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Chain Letter

Comparison:

  • R-Rated
  • Unrated
Release: Feb 06, 2011 - Author: Mike Lowrey - Translator: DaxRider123 - external link: IMDB
Chain Letter is a pretty unspectacular horror thriller - the story is not that well explained and there are a lot of plotholes. The characters are very one-dimensional, therefore it's pretty hard to identify with one of them. Even though the movie is rather short, there still are some boring parts in it. Regarding violence, the quotes on the cover promise a pretty gruesome experience. Despite the first murder, however, most of the violence is rather mediocre and nothing you couldn't already see in any other slasher movie. Still, the movie was obviously violent enough to receive two different versions that were both released on DVD (surprisingly enough, they only released the R-Rated Version on Blu-Ray).

In the USA, the film was only shown in selected cinemas and received an R-Rating (for strong bloody sadistic violence throughout, language and brief nudity). This censored version was not really cut but rather offers more harmless alternative material. Still, there is more than 1 minute of difference between the releases; that's because of an absolutely irrelevant final scene that can really just go without. If it wasn't for the censorship, you could even argue that the studio offers you a bluff package.


This is a comparison between the Unrated DVD and the R-Rated DVD (both released by Image Entertainment).

6 changes:
5 scenes with alternative footage
1 additional scene


Overall, the Unrated Version is 74.08 seconds resp. 1 minute 14 seconds longer than the R-Rated Version.
Alternative footage
0:27:37
In the Unrated there's a short cut to Johnny's heavily dissected face. The R-Rated version is obviously more harmless and instead shows a shot of him where his face is relatively unscathed.
The R-Rated version is 1 frame (0.04 sec.) longer.

R-RatedUnrated



Alternatives footage
0:27:43
Again, the Unrated Version offers way more gruesome shots of Johnny's face. Then follows a side view of the killer literally "cutting" through Johnny's skull with chains.
No difference in time.

R-RatedUnrated



Alternative footage
0:27:49
Again, the Unrated Version is more explicit and the butchery is heavier. The R-Rated version at this point is not completely harmless and inbetween there's a shot of the chains cutting in Johnny's face.
The Unrated is 0.12 sec. longer.

R-RatedUnrated



Alternative footage
1:09:26
The Unrated offers a close-up shot of Neil spitting some blood, while the R-Rated shows the events from a little further away and from a bird's-eye perspectiv.
The Unrated is 1.04 sec. longer.

R-RatedUnrated



Alternative footage
1:09:40
Neil looks down on his chest - the hook sticks inside it and blood splashes out of the wound. The R-Rated basically just shows the killer who pulls him up.
The Unrated is 1 frame (0.04 sec.) longer.

R-RatedUnrated



Additional scene
1:23:43
In the Unrated Version now follows an absolutely unnecessary epilogue that is responsible for the actual difference in time. You hear a snappy rocksong while the killer heats a chain with a blowtorch. In the background (and later also in a close-up shot) you see Detective Crenshaw who is tied up on a chair, screams and looks around. Then follows a close-up shot of his eye and then the movie is over. Probably only the producers know what exactly this is supposed to tell us.
72.92 sec.





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