The Normal Version (Unrated US-DVD / CAT-III) has been compared to the Long Version (not rated) by ILLUSIONS UNLTD. films
Normal Version (US-DVD): 96:48 min w/o credits (98:08 min w/ credits) in NTSC
=> equals 92:50 min w/o credits (94:07 min w/ credits) in PAL
Long Version: 95:03 min w/o credits (96:20 min w/ credits) in PAL
- 19 cuts
- Difference: 132.3 sec (= 2:12 min)
Category III (short: CAT-III) is the highest possible rating movies in Hongkong can recieve since 1988. Even productions that seem rather harmless over here like the Sex & The City-film or The Piano have this seal - the classification is infamous among genre-fans for another reason though: a specific type of films from Hongkong itself, which were at the peak in the mid-90s. Sex resp. mostly rapes and especially sprawling depictions of violence established the reputation you find especially brutal Asian production here. Aside Untold Story, Naked Killer or Dr. Lamb the at hand movie Ebola Syndrome is, with wonderfully looneyly acting Anthony Wong as main actor, definetly among the most famous and especially most worth watching.
Kai has an affair with his boss' wife and as this leaks out, he kills both of them. He flees from Hongkong to Africa and finds work at a restaurant again. As he, years later, looking for a cheap source for meat, rapes a woman in an aborignee village, he infects himself with Ebola and soon spreads it all around his surroundings...
The "CAT-III"-series by ILLUSIONS UNLTD. films
ILLUSIONS UNLTD. films is in good odor among friends of harsher entertainment, because many movies which were only released in a censored version in Germany was released uncensored in Austria by that lavel (for example Seed and Frontier(s)).
2009, the "CAT-III"-series was brought to life. It already contains several titles (such as Grotesque from Japan, Bloody Reunion from South Korea and Meat Grinder from Thailand) which do not fit the definition mentioned above - the fact they are not from Hongkong may be only secondary, but none of the titles was rated and released in Hongkong yet. So this is more about the expectation of a brutal Asian movie.
In addition, some "real" CAT-III-classics fortunately have been attended to, such as Red to Kill and Ebola Syndrome.
The new version of Ebola Syndrome
Ebola Syndrome has been a good bet because of another reason, as well. The movie already had to be censored for the Hongkong-release despite said highest rating CAT-III. Almost every brutal scene was more or less noticably cut in all the international releases for years. In 2007, a quality-wise much superior DVD was released in America, compared to the old releases from Hongkong and the Netherlands. Aside better image quality as well as an audio commentary of director Herman Yau and Anthony Wong, it was surprising that seemingly all of the scenes, which had been cut from the movie earlier, were included in the Deleted Scenes-section of the bonus features, with a very good image quality - but not reintegrated into the movie.
ILLUSIONS UNLTD. films remedies now. The upcoming release in the course of the in-house "CAT-III"-series will not only contain the normal version, but a long version, where exactly this has been done, as well: The existing longer footage is now contained in the main movie.
This is definetly noticable, because despite the scenes having a nice quality, the colour schemes differ slightly and the respective parts show small jumpcuts (often, shots are longer instead of being entirely new and you can see, watching the movie frame by frame, that always 1-2 frames were lost in the transition). Nevertheless, an absolute must-have for any fan of the movie and from now on probably the definitive version.
The long version was generously made available beforehand by ILLUSIONS UNLTD. films - unfortunately, there is no official release date yet.
Runtime designations are ordered as follows:
Normal Version of the US-DVD in NTSC / Long Version of the ILLUSIONS-DVD in PAL
03:20 / 03:12-03:17
Boss Guan Yu's wife urinates much longer onto Kai's face resp. the shot was cut pretty early after the first drops in the normal version (=NV), whereas in the long version (=LV) it is about five seconds longer.
05:06 / 04:59-05:01
Before you see the little girl Lili, who is hiding in the sideroom, Kai is shown landing on the folding table in an additional shot (the NV only features a sideways perspective of him jumping up) – blood splatters.
Cut to rattling Guan Yu.
05:15 / 05:09-05:11
Another close shot of Guan Yu, blood is dripping out of his mouth.
06:01 / 05:55-06:01
Close-up of the tounge in the scissors' helve, Kai orders Guan Yu's wife to stick it out far. After he is shown insulting her very harshly, he squeezes and pulls the scissors to the side. A lot of blood is flowing out of her mouth.
27:54 / 27:01-27:02
The shot is longer, the aboriginee protracts the bird's head further.
33:07 / 32:03-32:16
Again, a shot was shortened in the NV resp. it is much longer in the new version:
Kai hits the aboriginee who he just raped much more often in the head. There is no blood flowing, but there are several rather distinct sounds.
41:22 / 40:10-40:13
Just after Kai stabbed, a shot of the restaurant owner Kei with the toothpicks in the eye is missing.
Cut to Kai and the following take, in which his victim falls backwards also starts a little earlier.
42:05 / 40:55-41:01
Another shot much longer: Kai hammers the door much more often against Kei's head on the ground (respective sounds accompany this), catches breath and looks down.
42:22 / 41:17-41:18
The NV completely misses a short shot of Kai pulling the corpse – the head keeps lying on the other side of the door.
43:29 / 42:22-42:38
Again, a shot is longer, the NV only misses suggestive dialogue this time.
Kei's wife Ling says she was relaxed (this is a reaction to Kai who just told her to relax a little more). He asks her what she wanted to do just before, whereas she answers she wanted to suck him off. Kai cheers her to do it – after a short break during which she works on his belt he tells her to start.
The last words are heard at the beginning of the following take resp. it starts earlier in the LV as well.
43:30 / 42:39-42:41
...and is shown longer resp. Ling's head is shown longer on Kai's lap.
44:33 / 43:41-43:46
Kai moans longer in a close shot and then earlier in a further away shot.
44:55 / 44:07-44:09
Kai sucks longer on Ling's eye and pulls the head back in the same shot.
44:56 / 44:10-44:15
Kai is shown longer, blood is flowing out of his mouth and he spits out the eye.
Then, the following take of agonizing Ling begins earlier as well.
45:05 / 44:23-44:27
After Kai has buried Ling under the table, he only jumps up and jolts the table in the LV. Then, he perseveres a little.
46:02 / 45:22-45:36
Kai hammers the clerk's head many more times onto the ground and makes a face afterwards.
46:37 / 46:10-46:20
After the arm fell down the stretcher, another shot of Kai is missing. Blood is splattering all over is face from the saw which is working off-screen, he wipes it off.
Then, another shot of Ling's blood-splattered body (a similar, shorter one is shown in the NV as well).
46:45 / 46:28-46:42
The camera track over the body parts is longer. Kai is standing at the end of the table, observes one of the pieces of meat and throws it together with others into the sink.
Finally, a shot of him pressing the body parts into a meatgrinder.
59:02 / 58:29-58:50
The autopsy is longer, the body the doctor is working on is shown again. As he pulled off most of the face's skin, he adds to his diagnosis that the eyeballs have liquefied as well.