Between 1975 and 1985 Canada has been a little insiders’ tip for exciting slasher and other horror flicks, which pleasantly set semselves apart from their american counterparts. Among these there are also classics like "My Bloody Valentine" (1981), "Happy Birthday to me" (1981), "Prom Night" (1980) or "Rituals" (1976), all of them belonging to the exalted works of this genre. We are not talking about the earlier movies of David-Cronenberg we sure all know ! Right in this same category belongs HUMONGOUS, meanwhile long-forgotten waiting for a respectable release on DVD !
Why is this movie on top of the „most wanted list” from numberless fans all around the world ? Because of the persistent rumors that there exists a harder unrated version similar to MY BLOODY VALENTINE. And the pre-title sequence in all its brutality is stiring up these presumptions. Because in the further development of the movie the so far shown blood and gore content is not enhanced and also to some extent the murder are only brief touched or not even shown. For example on the cover of the Dutch version there is a screenshot which does not appear within the movie. But this shouldn’t mean anything because very often production stills are used for the cover artwork. As I expected, getting hold of the different versions for comparison was an extraordinary challenge. First of all I was searching for the unrated version, which according to the IMDB was worldwide released besides the rated R version from Embassy-Video: Embassy Video released both a rated R and an unrated version on video. The rated R one cuts out some violence and rape footage. After a long way back and forth I finally got hold of the following versions:
- German VHS, Embassy, unrated
- British VHS, Embassy, BBFC 18
- French VHS, Embassy
- American VHS, Embassy, Rated R
I’ve got the French version from a friend living in Nantes who is a passionate collector with the following note: "...the one here is uncut, I compared it with the US version. There's not much, but you do see the rape (just the face of the guy moving in fact) that you didn't see in the other one that cut to the dogs attack which have a few frames more also. May be there are more differences but that's the most noticeable ones. If there's another version that would mean a third one which that I doubt." Ah, that’s nice so let’s compare with the German Embassy and guess what…surprise both versions are identical down to the frames! So, now let’s get an US version. I’ve paid a lot of bucks for a worn out ex rental ordered via Amazon…now it’s getting funny. The German VHS is immensely longer than the US rated R version! This is very interesting, isn’t it?
Now considering all the available informations I come to the final conclusion that the French & the German VHS from Embassy is a total uncut version. And as a rather secure guess I float that this is the one and only ominous unrated version. What the hell, cancel the word “rather”! Both versions are THE UNRATED version and that’s a huge surprise.
Tom forces his way between Ida’s legs followed by a close-up of his face. He spits in his hand takes it down and starts humping.
( 13,5 sec. )
Counter cut onto the dogs jumping over the fence – then again the close-up of Tom’s face is missing.
( 9,5 sec. )
Again there is an insert of an approaching dog and again the front view of Tom is missing.
( 3 sec. )
And finally once again the last close-up of his sweaty face, he comes to an end and slowly draws back. The last 2 seconds of this take then are again contained in the US version.
( 25 sec. )
The dogs attacking. These takes are all partly framewise short fast cutted in a row and take place in pitch dark night. Anyhow one of them is censored at the end where the bloody wound of the leg can be seen as well as the entire both following.
( 3 sec. )
A very short close-up where a dog tears at the bloody arm.
( 18 SF )
Another close-up of a dog tearing at the bloody arm.
( 1 sec. )
Again a very fast filmed close-up of the armbiting cur.
( 1,5 sec. )
After the dogs finally let go of their victim a close-up of Toms’s face spitting blood is also missing like the extreme close-up of the torn up leg.
( 4 sec. )
Again a close-up of the bubbling Tom followed by a counter cut on Ida’s face.
( 7 sek. )