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2-Disc Edition by Severin Films





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Zombie Holocaust

original title: Zombi Holocaust

Comparison:

  • US Blu-ray New Edition (Severin Films)
  • Extended Version (NSM)
Release: Aug 28, 2016 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB
Compared are the cut US Blu-ray New Edition by Severin Films and the uncut Extended Edition on the Austrian Blu-ray by NSM


- 1 relevant cut
- Length difference: 12.4 sec



Besides smaller locally censored releases, there are two official and two more slightly different versions of the Italian splatter classic Zombi Holocaust from 1980. For that reason, those four relevant versions (all available on Blu-ray today!) will be listed and explained in the following:


1. "Doctor Butcher, M.D."

Length: 82 min (NTSC resp. Blu-ray)

The version for the US market: Basically, this version only lacks some plot scenes. On the other hand, a 2.5 minutes long scenes from some never finished US flick has been added right at the beginning. In addition to that, there is a longer scene with a length of 5 minutes with the original film crew which is normally missing in the actual movie resp. only available as deleted scene on DVD. Furthermore, the score was altered in many places.
The new US Blu-ray by Severin Films is a 2-Disc-Edition and one of the selling arguments is this US Version which was not available for many years and which is now available in HD. Before that, one could only get it on the Japanese Laserdisc but the nudity got blurred for that release.


2. "Zombi Holocaust"

a) International Version - Length: 81 min (PAL) / 84 min (NTSC resp. Blu-ray)

The regular version which was also released in Italy. Also the main version on the Austrian NSM Blu-ray. The first US Blu-ray by Shriek Show and the British Blu-ray from 88 Films only contain this version as well.


b) Extended Version - Length: 86 min (PAL resp. Blu-ray by NSM)

Basically, this is the "2a" version except the 5 minutes from the US version Doctor Butcher, M.D. are also integrated in the movie. The Austrian NSM Blu-ray is the only digital release so far even though it was only put in SD and PAL on the disc (which also explains the length diffence).



And this is where the new US Blu-ray released by Severin Films on 07/26/2016 comes in as a surprising fourth version. On the back cover, it reads "Fully restored. Totally Uncut." and in the press release, the following was announced:

For the first time ever the UNCUT VERSION of ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST in HD. Previous releases of ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST have excised a 5 minute sequence from the middle of the movie and only included it as an inferior quality deleted scene. This sequence has now been restored into the movie, transferred from the original 16mm negative, as it was originally released. In addition, previous disc releases have used video generated titles which have now been restored from the original film source. Also a new color correction pass and further restoration have been undertaken, making this the definitive release to date of ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST.


The quality is top-notch and to be more precise: Besides Doctor Butcher, M.D., the more popular Zombi Holocaust version is available with a length of almost 89 minutes in this set. The slogan "as it was originally released" is doubtful resp. it probably refers to the US version. Since the resulting version is longer than the International Version ("2a") and the length difference of the Severin almost equals the described plot scene with a length of 5 minutes, it seemed clear that the "2b" Version is also available now in HD for the very first time. But that does not impress our authors at all and since there is a small difference, taking a closer look was inevitable...

And look at that: A shot with a length of 12 seconds is completely missing on the new US Blu-ray. It should not really bother anyone because it doesn't have relevance for the plot, no gore is missing and neither is any nudity. But the fact remains that this little nature shot is missing while even the International Version contained it. So actually, there is no plausible reason whatsoever for the absence of that shot. BTW: The shot itself is one that originally first appeared in Lucio Fulci's Zombie Flesh Eaters. Since this is also the case for a few other shots though, which are all included in the Severin master, this falls short as a possible explanation for not including it.

There are also a few rather redundant frame cuts and it should be said that quality of the additional 5 minutes sequence is superior. While an SD source with a screwed up NTSC/PAL transfer has been used for the NSM release, the Severin release actually contains that scene in HD as promised. Eventually, the new US Blu-ray is highly recommended (also due to all the bonus features) even though that small missing scene remains a mystery.



Time index refers to
US Blu-ray New Edition by Severin Films / Extended Version by NSM in PAL
On the new US Blu-ray, the opening credits are in English and white. On the NSM release, they are in Italian and red.


US Blu-ray New EditionExtended Version by NSM




25:41 / 24:38-24:50

After Susan expresses her intentions, the new US Blu-ray lacks a longer tracking shot across nature up to the group's vehicle.

12.4 sec




31:28-31:34 / 30:23-30:29

When Peter uses the binoculars, the frame is animated differently (resp. obviously rebuild on the NSM release). Also, a few frames got lost.

Extended Version by NSM 0.4 sec longer

US Blu-ray New EditionExtended Version by NSM




50:30 / 48:39

Peter a little longer before one gets to see the body one more time.

0.6 sec




58:27-63:31 / 56:17-61:21

Sloppy on the NSM Version: The NTSC/PAL speedup got screwed up for the additional scene with Peter and Lori in the woods. Despite being in 25fps (=PAL), the scene runs with in NTSC speed which explains the tiny additional length difference.

Moreover, one only had access to a rather bad and slightly zoomed SD source while the new US Blu-ray contains that scene in HD. In order to illustrate the difference that's even visible in this highly compressed image size, here are two screenshots to compare.

Extended Version by NSM falsely 12.4 sec longer

US Blu-ray New EditionExtended Version by NSM




Just like the opening credits, the end credits differ as well (English/white vs. Italian/red).


US Blu-ray New EditionExtended Version by NSM

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