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Priest

Comparison:

  • Theatrical Version
  • Unrated Version
Release: Aug 14, 2011 - Author: Jason - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB
The Movie


As usual, it's parting of the ways: the beloved, hated feared comic book adaption. Are the characters still the same? Does the setting fit? Is the storyline an 1:1 adaption from the comic or has been it ruined by common Hollywood conventions and have so many things changed that the movie has nothing in common with the comic but the name? From time to time, fans of comic book adaption are suffering like hell when they see the result. Among other things, also due to the chance of making big bucks with the top titles.
But actually, this dilemma can be avoided pretty easily. Examples for that can also be found in regions rather unknown for people in the Western part, e.g. South Korea. In South Korea, illustrator Hyung Min-woo drew the Manha (= Korean comic) Priest, which is the comic this movie is based on. And in this case, there's no basis for discussion at all, whether one is familiar with the comic or not, because the movie directed by Scott Charles Stewart has only one thing in common with the actual comic: the title.

Having quite a sinister and complex story about antique relicts, rogue angels and their antagonists, demonic rituals and hordes of demons a broken hero has to face in three different time peroids, the movie starring Paul Bettany, Maggie Q und Karl Urban degenerates into some kind of vampire horror with some Western elements (the genre, not the region) in a post-apocalyptic scenario.
There's a reason why originality derives from original and this movie is the perfect example. Who's already familiar with stuff like overcrowded mega cities, bone-dry deserts with decomposed apartment towers here and there, emotionless super warrior guilds in poor robes or the common ABC of vampire horror can only be helped with the flying cow here. But of all things, the cow completely and utterly sucks. At least, the final on a driving high-tech train / at the tracks comes way too late and it's too short as well.
Logically, there was no actual target group for a movie with a simple story, a few action scenes with the appropiate amount of horror to not endanger the rating, even though the cast with actors like Christopher Plummer or Brad Dourif is as prominent as pointless because they only appear in stupid secondary roles which is quite a waste of opportunity. Even though trendy 3D couldn't make a difference. Unfortunately (or should I say "Thank God"?), there aren't many people who believe all the crap the a Hollywood producer comes up with to advertise his movie which is why the box office result was pretty bad and a sequel has become very unlikely. One might be thankful for that.



The Versions


Designed for a low rating (no nudity, one F-bomb), the action scenes in Priest were pretty close to an R-Rating (wir berichteten). To assure the PG-13, some minor modifications of the images and the audio needed to be made, just like the MPP demanded. In a couple of scenes, the CG blood has been reduced and colored differently. Furthermore, some obvious noises during the process of stabbing or some bones that get broken have been removed from the audio track. The fact that brutal stabbing itself is fine with the MPAA, as long as is doesn't SOUND that gruesome, made the director wonder.

But the modifications are still marginal because the Theatrical Version of Priest still contains some lovely scenes likes broken necks, ripped off hearts or pretty bloody dissections which is still hard to watch (pun intended). But it also confirms the trend of the last years that the "soft" R turns into a "hard" PG-13 more and more often, as long as the restrictions in"Nudity & Swearing" are being considered.

Nevertheless, the reversed modifications in the Unrated Version don't improve the movie because it's too late for that anyway. So, the few buyers of the unedited Blu-ray Version can be glad about getting the Unrated Version while the buyers of the DVD Vesion shouldn't be too hard on themselves either. At least,l they shouldn't be because they only got the R-Rated Version because the movie has to deal with much bigger problems.


12 modified violent scenes
split up to:

8 modification of the image
4 modifications of the audio tracks

30:45
Censored image
The hatchet tossed by Sherriff Hicks staves in the familiar's head. In the Unrated Version, a lot of blood splatters. It does not in the Theatrical Version.
no difference

PG-13 Theatrical Version:Unrated BD:



31:19
Censored audio track
Priest slices a familiar's throat with the hatchet. The Theatrical Version lacks the slicing noise.
no difference



31:21
Censored audio track
The Theatrical Version lacks the noise of breaking bones when a familiar gets kicked at the knee.
no difference



31:25
Censored audio track
Priest breaks the thrid familiar's arm. The Theatrical Version lacks the noise of breaking bones again.
no difference



31:28
Censored audio track
Here, the Theatrical Version lacks the stabbing noise.
no difference



33:28
Censored image
The first vampire gets dissected by Priest's throwing crosses while he's in the air. In the Theatrical Version, the blood is green. In the Unrated Version, it's red plus more blood splatters.
no difference

PG-13 Theatrical Version:Unrated BD:



33:33
Censored image
The same when the second vampire gets killed.
no difference

PG-13 Theatrical Version:Unrated BD:



33:59
Censored image
Priest and one of the vampires jump at each other and meet half in the air. In the Unrated Version, the shot of the stabbing from the front contains more red blood again.
no difference

PG-13 Theatrical Version:Unrated BD:



51:54
Censored image
And again: more blood runs out of the vampire's mouth when the villager gets attacked in the Unrated Version.
no difference

PG-13 Theatrical Version:Unrated BD:



1:06:39
Censored image
While Black Hat's having a flashback, the vampires are drinking his blood. In the first high angle shot, the victim is wounded more heavily. He's distinctly more blood-stained as well.
no difference

PG-13 Theatrical Version:Unrated BD:



1:06:44
Censored image
Ditto for the closer second shot.
no difference

PG-13 Theatrical Version:Unrated BD:



1:15:18
Censored image
Black Hat's neck gets hit by a knife cross. A little blood fountain splatters out of the wound in the Unrated Version but it doesn't in the Theatrical Version.
no difference

PG-13 Theatrical Version:Unrated BD:

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