Comparison between the Theatrical Version (R-Rated) and the Director's Cut (Unrated)
Theatrical Version: 85:06 min without end credits (88:13 min with end credits) in PAL
Director's Cut: 90:14 min without end credits (94:02 min with end credits) in PAL
- 22 changed scenes, including
* 5x alternative footage
* 1 change of scene
- difference: 327 sec (= 5:27 min)
=> Additional logos at the beginning haven't been counted
In 2002, before Eli Roth stirred a controversy thanks to his both Hostel movies and before his appearance as Bear Jew in Inglourious Basterds, that allowed him to take a seat at several award ceremonies, he made this fairly decent horror flick.
In contrast to several other genre movies the yound protagonists are not being killed by human enemies or crazy monsters but by a deathly virus they have to deal with in a remoted lodge.
With a production budget of approx. $ 1.5 million dollar the movie made its name as an insider's tip, lobbied by the likes of Peter Jackson and - at least at the beginning - David Lynch. After a couple festival runs Lionsgate bought the movie in 2002.
For its wide theatrical release in the next year, Lionsgate apparently edited the movie, removed several scenes and added new ones. A rough comparison between the original version that was aired on festivals and the internationally known Theatrical Version can be found at the imdb.
The new version
In time of the home cinema release of the sequel - Roth was not involved - and due to his grown popularity because of his appearance in Inglourious Basterds (look here)Lionsgate green lit a re-release of the long awaited and - for fans - well-known festival cut, infamously titled Director's Cut.
This versions runs approx. 5 minutes longer and it is being said that this is the cut that premiered in Toronto back in September 2002.
As far as one can trust the information given in the imdb, this is not completely true.
Especially the striking changes at the beginning respectively a changed order of scenes and scenes missing in the Theatrical Version can't be observed. Bert's headshoot isn't gorier as well.
The other changes, described in the imdb, those scenes can be found and from scene to scene the movie gets a bit better due to added material. Sometimes the dialogue appears to be smoother and finally one gets to know the fate of the third redneck - in the Theatrical Version he gets beaten with a shovel and then disappears, whilst in the Director's Cut in a new scene he becomes a victim of the hasty cops. This plus a new shot of Bert's headless corps might please the gorehoundes because mostly dialogue and story have been added to the movie instead. Besides a nice little shock effect (a short flashback of the infected guy in the wood after a calm camera pan), Roth missed in the Theatrical Version and mentioned in several interviews, can be seen again.
The rearranged and prolonged ending is striking as well. Whether the sinister final day (with a lorry leaving the village with the infected cargo) is better placed after the end credits with changed background music is purely a matter of taste.
In the United States and Great Britain the Director's Cut got released in February 2010 on Blu-ray only.
Time indices follow this specific scheme:
Theatrical Version in PAL / Director's Cut in PAL
Lionsgate-Logo at the beginning of the DC.
06:52 / 07:14-07:36
After Paul has played with the dogs, Karen is shown. She witnesses a bizarre scene between little Dennis and Tommy. The latter is covering the mouth of the frightening looking kid and says that he can't hear him. Afterwards he lets him go and Dennis runs away towards Karen. She looks back to Tommy angrily who re-enters the shop.
The camera pan along the shelf inside the shop starts a bit earlier.
07:41 / 08:25-08:27
Paul and Karen are entering the shop a bit longer and one can see the grey-haired shop owner Cadwell a bit earlier.
Only in the DC he adds the following (in bold): "That's nice. Well, enjoy your little slice of heaven. And if you go in the woods..."
09:38 / 10:24-10:35
Before Bert realizes that they're having a map of Cincinnati two shots of discussion have been added.
Karen points at an area and Jeff is joking, because it's next to the
"Big Bone Lake". She doesn't react and Paul adds that this is the wrong street. Jeff grabs the steering-wheel again.
46:20 / 47:17-47:24
As Karen is screaming and bidding not to be let alone Bert re-enters the room and yells at her.
He calls her a whore twice and between he adds, due to the damaged front light they can't leave anyway.
The following shot of Bert and Paul having a discussion starts a couple of frames earlier because he turns away from the closed door.
52:24 / 53:28-53:52
Paul continues to talk at his friends after he makes himself heard.
He makes it short and adds that their friend (Karen) is dying and due to this they shouldn't act "like a bunch of fucking pussys". Marcy agrees and Jeff says "Of course he's right" - whereupon another argument arouses.
Paul interrupts quickly and reckons it is at least a good sign that they're communicating with each other and shortly after this the Theatrical Version continues with a shot of him.
His next sentence "Just no more yelling..." fits much better now.
53:19-53:20 / 54:47-55:16
After scaring off the dog at Karen's cabin, the Theatrical Versions fades away and the story continues the next morning at the lake.
In the DC one can see the trees and the dark and other shots in the dark: Whilst the others are sleeping inside, Bert is guarding Karen's cabin with a shot gun in his lap. At the end a short shock effect with a loud noise has been added by inserting a flashback of the infected Henry standing at the door.
DC 27,8 sec longer
70:05 / 72:01-72:37
Firstly some more shots of the sky. Then one can see Paul carrying the last alive redneck - the long-haired Andy - back to the cabin. He reckons that Paul has killed Tommy's boy.
Paul locks him into the cellar and commands him to tell the truth to Deputy Wilson and his reinforcement that it wasn't their fault because the desease had already started before their arrival. He yells his order a second time and afterwards closes the hatch.
Thereupon he goes to his room, grabs his rucksack and says "Thanks, Bert!" - the camera pans to his corps and in contrast to the Theatrical Version one can see the result of the headshot in the DC.
70:14 / 72:46-72:53
After the shots of Paul walking through the forest (screaming to Jeff not to drink any water), two short scenes have been added showing Jeff's hideout.
First some cottages and then Jeff, hiding in a small niche taking a nap of beer.
71:27 / 74:06-74:09
A closer shot of Paul who strays through the forest.
73:05 / 75:47-75:51
Couple of more shots of the harmless teenagers before one can see Deputy Winston holding a beer.
75:00 / 77:46-77:48
The blood-splattered Paul in a medium shot: He moves away from the teenager at the car who was spit at by Paul shortly before.
75:05 / 77:53-77:55
In an extra shot the aforementioned teenager turns around to the car leaving the scenery and one can see the car a little bit earlier whilst reversing.
77:17 / 80:07-80:19
For a first time Paul in the sickbed after the sheriff spoke to him cut.
He asks confusedly, whether it is safe and if they found Jeff yet. The sheriff ignores that and wants to know how all got infected.
77:57 / 80:59-81:08
The camera pan through the aisle starts earlier and closer to the door.
79:56 / 83:07-83:12
Again the camera pan starts a bit earlier in the DC. (Jeff approaches the cabin).
82:46 / 86:02-86:19
Only in the DC the cleanup of the cops is shown to the end. They're following Winston's lead that there's someone in the cellar.
They open the door and kill Andy, who was only thrown in the DC into the cellar, before he is able to explain anything. The cops start to shoot at him and throw a match down the cellar. Afterwards one can see the flames and some blood on the wooden floor.
82:59-83:00 / 86:32-86:39
In the Theatrical Version the fade away from the lake with the kids snatching some water to the next scene starts a bit earlier.
In the DC this scenere is a bit longer and the next scene starts at an earlier moment as well.
DC 6,6 sec longer
83:22 / 87:01-87:18
The scene with the kids selling limonade starts with a longer take.
The sheriff states he looked after the teenagers und Cadwell is looking for Tommy and Fenster but no one has an answer.
84:21 / 88:17-88:33
The shot of the rednecks making music starts way earlier and the camera moves slowly backwards. Right after the folks passed by the Theatrical Version is back in rhythm again.
The following end credits are starting in the Theatrical Version a bit earlier - reason for this are the following changes, like the prolonged version of the rednecks' song in the DC and the changed order of the closing gag.
84:27-84:28 / 88:39-89:47
The Theatrical Version fades quickly to a later moment of the scene.
In the DC one can see the complete shot and once and the camera continues to pan back slowly and more and more people are buying the lemonade.
DC 66,5 sec longer
84:36-85:17 / 89:55-90:14
In the DC this shot is approx. 18 seconds longer and one can still see the house from a distance.
Fade to black and the rest of the end credits follow ("Crew:").
At this point in the Theatrical Version one can see the cops still drinking lemonade and afterwards leaving the scene plus the lorry driving away with the village's water and a shot of Paul's corpse lying in the water.
In addition the end credits continue and the last one on the black screen was already shown in the DC at this point.
KF 22 sec longer
Alternate / Change of Order
88:11-88:13 / 93:08-94:02
After the end credits one can see Cadwell in the Theatrical Version, adding "Ah, word..." to the aforementioned "Nigger"-dialogue.
In the DC one can see the already shown scene of the Theatrical Version with the cops leaving the scenery and the lorry driving away - admittedly in a prolonged version because in the Theatrical Version this was shortened due to a crossfade. In addition one can't see Paul's corpse and in the end the fade to black starts later.
Of course without additional end credits and with a threatening score (in contrast to the country song used in the Theatrical Version). So the Director's Cut ends with a different mood.
DC 52,4 sec longer