Running time of the censored R-Rated version: 01:25:16 (incl. end credits)
Running time of the uncensored Unrated version: 01:34:40 (incl. end credits)
This results in a total difference of 9:24 min.
Already at the time of its Theatrical release in the early 80ies the movie "Don't Answer the Phone" had to face a lot of criticism. Critics complained about the very upfront display and mixture of sex and violence which was almost limited to female victims. Even though it can be understood that several guardians of public morals said the movie was misogynic but this is a botch of a more simple way and definitely not intending to give any social statements. It simply wants to entertain its audience and tries that with the help of sleazy material, such as many other exploitation movies of this era. The first digital home video incarnation from "Rhino Home Video" seems to be based on a heavily censored TV-master which did not only take away a lot of violence and nudity from the movie but also took care of bad words. Earlier American video releases had remained untouched. Still, this version got an R-Rating from the MPAA. Not until the year of 2006 the label "BCI Eclipse" released the movie in its Theatrical version which, as can be seen in die end credits, also got an R-Rating from the MPAA back in 1980 (the DVD, however, remains Unrated). Besides, the censored DVD is also a lot darker that at several spots one can only guess the details. Here is a little image comparison (which will be followed by a detailed cut report):
(on the left the cut DVD; on the right the uncut DVD)
The times refer to the uncut version.
The "Crown International Pictures"-logo is missing.
The nameless killer attacks his first victim, a nurse who has come from work. He strangles the woman on the table a little longer.
He tears open the bra of the nurse who is now dead and enjoys her naked body.
The police man says to the forensic: "The one that was nearly bitten off, Goddamit!", at which the last word was cut out.
To the question "Was she sexually assaulted?" the forensic responds: "Every orifice she's got."
While the second police man fishes a piece of evidence from the ashtray the forensic lists up which DNA material he found : "[I got six pieces of hair.] It looks like it fell from his head, and I got a couple of pubics.", to which the police man responds: "Pubic Hair..."
The two cops talk about the murder.
Sgt. Hatcher: "[...Popular with the Vietcong.] But what I can't figure out, is why bother with the coin?"
Lt. McCabe: "Hatch, the coin's obvious! The girl's response is probably simulating sexual excitement. So he just twists the stocking. On and off, back and forth like a water faucet and must have kept her squirming for several minutes."
Sgt. Hatcher: "That sick, son of a bitch! [Maybe we're looking for a Vietnam Vet?]" This line was put over a short shot of the forensic looking up which actually belongs to Lt. McCabe's description which was cut out. Therefor the following lines were cut out, again.
Lt. McCabe: "It Could Be."
Sgt. Hatcher: "Great, we got his pubic hairs [Now we can match him up with every Vietnam Vet in L.A. and get our man]"
Inconsistently, McCabe's following exclamation "I Want this Bastard!" remained untouched.
The disturbed woman looks down on herself and then slowly massages her breasts while the killer is lurking outside watching her.
After the killer broke into her place he captivates the woman. Doing that he mutters some phrases such as "You're skin has gotten so white and beautiful...you're so lovely..."
After he lit a candle he goes to the captivated victim and brutally snatches the nightdress off her body.
Now, the killer drizzles the hot wax over the woman. Here, the later appearing shot of her looking in the camera and screaming was added. This shot will be repeated later on, this time interrupting the shot of the killer with the candle in his hand.
Lt. McCabe (to the psychiatrist): "Don't you give a shit about getting the Strangler off the streets?"
Lt. McCabe (still to the psychiatrist): "[If some misguided shrink] discovers he can find his ass in the dark with both hands."
The blonde offspring-model Sue-Ellen is talking to the killer.
Sue-Ellen: "You're telling me?! One Guy stops and he asked if I'd give him head. Imagine, I mean that would never happen back in Indiana!"
The psychopathic Vietnam-veteran kills the young model. The censored version already fades to the next scene when he attacks her and she starts screaming. (The next shot shows the police finding her dead body.) There, her scream is being put over the beginning of this scene. What we do not see is the agony of the naked girl who is strangled slowly until her dead body slides to the ground, eventually, while the sex offender moans "Oh Sue-Ellen, I love it. I love this." and touches his own chest.
The medium is supposed to help the police men with their investigation. He gives a detailed description of how the murder took place:
"[He hits her.] He...he tears off her underwear and stuffs it in her mouth.". The following line "He's taking a...a stocking from his pocket" comes from the off while we see the bored looking Lt. McCabe. The harmless line after that got cut out, probably because it should have been heard at this point and there was not any corresponding footage left: "The stocking is from another victim."
The medium continues reporting: "[He's choking her] while he enters her."
And even more dirty details are being revealed while the shocked police men listen: "He has an Orgasm on her stomach. Now he's taking off her stocking. Now he's pushing her legs very wide apart."
McCabe and Hatchet are walking across a backyard while they talk to each other.
Hatchet: "Boy, you made an asshole outta yourself when you busted that psychic!"
The killer's photographs are being examined by a sleazy guy. After seeing a disturbing picture the man rebukes the ripper. Unfortunately, it was impossible to hear the reason for the censorship, here, because the actor is mumbling with a cigar in his mouth.
As a hint for the next time the man demands: "[Some pretty Girls.] No fucking Amputees!"
A prostitute gives the killer an offer: "I teach French real cheap, huh? Give you a good deal on some half & half."
The prostitute takes the killer to her room. She is being asked what kind of drugs she takes. She answers: "What's it to you Fucker?"
Killer: "Wanna do some speedball?"
Prostitute: "Are you shittin' me honey?"
The words printed fat were erased from the sound track.
No time difference
Lt. McCabe: "Oh, that shit-ass bagman for Bobby Hammer?"
Sgt. Hatchet: "Hey, maybe they had a [daisy, chained and held his shooting party]?" Unfortunately, the exact words are unknown to me but what the cop says sounds like that line.
Pusher: "That is good shit."
The last word got erased from from the sound track but we can still see the actor saying it pretty clearly.
No time difference
After the girl on the reception has grassed on the two cops chaos breaks out at the drug deal.
Pusher: "What?! Shit....Shit! They blame this one on me. I'll be in the slammer..."
Pimp: "What are you gonna do with that stuff?"
Pusher: "I am gonna flush this!"
Pimp: "Hey man, you crazy? Give me this shit, what you doin'?"
They start jousting and the bag of cocaine gets ripped apart and the powder gets thrown through the air. The dealer leaves the room while the pimp and two prostitutes start picking up the coke.
The dealer throws the second bag of coke into the toilet while he is insulting the pimp.
Dealer: "[You dumb] Nigga! You..."
Pimp: "Hey who the fuck you call a dumb, asshole breath?"
The Pimp is still picking up the cocaine and still insulting the drug dealer. Meanwhile the prostitutes try to get some of the stuff for their own.
Pimp: "What the Fuck?!"
The pimp tells off the prostitute who tried to sniff cocaine from his head.
"[Do you wanna live] to be able to fuck again?"
At this cut the first couple of frames of the next shot got cut out, too.
Now, the other employees of the establishment have realized the presence of the police so a lot of strange figures try to escape.
After a shootout the two cops look at the pimp's dead body.
McCabe: "He was our only lead."
McCabe (gets a bag of cocaine from the corpse's shirt pocket): "And it's all over this shit! Now we gotta stay up all night and make out police forms."
Hatchet: "What do you mean we? I missed."
The killer is having a beer and memorizes his day by talking to himself and holding forth about his father and the pimp.
"Did you see how I took care of that nigga? That nigga drew a knife on me. That motherfucker drew a knife on me. He thought he could kill this white motherfucking honky. But you made a big fucking mistake...cause I broke your motherfuckin' head. Pimp, you though you was cute with all your white Girls from Hollywood Boulevard in [could not be comprehended], didn't you motherfucker? You thought you could beat the shit outta this white motherfucker. Big mistake! No, fuck you!"
The two lines [See, what I did to him, dad? Cause I'm the best there is.] got inserted after we cut to the police man. Then we cut back to McCabe and the movie continues as familiar.
McCabe sets off after the telephone call: "Shit!"
The addicted girl wants to jump off the roof of a building. McCabe tries to calm her down but it does not seem to work: "No one gives a shit!"
The pretty modest sex scene between Lt. McCabe and Dr. Lindsay Gale was cut out completely. We fade out when they kiss at the open fire and fade back in when they lie in bed after having their fun. This is out of all reason because this is the first scene that shows a little bit of Lindsay's breasts. This, however, did not get cut out.
The actress finds an objectionable picture in the killer's portfolio.
The killer rips off the girl's night dress, lifts her up and throws her on the near couch. In order to hide the cut a later appearing scene of a neighbor coming to help the girl has been inserted, then we cut to the scene of the girl being strangled on the couch.
The girl dies. Her room mate just comes from the shower and is totally shocked by the scenery. She grabs a lamp and tries to beat down the killer with it. But he does not care and grabs her. After a little fight he also strangles the room mate.
The cops visit the sleazy editor of the porno magazine. His line from the off was erased from the soundtrack: "A murderer?! [could not be comprehended] whole fucking business [could not be comprehended]!"
No time difference
The sleazy guy ensures the police men that he never printed such pictures: "[I mean really] candles stuck in all her privates! That's just sick, man!" Lt. McCabe suddenly interrupts him.
Lt. McCabe: "Now where does this asshole live, Sam?"
Hatchet: "[This is great.] Nice horse."
Sam: "Yeah.....Horse? Hold it! (the cops start laughing) Hey, I want you Guys know I...I don't do shit like that no more, man! I mean really, today a little tits a little ass, some spread. [could not be comprehended] Oil, a swing shot."
McCabe: "You son of a bitch, if you don't fucking find that address, I turn this fucking place apart! You understand me!"
Sam: "Alright, hold it for a second, alright...shit"
Hatchet: "[Well, they don't look like a Porno photographer to me.] He doesn't even have a blow me up Suck-me-Susi doll."
McCabe: "Shit, Hatch!"
Dr. Lindsay Gale is changing while the killer is ambushing her.
The killer touches doctor Gale's breasts and yells at her.
Killer: "[But I strangled the little] fucker, 'cause he shit all over my Gramma's oriental rug! He shit..."
Killer: "Listen to me, he shit all over my Grandmother's oriental rug!"
Killer: "I used to piss the bed up 'till I was 18 years old, they send me to a doctor for that! I had trouble with my ass, they send me to a doctor for that! I had trouble with my crazyotic head, they send me to a doctor for that! And you are telling me you could help me? None of these cunts have been able to help!"
Killer (yells at the psychiatrist who is tied up to a chair): "Shut up! Shut up! You shut you're fucking mouth!"
He goes to his bag and gets a piece of cloth and a ribbon.
He ties her mouth with it.
Killer: "Shut your fucking mouth, Dr. Gale!"
The final confrontation between McCabe and the killer was shortened heavily. After the first three shots the killer already falls into the pool in the censored version. What we do not get to see are the other four shots and the killer winding in slow motion with a bloody and painful face.
The note to the MPAA Rating is missing.