1.) Concerning 'exclusive' R-rated versions:
There has been a lot of confusion regarding DVD releases in an 'Unrated' version lately. So this censorship report doesn't only compare two versions of 'Wizard of Gore', but does take a look behind the scenes of the rating practices and some companies' DVD releasing policy in the United States. However, in some cases (e.g. Feast, Feast II, Rogue, Storm Warning, Children of Wax) the sometimes quite obscure rating practices lead to confusion and, in rare cases, even angry reactions in other countries where these movies are released. The following report tries to shed some light on this issue (which may not be unfamiliar to regular readers of this website) and to explain some details (as mentioned above, this isn't limited to 'The Wizard of Gore' but includes some other movies, too).
Politics of multiple releases: Rated and Unrated
It's widely known that there often are two different home video releases of a movie in the U.S.: One version rated by the MPAA and a (quite effective in advertising) unrated version. In the past, many people – even on this website – assumed for a certain time that, above all, the economically most powerful U.S store companies didn't offer any unrated DVDs. The ones to be mentioned here are Walmart as most important seller of DVDs and Blockbuster as biggest Video rental store.
However, both chains have been offering unrated DVDs for quite a long time. Only the very rarely occurring NC-17-movies are not offered there. Unrated versions that would have gotten an NC-17 if presented to the MPAA are no problem for those stores and can be found there en masse on the shelves. Those two companies jumped on the unrated-bandwagon a bit later than rival companies as Amazon.com or Best Buy and sometimes explicitly refused to offer certain unrated versions, such as e.g. Old School or Requiem for a dream. But since unrated versions have become a mass phenomenon and the sales are not to be ignored any more, those politics changed.
At Walmart, too, both online and in the individual stores unrated versions can be found. This also and above all affects movies of which two versions are available.
Nevertheless, the R-rated versions of these movies are offered by these companies as well, but not in all cases and not more often than the unrated counterpart. So one can only guess why there are two versions of those movies released. One explanation could be that this issue is handled differently in different regions of the States: Whereas stores in the more conservative parts of the country are offering mainly the R-rated version, this is not necessary in other parts of the country. Though there is no complete proof of this theory, it still remains one of the most plausible explanations.
Especially at Blockbuster this can be seen more clearly. It seems like the R-rated versions are more likely to be offered in the (online) rental section, whereas in the Blockbuster Stores the unrated versions usually can be obtained, too. Especially in the rental section, where the majority are R-rated versions in order to maintain the family-friendly environment, this often leads to customers getting angry. Examples: Here, here, and here. Being that angry, many people then assume that Blockbuster censor DVDs by themselves. However, this is very unlikely…
Exclusive R-rated versions
If and when a movie is released in both an R- and unrated version can usually be known by viewing U.S. DVD websites or the most exact and complete source, amazon.com's media catalog. At exactly this point things become interesting: Some R-rated versions appear neither in announcements of the labels, and hence on the usual DVD-websites either, nor are those R-rated versions mentioned in the catalog of amazon.com or any other send away company. Just the unrated version is mentioned.
This mainly affects movies released by The Weinstein Company, which owns the sub-labels Dimension and Dimension Extreme. Weinstein and Blockbuster concluded a 3-year agreement in 2006 which gives Blockbuster the right to exclusively offer the rental versions of those labels' movies. On their covers, you can usually find an eye-catching Blockbuster Exclusive sticker. In course of this agreement it might be possible that Weinstein resp. Dimension have already created R-rated versions of their movies to appropriately fit the family friendly store policy. So it seems mainly the movies of Dimension Extreme to be affected, as there are many unrated movies from this label of which R-rated counterparts exist that are not to be found anywhere else. But on the other hand, many don't have said counterpart: Those are only available as unrated versions. So it might be possible that in some cases an R-rated version had been made for a limited theatrical release, for example, and that Blockbuster happily took this version for rental. It's a fact that those exclusive R-rated versions, due to many reports (as mentioned above), are to be found almost exclusively in the Blockbuster rental section.
Exclusive R-rated version: Shortened? Yes. Censored? Not necessarily.
However, not all exclusive R-rated versions are censored to obtain said rating. In this respect, this story isn' any different from other double releases. There, too, you have some deceptive releases which suggest an uncensored or gorier version. Whereas there are some already uncensored R-rated versions in the Dimension Extreme franchise, it is possible as well that a movie easily capable of obtaining an R-rating to be marketed as unrated due to advertising reasons. If there is an additional R-rated version of this movie, it is not necessarily censored.
Something like that happened to the not so gory Australian crocodile horror movie Rogue. This movie was released in the U.S. in an unrated version under the label of Dimension Extreme. It seems that there was made a shorter R-rated version of the movie as well. As no censorship cuts were necessary to obtain the R-rating, Dimension just removed some plot elements. Maybe also to shorten the movie a bit for U.S. audiences. The unabridged version does have a gory 'unrated' sticker to suggest that this is a gorier version. In Feast III, too, the changes were not made for censoring but for the only cause to be able to release an additional unrated version for advertising reasons.
2.) Versions and report:
Due to the fact that Inside isn't a movie from the US, it's no surprise that there aren't elaborate differences like alternate footage etc. The only differences were made to get an R-Rating, but it is surprising that, besides the removed violence, a longer plot scene is missing at the beginning as well. But then again this scene doesn't suit very well to the rest of the movie, so maybe it has been removed to adjust the movie for the US market. But this is just an assumption because the Unrated Version, which is the much more common version, contains this plot scene as well.
With 7 minutes of missing footage, the R-Rated Version is nothing but a complete joke. The anger of lots of Blockbuster customers (see above) is quite understandable.
37 cuts = 6 min 51.7 sec
Compared are the R-Rated Version on the US DVD by Dimension Extreme and the Unrated Version on the US DVD by Dimension Extreme (= French DVD / Austrian DVD).
Missing plot scene in the R-Rated Version: while Sarah is waiting to be picked up at the hospital, a nurse sits next to her and tells her what having the first baby was like. Sarah is really annoyed.
Nurse: It won’t be long know, huh? Hmm? Well I had four Kids. Your first one, I bet. It’s horrible, the first kid.In my own case it took 13 hours to deliver it, my first baby. Oh, murder. I mean murder.
The nurse lights a cigarette and continues: I was in such fucking pain. He put me through all that but… he was born dead.
Another nurse arrives and barges in: You know very well that smoking’s forbidden here.
The other nurse looks pretty annoyed, leans over to Sarah and says: Everyone here is so full of shit.
Sarah leans over to the nurse and replies: Twat.
The nurse laughs scornfully, gets up and leaves.
1. min 28.6 sec (88.6 sec)
When Sarah leans her head to the door (to hear what's going on downstairs), a distance shot of her face is missing. In this shot, her wound in the face can be watched in any detail.
The first frame of the following scene (the intruded woman talks to Sarah's friend in the living room) is also missing.
Again a missing shot of Sarah listening at the door after the woman invited Sarah's friend for a drink.
After the woman stabbed Sarah's boss with the scissors in his guts, a shot of him, which shows him screaming, and a distance shot of the scissors in his guts are missing. Blood is leaking.
Another close-up of the scissors. For continuity reasons the following shot of the woman is missing, too.
The woman stabs Sarah's boss with the scissors in the face.
Extended shot of the woman stabbing Sarah's boss. Shot of his deformed face while the scissors are hitting his chest.
The scene, where the woman slices the throat of Sarah's boss with scissors, is shorter in the R-Rated Version: the blood fountain against the wall is missing.
After the woman stabbed the pillow and the face of Sarah's boss with the scissors, the scene where she pushes the scissors with two hands to increase the pressure is missing in the R-Rated Version.
Shot of the scissors in the pillow and how the scissors are being pulled out.
After the woman noticed Sarah in the upper floor, she kicks the pillow on the face of Sarah's boss. She also kicks his arm and leaves. Then a tracking shot of the body.
Extended shot of Sarah when she's twisting the barette in the woman's arm several times until it breaks.
Extended shot of Sarah at the sink. She squirms with pain, then she grabs her stomach. Suddenly she recognizes the woman, who starts making holes in the door with the scissors. She angrily yells "Open it!".
After Sarah destroyed the mirror, a shot of her is missing. She turns around to the door and her yawning face wound is viewable. The following shot, when she steps in broken fragments, is also missing.
After the woman nailed Sarah's hand with the scissors to the wall, the following shots are missing in the R-Rated Version: one of the woman, a close-up of Sarah's stabbed hand and a distance shot of Sarah in the bathroom.
Another missing shot of the stabbed hand and the woman.
Further missing shot of the stabbed hand.
When the cop pulls the scissors out of Sarah's hand, a shot of her in the bathroom and the distance shot, which shows the scissors being pulled out, are missing.
Missing shot of the cop with the knitting needle in his eye. The following one of the woman is missing, too. She grabs the needle to pull it out.
The really gruesome headshot, when the second cop gets killed, is missing as well. This is the first time that the cut in the R-Rated Version is pretty obvious: Sarah gets some blood splatter in her face after she opened the door, the hit itself has been completely removed. Moreover the first frame of the blood fountain is missing.
Almost the entire death of the teenager, who came with the cop, has been removed. After she winded up, two shots of her stabbing the scissors in his forehead are missing. Then she slowly gets it out and the teenager looks forwards, even though he still has the scissors in his forehead. Heavily traumatised, he looks around while blood's leaking on his face. He looks at the scissors, grabs them with both hands and his eye roll when he starts pulling it out. He makes unreflected moves to defense, but he doesn't hit anything or someone. The woman, who has lighten a cigarette in the meanwhile, comes closer. He tries to hit her with the scissors, but he fails and finally drops dead. She looks at him, then a distance shot of his face. Finally a dissolve to Sarah on the bed.
The dissolve has been replaced by a black image in the R-Rated Version, followed by the dissolve to Sarah. For that reason the exact running time can't be determined.
approx. 71 sec
After the woman knocked Sarah down with the toaster and she tried to get up again, the remaining part of this scene is missing in the R-Rated Version. Blood leaks out of Sarah's mouth.
Another shot of Sarah blood-spitting on the ground, which is shorter in the R-Rated Version. This time the beginning, before the woman smashes the toaster close to Sarah on the ground, is missing.
The ending of the before-mentioned shot is shorter, too.
The woman can't breathe after she was being burned with the spray can. The R-Rated Version lacks the scene when she grabs a huge needle (the beginning is in it, but shorter) and makes a breathing hole in her throat with it.
After Sarah got up, the "blood splattering out of her throat" scene is missing in the R-Rated Version. The beginning (Sarah gets up) is in it, but the rest of it has been removed.
Extended shot of Sarah and her wound before she unwraps the tape.
The ending of the shot, when she's unwrapping the tape, is also missing in the R-Rated Version.
After the heavily injured cop starts beating up Sarah because he thinks she was a stranger, a shot of Sarah's unborn baby is missing. Furthermore the following is also missing. He punches Sarah in the belly so that her her waters breake and the water splashes on the floor.
Another missing shot of the cop with the spear in his body.
A further missing shot of the cop with the spear in his body is shorter in the R-Rated Version, so that the second blood fountain isn't viewable any more.
The child's birth has also been censored very rudely: the woman takes the scissors. First, she cuts Sarah's shirt to expose her belly. She puts the scissors on the bellybutton and then, she pushes the scissors in and starts slicing it up.
Shorter shot of the woman in the R-Rated Version. The reason is pretty simple: actually, there's a tracking shot the woman snooping around in Sarah's belly with both hands.
Another missing shot of the woman with her hands in Sarah's belly.
The next shot, which shows the happenings from the distance, is also shorter in the R-Rated Version. The entire, very explicite shot with the woman's hands in Sarah's belly has been removed again.
The beginning of the tracking shot of dead Sarah on the stairs is much shorter in the R-Rated Version. As a result of that, the opened body with the umbilicial cord hanging out of it isn't viewable.