Compared are the International Version (= "Director's Cut") and the Original Version ("Theatrical Cut")
- 35 differences, including 1 recut and 1 zoom
- Difference: 670.4 sec (= 11:11 min)
The Movie and its Official Versions
Helldriver is the forth movie of Yoshihiro Nishimura as a director (after Tokyo Gore Police, Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl and Mutant Girls Squad) but he was also in charge of the SFX in almost any other funsplatter flick made in Japan. Not surprisingly, there are many absurd creatures and nonsense-ideas in Helldriver as well. Unfortunately, the "style over substance"-overkill contains lots of dreadful cg shots here and there. And with a length of almost two hourse, the movie is way too long, too. In that regard, I'd like to mention the odd fact that the opening credits don't start before 45 minutes of the movie have gone by...
The length of the movie must have been quite an issue for the Producers because they decided to release a shorter version with more pace for the international market..
- International Version: 106 min (NTSC)
- Original Version: 117 min (NTSC)
There aren't many releases of this movie so far. But at least, the US Blu-ray and DVD contain the Original Version, not the shorter one. In the UK on the other hand, both versions have been released.
The International Version
First of all, I'd like to mention that the International Version is called "Director's Cut" in the UK while the Original Version is called "Theatrical Cut". In the following comparison, the above-mentioned names will be used to avoid any (more) confusion.
Usually, some plot elements have been removed from the International Version. Redundantly long shots or shots that are several times in the movie in a very similar way, especially at the beginning. In other words, it's an advantage for the audience but a disadvantage for this comparison because it's really unspectacular. With that knowledge, one could almost go so far and recommend the International Version because the Original Version is, as mentioned before, too long. But there's always a but. The International Version also lacks some gore scenes, e.g. a nipple gets bitten off or the entire death of the Priest. At least the Priest's death could be explained with the removal of the zombie camp. Removing the Priest's death would be the logical result. Another cut at the end could be explained in a similar way, even though the actual reason is sort of unusual. Any scene with genre star Asami has been unexecptionally removed (including a zoom when she's actually standing in the background), some battlle scene have also been cut. Since the sideplot with her brother is indeed crude and it also looks carelessly installed, the decision to remove that is quite reasonable.
Which version it's finally going to be, is a matter of taste. One doesn't miss much in the International Version, but at the end of the day, I believe the Original Version shoudl be prefered because of the missing gore scenes in the International Version. At least the UK release offers the opportunity to choose.
Time index refers to
International Version in NTSC / Original Version in NTSC
01:17 / 01:17-01:20
Another shot of the guy in profile. The following shot lacks the first couple of frames.
01:23 / 01:26-01:27
Insignificant extended shot of the guy looking up.
01:31 / 01:35-01:40
Extended shot of him reaching for his hook plus he gets it out earlier in the following shot.
01:47 / 01:56-02:01
Additional shot of someone spinning the crank.
01:53 / 02:06-02:14
Additional shot of the guy climbing up.
02:10 / 02:31-02:32
Extended shot of the ground.
02:32 / 02:54-02:55
02:33 / 02:56-03:05
Further shots of the area before a limping zombie approaches.
07:03 / 07:36-07:42
Further shots of pole-dancing Kika and the confuse-looking head.
07:06 / 07:45-07:47
22:13 / 22:54-23:34
Further scenes in news style. First some kind of recap (the priest talks about human rights of the zombies plus demonstrators in the streets), then an extended storyline. The "One-Household-Three-Families"-System seems to have failed because a man reports dead people in his house. Then the demonstrators again.
22:16 / 23:37-23:45
More signs. Then the sushi restaurant owner puts an almost empty plate on the table.
22:27 / 23:56-24:27
The owner bitches back: "Hey, idiot? Two is enough! This is sushi!"
Now a shot of the alternative for the starving people. Another man offers cockroaches and one guy delightedly eats them.
Alternate / Recut
22:43-22:48 / 24:43-24:48
Now the first two shots from the previous cut (22:13 / 22:54-23:34) in the International Version.
As compensation, the actual shots of Kika and the General have been removed.
Well done because both versions continue with demonstrators walking in the foreground, which just looks more accurate in the International Version.
25:15 / 27:15-27:31
Slow motion footage of No-Name fighting the zombies, interrupted by Kika.
30:17 / 32:33-32:57
The conversation in the car is longer. They're talking about the zombies' origin.
Kika: "What were those things? Zombies?"
Taku: "Don't you know? They're the infected. You an expat?"
She doesn't reply, he only adds a simple "Whatever...".
30:26 / 33:06-34:27
It takes some time to pass the crowd by car. Especially Kika is watching them very critically. Among other things, one can see the Priest again, a fan of cockroaches and the big screen shows a commercial wih PM Hatoda.
31:44 / 35:45-36:04
Additional shot of the General taking pictures of the remains from the battle in the beginning. He looks sceptically.
33:10 / 37:30-38:29
A big screen shows a discussion between PM Hatoda and Attorney General Osawa about the human rights of zombies.
Hatoda: "No matter their state, they're not dead. I will never tolerate just getting rid of them."
Osawa: "But, the country is divided. Japan's power is fading. Public order is breaking down. Unemployment and crime are rising. If this continues, other countries will take advantage of us. Guaranteeing those 'things' human rights will destroy Japan. Eradicating the infected population and taking back the overrun land is priority!"
Hatoda: "The bill you've submitted. It's legalization of murder!"
Osawa: "It is not! It's a guarantee of the right to life for the non-infected."
Hatoda: "Even if it were, it will not be approved."
49:19 / 54:38-54:47
The Yakuza also says to Taku: "Hey you! If you see a convenience store, make a pit stop."
Taku mumbles to himself.
53:23 / 58:51-59:27
Accompanied by heroic music, Kaito leads our team to his car. Then they drive off. Meanwhile, Kika regains consciousness because Rikka, checking up on her from the distance, closes her eyes again.
60:31 / 66:35-67:25
Probably the most unfortunate difference because the International Version lacks some gore here: Yasushi rips off Maya's top, kisses her breasts and bites her in the breast. The obligatory blood fountains follow.
83:00 / 89:54-92:04
Here, an entire sequence with the Priest has been removed. First, he preaches on the street but most of the people ignore or yell at him. Suddenly, an elderly couple shows up in front of him. They bow down. The Priest leads them to a room in the back. This scene reveals that he's harboring zombies. The couple on the other hand is there to pay a visit to their matated daughter. They brought her torn off arm as a gift.
83:37 / 92:41-92:45
Two further shots of Osawas henchmen.
83:41 / 92:49-92:57
Henchman #2 unmasks. It turns out it was Asami.
90:00 / 99:16-99:30
Additional shot of the man approaching Asami. He passes her a cup and calls her "Sister".
90:00-90:07 / 99:30-99:37
Oddly enough, Asami isn#t going to appear in the International Version anymore. But since the scene was supposed to end with a shot of both of them, the shot of them drinking at the same time has been zoomed in. As a result of that, she's not in it anymore. Only her brother is.
92:40 / 102:10-102:13
Medium long shot of Asami.
92:42 / 102:15-102:16
After the close-up of her brother, another shot of Asami follows.
92:58 / 102:32-102:36
And again a shot of Asami, she says "Not yet."
93:15 / 102:53-102:54
Shot of brother and sister turning on the saws.
93:16 / 102:55-102:57
The beginning of the scene has been removed before it shows a screaming Asami running forward.
93:40 / 103:21-103:36
The brother's attack is longer. Then some more slicing and dicing, mainly performed by Asami.
94:35 / 104:31-105:23
The blood fountain is almost one second longer, the shot of the Priest getting eaten is completely missing.
Subsequently, some more slice and dice. Asami dies which makes her brother scream.
102:40 / 113:28-113:51
Dissolve to dead Asami. Ichiro touches her face without saying a single word.