Comparison of the censored UK-VHS from Alpha Video and the uncensored UK-DVD from Optimum Home Entertainment (BBFC 18 / Unrated).
38,5 seconds are missing in 5 scenes.
Summary of the different versions:
In the US The Exterminator had to be already censored at length for an R-rating. Having said that, later an uncensored Unrated-version was released both on VHS and DVD. The R-rated version was only released on VHS.
In the UK the Unrated version was used. However, this version was then censored separately. Over the years several versions with different kinds of censorship have been released.
UK-theatrical version (BBFC X) / Pre-Certification VHS:
The English theatrical version was shortened by 44 seconds (at 24 FPs). This results in a total of 38,5 seconds (PAL) in missing footage. The BBFC rated this version X, which is the equivalent to the BBFC-18 rating that was introduced later). Before the film was again submitted to the BBFC for a VHS-release, Alpha Vision/Intervision released the theatrical version as a so called „Pre Cert“-version on VHS (Pre Cert = Pre Certification). Accordingly, the VHS does not have the BBFC-logo.
BBFC 18 VHS from Starvision and Braveworld
Sometime later in the UK the film was released in an official BBFC-version on VHS by the label Starvision as well as by Braveworld. For the BBFC-18 rating the BBFC demanded further cuts with a total length of 2 min, 54 sec. According to the BBFC-database, this amounts to 3 min, 38 sec. However, we only measured 3 min, 30,5 sec, which may be explained by external factors.
According to the BBFC-database, there also exists a VHS from Intervision, which was cut by 2 min, 54 sec. To that the 44 seconds that were already cut out for the theatrical release have to be added, which can be inferred from the note „+ film cuts“. This version was not available for comparison. However, we assume that if Intervision has released a censored version it is identical with the versions from Starvision and Braveworld. It is even conceivable that those two are sub-labels of Intervision.
BBFC-18 VHS and DVD from Synergy (Director’s Cut)
In the year 2000, the BBFC had already relaxed their guidelines significantly. Therefore, the label Synergy decided to submit the film, more or less successful, to the BBFC one more time. This time the BBFC only demanded 22 seconds of material to be cut out. So Synergy re-released the film as "Director's Cut" on VHS and DVD. However, that also the DVD was cut by 22 seconds is nothing but a wide-spread myth. In order to verify that information the DVD wasw bought two times for this censorship-report and compared to the Uncut version. The result: The Synergy DVD is completely uncensored. Thus, it seems as if only the VHS was censored. However, we couldn't get our hands on the VHS itself. If anybody anybody has it and is willing to provide their copy to us for one more censorship-report, we would be extremely thankful if he or she could contact us via email.
BBFC-18 DVD from Optimum
as uncensored as the DVD from Synergy is the DVD that was released by Optimum. In 2004 Optimum again submitted the film to the BBFC. And finally it received its well deserved BBFC-18 rating.
Surprisingly for anybody familiar with German censorship, the film was released uncensored in Germany from the beginning (FSK 18, partially banned). However, beside the uncensored version , heavily censored FSK 16 version was also released on VHS and DVD.
Two shots of the soldier whose head is almost severed and the Vietnamese guy that is standing with a machete in his hand in the front of the picture are missing.
The Vietnamese guy puts his hand to his slit throat.
The bad guy drives a garden claw into Jefferson's back in a close-up.
After that he pulls it out again.
The guy dips his soldering rod into wax. Vapour is discharged. Then he walks toward the tied up prostitute and tortures her with the rod. (This is only shown briefly)
The bad guy kicks the old lady in the stomach. She falls backwards to the ground.