Comparison between the US VHS containing the cut Theatrical Version (R-Rated) and the German DVD containing the Director's Cut (identical to the Unrated) (both from MGM)
Clive Barkers third movie is based on one of his own short stories from the Books of Blood. In the nineties, the movie was a beacon of light for the genre, grabbing the viewer with a suspenseful mixture between horror and private eye movie.
When the film hit the cinemas in the USA it had to lose a few gory details for the intended R-Rating, as well as some storyline scenes. This version was later released on VHS in the USA.
Shortly after, Barker provided a Director's Cut containing more violence and sex as well as a more detailed storyline. A really well done Director's Cut and nothing like the numerous fake and 'only for the money' "Extended Versions" of largely uninteresting as well as unimportant movies we have to put up with nowadays. The US DVD contains the Unrated Director's Cut.
I'd like to point out that it is entirely possible that more sequences are missing in the R-Rated than are listed here because a frame-to-frame comparison between PAL and NTSC is very difficult.
The time indexes are taken from the R-Rated Version
R-Rated = 108:29 Min. (NTSC)
Unrated = 116:10 Min. (PAL)
About 734,5 seconds are missing in the R-Rated.
00:00 The DVD starts a bit earlier.
11:43 After the screw has sunk into Nix head, the blood flows out a bit longer.
11:48 As the next screw sinks in, the shot is longer as well.
12:00 Blood drips off another screw.
28:33-28:41 The scene in which Dorothea Swann gives the newspaper to Valentin is shot different in both versions. The R-Rated is a bit longer in order to smoothen the cut to the next scene, for in the DC something different is shown before that (see next cut).
+ 1,8 Sec.
28:41 Two story parts are missing in the R-Rated. Valentin visits Harry D'Amour in his apartment. D'Amour is woken up by Valentins knocking. He says that he is still tired and Valentin asks whether he has had a look at the time. Harry refuses to take another job but as Valentin offers him $5000 per day D'Amour opens the door and asks whether they could go get something to eat beforehand.
Next, both are driving through the city. Harry munches down Fast Food, looks around and mentions that the car is not Valentins who then tells Harry that he works for Philip Swann. Harry says that he knows him and has seen one of his shows in Vegas. When he talks about Swann as a "good magician", Valentin tells him never to call Swann that again. Swann is an illusionist working with tricks while a magician would use real magic. Then he performs a little trick for Harry. In the last shot we see car driving to the cemetery.
Altogether, these two scenes run 129,1 Sec.
40:41 As the bald guy is impaled, a shot of the pipe breaking through his back and blood gushing out is missing.
40:42 Beginning of a shot where we see the pipe again.
43:11 The first meeting between Harry and Walter Wilder in the magic Castle is missing in the R-Rated. Walter sits at the bar and performs some card tricks as Harry sits right next to him. They talk a bit and D'Amour mentions Swann. Walter says that such a tragedy was bound to come sooner or later. After a while Walter mentions Vinovich who was buddies with Swann a while back. Harry asks whether he could join Walter to go and meet some people.
47:21 In Harrys of a bleeding demon or angel is missing. Harry wakes up.
55:01 After Jennifer Desiderios fatal accident, the DC provides a couple of scenes playing at different places. Apparently normal people have killed their families or coworkers and are packing their belongings after having received a written invitation. We discover that they are the disciples of Nix. Then we see someone driving through the desert with a whole lot of snakes on his backseat.
55:05-55:13 The scene in which Harry walks onto the balcony while phoning is similar in both versions. However, in the DC he also turns around. In the R-Rated he phones Billy, asking whether they could meet at the Magic Castle. In the DC, he calls the Swann estate and talks to Valentin. The R-Rated runs a little longer.
55:13 Now the DC provides a scene with Valentine who talks to Harry on the phone. Dorothea is behind him and asks who he's talking to. Valentin hangs up and says that is was just some loony and that he will have the number changed. Dorothea asks whether D'Amour has called. Valentin answers that it is better if he stays away from them and Dorothea gets angry and orders Valentin to call D'Amours hotel.
Only now we see Harry calling Billy to meet with him.
63:12 The kiss between Harry and Dorothea is longer. He whispers that nothing will harm her. The following shot of the both kissing in the bedroom comes a bit later and is also shorter in the R-Rated.
63:30 Now they are kissing in the R-Rated.
63:39 A passionate love scene between the two is missing in the R-Rated.
63:45 After Valentin has opened the front door, the DC provides another shot of the couple, followed by another shot of Valentin.
63:49 Here the R-Rated changes over from trees moving in the wind to Dorotheas face (about 2,6 Sec. are missing because of this). The DC cuts directly to the next shot. We see them both from the birds eye view. The R-Rated shows a shot of each of their faces. No time difference.
63:57 After Harry has ensured Dorothea that Nix cannot harm she asks him whether he is sure about that. D'Amour answers that Nix is dead.
74:41 After the confrontation between Valentin and Butterfield a few scenes are missing in the R-Rated. We see the old house of Nix and his disciples. A few of the disciples have arrived. As the lights are turned on, a few roaches flee through a hole in the wall.
Cut to the Swann estate. Dorothea has a nightmare containing gory sequences of the disciples. A noise wakes her up and she turns on the light. She wanders through the house, looking for the housekeeper. She finds her, lying on the floor with a knife stabbed into her throat. Suddenly a bleeding Valentin appears and tells her that he's sorry. Dorothea stumbles back as Butterfield grabs her from behind, presses her against the wall and licks across her face.
Change of scenery. Harry and Philip are driving through the city, talking. Swann tells Harry that it delights him to have an effect on people and to free them from their normal lives for a short while. But when all is said and done, it doesn't matter because they will all die anyway. When Harry asks if Swann won't die, Philip talks about Nix and about how powerful he was. What he has learned from him and that Nix has penetrated his mind during their last confrontation so he was able to see what the humans really look like. Harry asks if he believed it to which Swann replies that he has seen it with his own eyes. He asks D'Amour if he is prepared for what is to come.
95:46 The shot of Butterfields burned face is longer. Blood gushes out of his head.
95:48 The beginning of the next shot of his face and blood gushing out is missing as well.