Land of the Dead still

Land of the Dead (2005)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (93 min.)
  • Unrated Director’s Cut / Unrated (97 min.)

George A. Romero returned to the genre he shaped forty years earlier with Land of the Dead in 2005. The long awaited fourth entry in the Living Dead saga, was released on DVD and Blu-ray in two different cuts: theatrical and unrated director’s cuts. The Blu-ray release only included the unrated director’s cut while the DVD got two separate releases that included the cuts individually. In 2017 Shout! Factory released Land of the Dead on Blu-ray that included both cuts.

IGN interviewed Romero in 2005 when the movie was originally released on DVD:

IGN DVD: What is going into the unrated cut that didn’t make the theatrical?

George Romero: Well, I guess everyone is expecting miles more gore. It’s not that; The movie itself is only about five minutes longer than the theatrical release, and half of that is a scene that we cut, a story scene, not a gore scene, because I just didn’t think it came off as well as it might have. Obviously, there are some things that [Greg] Nicotero did, a few gore moments that we didn’t even try to get past the MPAA. But by and large, I got away with murder with the MPAA. I don’t say that facetiously; I used tricks. I walked zombies in front of a green screen so that I could have them walk in front of some of the gory stuff and that would cut frames out of it and we would be able to keep the stuff in the movie, so the film itself has very much the same intention as a theatrical release.

Usually when they talk about “oh, director’s cut,” it’s supposed to be wildly different and it’s supposed to be as if I had a battle with the studio and I wasn’t allowed to put stuff in the movie. It’s not true at all in this case. Universal, across the board, was wonderful to me and very respectful and let me make the movie that I wanted to make, so this cut is not that different.

Source: Interview: George Romero, IGN

The director’s preferred edition: Theatrical Cut

Comparison of the editions with courtesy of Movie-Censorship.com

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD | Blu-ray

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Chronicle (2012)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (84 min.)
  • Director’s Cut / Extended Cut (90 min.)

The superhero movie Chronicle was an surprise hit in 2012 was released on Blu-ray in theatrical and director’s cut (it was also billed as extended cut in Europe). The DVD release only included the theatrical cut of the film.

MovieWeb interviewed director Josh Trank when Chronicle was released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2012:

MovieWeb: It looks like there is just one deleted scene in here. Would it be safe to assume that practically everything you shot made it in to the feature?

Josh Trank: Well, not everything we shot ended up in the movie itself. There are certainly a lot of scenes that were left on the cutting room floor. The director’s cut on the DVD was great, because I got to throw in some more stuff that I really feel paints a deeper dimension to some of the characters in the movie. I’m very excited about that.

MovieWeb: How much longer is that director’s cut than the theatrical cut?

Josh Trank: You’d think that I should be really good with time and stuff like that, but numbers are so abstract to me. Five minutes? 10 minutes? 25 minutes? I have no idea. I can tell you that it’s long enough to make it better. I don’t even remember how much longer it is, but I know we definitely did throw in a substantial amount, which I thought was missing from the original cut.

Source: EXCLUSIVE: Josh Trank Talks Chronicle Blu-ray, MovieWeb

The director’s preferred edition: Director’s Cut / Extended Cut

Comparison of the editions with courtesy of Movie-Censorship.com

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD | Blu-ray

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Dawn of the Dead (2004)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (100 min.)
  • Unrated Director’s Cut (109 min.)

Director Zack Snyder burst onto the scene with his remake of the beloved and much respected Dawn of the Dead in 2004 that carried the same name as the George A. Romero classic. Dawn of the Dead was released in a unrated director’s cut on DVD, Blu-ray and HD-DVD but the theatrical cut was only released on DVD. In 2017 Shout! Factory released the film in a collector’s edition on Blu-ray that included both cuts of the film.

When playing the unrated director’s cut an introduction by Snyder automatically starts where he talks about his preferred cut:

“The movie [unrated director’s cut] contains more gore, little more character, the reason why we had to take some these scenes originally was because for intense the extra zombie scenes or the extra gore scenes they might have been little bit much for the MPAA… In the unrated world we can do whatever we want.”

Snyder then adds:

The movie [unrated director’s cut] is a little bit longer, so you’ll have to prepare yourself for that. I hope you’re able to enjoy it the way I do, because for me it’s a little bit more personal than the movie [theatrical cut] you saw in the theaters so sit back and relax and I hope you enjoy it.

Source: “Introduction to the Director’s Cut by Zack Snyder” featurette on Shout! Factory’s release of Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray

The director’s preferred edition: Unrated Director’s Cut

Comparison of the editions with courtesy of Movie-Censorship.com

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD | Blu-ray

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The Outsiders (1983)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (91 min.)
  • The Complete Novel (115 min.)

The coming-of-age drama The Outsiders from director Francis Ford Coppola was met with mixed reviews when it premiered in 1983. The film adaptation of S. E. Hinton’s controversial book had left many important character building scenes on the editing floor and was clocking at merely 91 minutes. In 2005 Coppola and Warner Bros re-released The Outsiders as The Outsiders: The Complete Novel where Coppola had added 22 minutes of new scenes and remixed the soundtrack with more fitting 60’s music.

The theatrical cut of The Outsiders is only available on DVD where the Complete Novel is available both on DVD and Blu-ray. In an introduction on the Complete Novel Coppola shed some light on the difficulties behind the scenes on the making of the film and talks about how the new cut came to be:

“Now, unfortunately when the film was done there was some difference in opinion between myself and one of the producers, who felt that the movie was too long and was not emotional enough and perhaps beat around the bush and it should get more right into the juicy scenes. So I did shortened it.”

Later in the introduction Coppola states:

“…so here is The Outsiders: The Complete Novel as I think it should be showed.”

Source: Introduction by director Francis Ford Coppola on The Outsiders: The Complete Novel Blu-ray

The director’s preferred edition: The Complete Novel

Comparison of the editions with courtesy of Movie-Censorship.com

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD | Blu-ray

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Mr. Nobody (2009)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (137 min.)
  • Extended Director’s Cut (156 min.)

Jaco Van Dormael’s Sci-Fi drama Mr. Nobody starring Jaret Leto was released in an extended director’s cut on DVD and Blu-ray in 2014. The Blu-ray release includes both the theatrical cut and the extended director’s cut. CraveOnline interviewed Van Dormael in 2013 where the interview started with the question of there were any longer cuts of the film:

CraveOnline: Have there been any cuts or alternate versions for the U.S. release?
Jaco Van Dormael: The original version which is something like 20 minutes more will be on VOD and on DVD too. It’s a little shorter for the theaters because of the length. Some people prefer the short version, some people prefer the long version. I prefer, of course, the director’s cut because I am the director.

Source: Exclusive Interview: Jaco Van Dormael on Mr. Nobody, CraveOnline

The director’s preferred edition: Extended Director’s Cut

Comparison of the editions with courtesy of Movie-Censorship.com

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD | Blu-ray

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The Great Raid (2005)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (133 min.)
  • Unrated Director’s Cut (131 min.)

The 2005 WWII film The Great Raid was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the US as an exclusive unrated director’s cut. The Canadian newspaper Pilipino Express interviewed director John Dahl in 2006 where he states the following:

Pilipino Express: Some of the scenes with Margaret Utinsky and the Filipino underground resistance movement were in the theatrical release but they weren’t included in your Director’s Cut on DVD. (They can still be viewed in the DVD’s supplementary material). Why was that?

John Dahl: I always liked those scenes, but felt like they slowed down the story. The studio liked those scenes because they felt the audience would relate to Margaret. There is nothing really wrong with the theatrical version, I just prefer the Director’s Cut. It feels a little less contrived to me. The shootout in Manila and the Rizal Bridge were kind of “Hollywood Action Movie Scenes,” which I didn’t feel the movie needed. I never really saw it as an action film, more a straight-out drama with some action at the end of the film.

Source: An interview with Great Raid director, John Dahl, Pilipino Express

The director’s preferred edition: Unrated Director’s Cut

Comparison of the editions with courtesy of Movie-Censorship.com

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD | Blu-ray

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Elektra still

Elektra (2005)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (97 min.)
  • Director’s Cut (100 min.)

Two years after 20th Century Fox botched the popular superhero Daredevil with its 2003 outing they made a spin-off starring Jennifer Garner as Elektra. Not unlike the Ben Affleck starrier DaredevilElektra was slayed by critics (10% on Rotten Tomatoes). The same year that Elektra was premiered an director’s cut of the film was released on DVD. The director’s cut is widely available on Blu-ray and DVD. IGN interviewed director Rob Bowman about the director’s cut and his approach:

IGN: After readying the theatrical version, it seems like, comparatively, making the Director’s Cut was a low-pressure situation. Was that the case?
Rob Bowman: With the Director’s Cut, there was absolutely no pressure. There was nothing. I didn’t have to consult with anybody. This was sort of a gift from the studio to me, just saying ‘Go make it.’ I was the one who decided to re-do it, and re-create sound-effects and all the music in various parts. I never ever spoke to the studio about anything.

Source: Interview: Rob Bowman, IGN

Earlier in the interview Bowman states:

“And this time we took the time to really get it right. I can say, is the best version we can deliver.”

Source: Interview: Rob Bowman, IGN

The director’s preferred edition: Director’s Cut

Comparison of the editions with courtesy of Movie-Censorship.com

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD | Blu-ray

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The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (119 min.)
  • Unrated Director’s Cut (134 min.)

The Vin Diesel sci-fi action flick The Chronicles of Riddick was released in an unrated director’s cut on DVD in 2004. Riddick, played by Diesel, has a large fan base and since then all three Riddick films (Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick) have been released in alternative cuts on home video. The Blu-ray release of The Chronicles of Riddick includes both the theatrical cut and the unrated director’s cut. IGN interviewed director David Twohy when the unrated director’s cut was released on DVD:

IGN DVD: Ok I’ll ask the silly question: why didn’t you make this the theatrical cut?
David Twohy:  It’s not a silly question, it’s a good question. I think there was a philosophy at the time that if you’re coming out in the summer marketplace that you have to be nimble-
IGN: You had to be PG-13, in other words?
David Twohy: Well no, we had to be PG-13 but that doesn’t necessarily dictate length. We had to be PG-13 from the beginning for the theatrical release. We knew that, I agreed to that, Vin agreed to that. That’s the current post-Columbine climate of the studios. We understood that. But in terms of being under two hours, there was a feeling you had to be nimble in the summer marketplace. There was a feeling that only the quick would survive in a summer marketplace, where attention spans are thought to be short. So right or wrong, that was the philosophy that prevailed. But now we can take our time with things and we can present a fuller, richer experience, and here it is in the unrated version, and I think it’s the stronger version of the movie.

Source: An interview with David Twohy, IGN

The director’s preferred edition: Unrated Director’s Cut

Comparison of the editions with courtesy of Movie-Censorship.com

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD | Blu-ray

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The Wicker Man (1973)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (88 min.)
  • Director’s Cut (100 min.)
  • The Final Cut (93 min.)

The British horror classic The Wicker Man (no, not the one with Nicolas Cage) has been released in many different cuts but only three of them have arrived on DVD and Blu-ray. Director Robin Hardy was reportedly forced to cut his original cut of the film which didn’t sit well with the director nor the film most recognizable star Christopher Lee. Hardy then restored those missing scenes and presented them in the director’s cut. But in 2013 Hardy introduced The Wicker Man: The Final Cut which may or may not be the last time we see this cult classic released. Hardy said the following about 2013 cut during an interview with HeyUGuys:

“I could spend the next five minutes telling your all about the versions without being able to name them probably accurately. Well, this version, is the version that I like. It contains all the really important scenes, sequences to make the story work, I think. It contains some afterthoughts which I think most directors have about films they make… it’s the film as we originally intended it.”

Source: Robin Hardy Interview – The Wicker Man, HeyUGuys

The director’s preferred edition: The Final Cut

Comparison of the editions with courtesy of Movie-Censorship.com

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD | Blu-ray

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The Driller Killer (1979)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (96 min.)
  • Pre-release version (101 min.)

The notorious filmmaker Abel Ferrara made his directing debut with The Driller Killer in 1979. In 2016 Arrow Video released the film on Blu-ray where it included the theatrical cut of the film and never-before-seen pre-release version of the film. Arrow Video included an booklet with the Blu-ray/DVD release where the longer cut is addressed:

“While restoring The Driller Killer for Arrow’s release, it became apparent that the film’s negative represented an earlier cut, running 100m 52s, which included five minutes of material excised from the prints (95m 51s) shown theatrically and used for all previous video and DVD transfers. Abel Ferrara confirmed that it had been his decision to remove the footage in question, but gave us permission to provide the option of watching this “pre-release version” on the disc.”

Source: The pre-release version by Brad Stevens The Driller Killer Blu-ray release booklet by Arrow Video

The director’s preferred edition: Theatrical Cut

Comparison of the editions with courtesy of Movie-Censorship.com

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD | Blu-ray

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