English in the soft version. Whilst in the Italian language release Vlado can be heard shouting some additonal lines of dialogue off camera this in my view is hardly worth messing up the films continuity by switching languages part way through a scene. So why they didn't just use the full English track on the US disc, and keep the Italian track separate is a complete mystery.
Back to Cut and Run.