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Army of Darkness

Comparison:

  • US TV Version
  • US Theatrical Version
Release: Jun 28, 2013 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Sebbe - external link: IMDB
Comparison between the US TV version and the US theatrical version (both contained on the Ultimate Edition Box by Koch Media)


- 59 alterations:
* 12 censorship cuts in the TV version with a length of 29.8 sec
* 17 instances of audio censorship (+ 2 differing dialogues not due to censorship reasons)
* 26 instances where the TV version is longer(=footage from the Director's Cut)
* 2 exclusive scenes in the TV version with a length of 199 sec. (= 3:19 min.)

- total difference: 664 sec. (= 11:04 min.)

(The rest of the difference in running time is due to the different playback speed of the TV version. Unfortunately, this version wasn't converted correctly, so it runs slower than the usual PAL playback speed, despite 25 fps. Moreover, it changes in the course of the movie; sometimes it runs with only 23.6 fps, which is even slower than Blu-rays or NTSC DVDs.)



The "Ultimate Edition" by Koch Media contains a US TV version on the bonus disc, in addition to the three known official versions of the movie. This is especially interesting because this version has two additional scenes that can't be found in any other version. The first of them comes up at the beginning of the movie and immediately brings out the conflict between Ash and Arthur with more detail, which then makes the latter's expression of respect at the end of the movie more appropriate. The second scene can be found when Ash is at the mill; it introduces his doppelganger. The TV version isn't only easier to follow at this point, it also is more "fluent", because all versions show Ash coming in through the door when he's running towards the mirror, but only this version shows him opening this door.
So these two scenes are no unnecessary filler footage - but some things just have to go, due to running time reasons. A longer director's cut doesn't necessarily have to contain ALL of the available footage, although some may see this differently (especially because many people want to see the longest version possible).

Apart from that, this version was censored in some ways. In addition to simple cuts due to violence (which aren't that numerous in the by far tamest installment of the trilogy), there are a lot of alterations in the audio track, without changing the footage. In most of the cases, they had to dub some of Ash's cool one-liners again, in order to meet the requirements of the American TV. This is sometimes rather bizarre and clumsy; Saturday Night Fever comes to mind, for which some dialogues had to be defused to get a lower rating. This is a quite good comparison, because Universal here also was aiming at a PG-13 rating at first, as explained in the booklet of the Koch release - but in the end, they fortunately decided for an R-rating, but a PG-13 rating probably would have been possible with all this censorship of the TV version.

In order to make the movie longer again, they reinserted story sequences from the editing room, as is often done with many another movies. Among them are the two already mentioned exclusive scenes; but the rest of the footage is already known from the director's cut. Despite this, it's clear that the TV version is based upon the US theatrical version. This becomes especially apparent during the final battle, which was cut completely differently for the DC and the export version, while it's identical in the TV version and the US theatrical version. So it was necessary to get this version for the comparison.
From time to time, they just reinserted a few longer sequences - which can also be said for the rest of this version, where there are almost know alterations with a length of less than 5 seconds, but almost all of the longer additional scenes of the director's cut were used again for the American TV version.

The story extensions which are already known from the DC are briefly listed here, for the sake of completeness, but without pictures, because we want to focus on the exclusive footage of the TV version and the censorship there. For more information on this, see our comparison between the US theatrical version and the director's cut.


The German Ultimate Edition box was kindly provided by Koch Media.



Running time indications are in the order
US TV version / US theatrical version Blu-ray
Production Note
00:00-00:08 / 00:00

The US TV version has a note at the beginning concerning the alterations.

+ 7.6 sec




Exclusive Scene in the TV Version / Alternative
05:17-06:56 / 05:08-05:13

After Arthur's "To the pit with him!" comes the first of the exclusive scenes(which are not contained in the export version or DC) in the US TV version. Ash is acting the tough guy and has the first confrontation with Arthur.

Bald Gold Tooth repeats the command again with a little slight and then rides towards Ash, who pulls him off of the horse. Arthur comes, knocks Ash down and says that he doesn't like such impudence, at all. Ash counters that he doesn't like to be sucker punched. He skillfully knocks Arthur down and takes his sword. Holding it against Arthur's neck, Ash tells him to take the gum out of his ears, so he can listen to him. He says that it's just a misunderstanding and that they should leave him alone. He rams the sword into the ground next to Arthur's head and walks away. After a short rest, Arthur, now standing again, slaps Ash in the face and tells his people to seize him - here, the other versions also set in again.


In the US theatrical version, Ash, confused, is shown for another minor half second; then, Arthur's upset people again as he repeats "To the pit!".
Finally, Ash insignificantly earlier again, before he gets seized.


TV Version 94 sec. longer



Audio Censorship
06:57 / 05:14

Only the hint of Ash's swear, which gets choked off by the attackers, aimed at Arthur, obviously was too much for the US TV. The part in bold was muted: "You miserable bast..."

Picture for orientation




07:31 / 05:47-05:51

Ash gets whipped a little bit longer.

4 sec




Audio Censorship
07:58 / 06:18

There are some voices to be heard from off-screen, when Arthur's ushering in the prisoners. Here, they got a little bit more creative by covering the word in bold with a pig's grunt: "You worthless bastards."

Picture for orientation




Audio Censorship
08:48 / 07:07

The part in bold of Ash's curse, coming from off-screen, was muted: "Stop it, you bastards."

Picture for orientation




08:50 / 07:09-07:12

Ash and Henry a little bit earlier, when they are walking through the group of people,; someone throws a rock at Ash's head.

3 sec




Audio Censorship
09:03 / 07:25

Sheila doesn't get to curse Ash in the TV version; the part in bold was muted: "The pox on you brute!"

Picture for orientation




Audio Censorship
10:17 / 08:37

Ash finishes his one liner differently after "You ain't leading but two things right now". While it's "Jack and shit" in the theatrical version, the last word was re-dubbed for the TV version, so now it's "Jack and spit".

Picture for orientation




12:09 / 10:27-10:29

Inexplicable alteration (probably a master error): after the spout of blood, which is also contained in the TV version, the people are shown longer approaching the well.

1.6 sec




Audio Censorship
13:09 / 11:27

Although they only changed one word, the whole line was dubbed again.
Theatrical version: "I never even saw these assholes before."
TV version: "I never even saw these eggheads before."

Picture for orientation




14:51 / 13:07-13:10

Ash gets hit more often in the pit.

2.8 sec




16:06 / 14:24-14:25

The shot is a little bit longer; the severed head of the zombie resurfaces again.

1.3 sec




16:29 / 14:48-14:49

The hand is shown flying up into the air in an additional shot.

0.9 sec




17:09 / 15:27

Ash kicks the zombie in the face one more time.

0.7 sec




21:11 / 19:25

The picture fades to black in the TV version after Ash's speech and it fades in again with him eating grapes, which makes this version slightly longer.

Such alterations will come up repeatedly in the following and are probably due to commercial breaks at the respective points. They weren't counted to the amount of alterations and length mentioned above.

+ 0.5 sec




Audio Censorship
22:16 / 20:29

A whole sentence was re-dubbed again, but it's hardly noticeable, in contrast to the other changes. One word differs.
Theatrical version: "I don't want your bullshit."
TV version: "I don't want your baloney."

Picture for orientation




Audio Censorship
23:40 / 21:51

Ash addressing the female zombie was also re-dubbed.
Theatrical version: "Yo, she-bitch."
TV version: "Yo, she-witch."

Picture for orientation




23:49 / 21:59-22:03

A shot aimed at the witch and some struggling are missing.

3.6 sec




TV Version longer
26:47-27:42 / 24:57

The whole "sex scene" between Ash and Sheila (shown in silhouettes in front of the fire) is missing in the US TV version. After that, Ash is standing on the watch tower. He gazes into the distance, while Sheila joins him and snuggles up to him.
These scenes were reinserted again into the TV version, just as we already know them from the export version and the DC - therefore, no pictures.

+ 55 sec



TV Version longer
31:24-32:33 / 28:35

Another longer scene, which was reinserted into the TV version. Ash sits in front of the door of the mill and then walks around in the inside. Finally, he sees that the wheels stop turning and with the exterior shot of the mill, the US theatrical version also sets in again.

+ 69.3 sec



32:37-32:38 / 28:39

Again a fade out/ in in the TV version in between of the exterior shot of the mill mentioned above and the shot of the fire in the inside.

+ 0.5 sec




Exclusive Scene in the TV Version / Alternative
32:45-34:25 / 28:46-28:50

After Ash startled up at the sound and turned around, he is shown standing right in front of the mirror in the three known versions. Only the TV version has a useful additional scene before, in which Ash is shown longer walking around in the room and then going outside. There, he sees his doppelganger for the first time, so the following scene with the mirror fits better - especially because you can see the open door behind Ash in the three other versions, but he just opened it in the TV version.

Ash slowly walks towards the door, accompanied by suspenseful music, until he finally opens the door. But there's nothing to be seen outside - Ash walks on and encounters his horse. After a first little shock, he calls it "galloping hamburger" and ties it to a small tree. As he's turning back to the door again, he sees himself standing there. The door closes and Ash runs towards the mill. , Ash goes in, approaches the mirror and destroys it, as is shown in the other versions.


Ash shattering the mirror is shown in the US theatrical version (and in the DC/ export version) only after a short shot of Ash, appearing in front of the mirror out of thin air, and after another close up of his face.


TV Version 96.4 sec. longer



TV Version longer
35:48-37:11 / 30:11

Another longer scene, only known from the DC, was reinserted into the TV version. Ash threatens his tiny clones with a hammer and gets a bucket of sticky fluid poured over his head. After he gets to meet with a broom stick and a hot plate, he takes revenge on his clones, but not before he steps onto a nail.

There's audio censorship right at the beginning.
Ash says "You little bastards!" in the DC; in the TV version, it was re-dubbed: "You little buzzards!"

Picture for orientation (taken from the Director's Cut!)


Some more audio censorship right in the middle. The "Oh, Shit!" of the one tiny Ash, who was spotted by Ash, was muted.

Picture for orientation (taken from the Director's Cut!)



+ 82.7 sec




39:21 / 32:18-32:20

The eye on Ash's shoulder is shown longer in the US theatrical version (but still shorter than in the export version/DC).

1.7 sec




TV Version longer
39:39-39:53 / 32:38

The wide shot, in which Ash is fighting with his doppelganger, is longer in the TV version, as it is in the export version/DC. Also, the closer shot begins earlier.

+ 13.7 sec



TV Version longer
40:11-40:22 / 32:56

Also already known from the other versions: the two are shown longer crawling on all fours.

+ 10.6 sec



TV Version longer
40:29-40:33 / 33:03

The scene of Ash and his twin facing each other is longer.

+ 3.7 sec



TV Version longer
40:38-40:47 / 33:08

The clone is fooling around for a bit, after Ash has asked him, if he really is his true clone.

+ 9.1 sec



TV Version longer
42:27-42:38 / 34:47

Ash longer digs the hole.

+ 11.4 sec



43:07 / 35:05

Again a short additional fade out/in in the TV version.

+ 0.5 sec




TV Version longer
44:46-44:57 / 36:52

Ash is longer upset about the fact that there are three Necronomicons instead of one.

There's also some audio censorship.
Ash says in the DC/export version: "He was so busy filling me full of his secret little words, his phrases and his bullshit that he never said anything about this!" This line was re-dubbed in the TV version and the word in bold was changed to "baloney".

Picture for orientation (taken from the Director's Cut!)



+ 9.5 sec




49:46 / 41:37-41:38

"Finally" a real censorship cut again in the TV version...the scene in which Ash gets pulled down by the skeleton hands is longer and his head hits the rock more often.

0.8 sec




TV Version longer
50:33 / 42:24

Again something known from the DC/export version: Ash breaks a skeleton arm in half.

+ 10 sec



51:35 / 43:14

Again a short additional fade out/in in the TV version, after Evil Ash has arisen.

+ 0.5 sec




Audio Censorship
52:08 / 43:47

The line "Get the fuck out of my face!" during Ash's return was re-dubbed, of course - they substituted it with "Get the hell out of my face!"

Picture for orientation




TV Version longer
53:57-54:03 / 45:34

The wise man and Ash again, before the former also leaves disappointed.

+ 6.3 sec



TV Version longer
54:36-54:46 / 46:06

More dialogue between Ash and Sheila.

+ 9.4 sec



Audio Censorship
56:35 / 47:54

When Evil Ash talks to his army, only the insult in bold in the middle of the sentence was re-dubbed.
Theatrical version: "I shall command every worm-infested son-of-a-bitch that ever died in battle!"
TV version: "I shall command every worm-infested scum-of-the-earth that ever died in battle!"

Picture for orientation




57:35 / 48:52-48:57

The scene was already shortened for the US theatrical version (the US director's cut doesn't contain the whole, slightly sexual footage, either). Nevertheless, it was edited some more for the TV version: Evil Ash forces Sheila a little longer to kiss him.
The beginning of the following shot was removed, because an almost bear-breasted woman gets dragged through the picture by a skeleton.

5.3 sec




59:58 / 51:18

Again a fade out/in in the TV version, after Ash's battle speech.

+ 0.5 sec




TV Version longer
60:39-61:01 / 51:57

Ash says to his army that they can beat the army of darkness, despite their fear.

+ 22.4 sec


Again some scenes which are already known in some sort of way from the DC and the export version:

TV Version longer
61:14-61:20 / 52:10

Ash takes another item from the trunk, but throws it back in again.

+ 5.6 sec



TV Version longer
61:27-61:36 / 52:17

Ash grabs a book about construction. Then, they work on Ash's car.

+ 9.3 sec



TV Version longer
61:52-62:07 / 52:32

They keep working on Ash's car.

+ 14.5 sec



TV Version longer
62:58-63:15 / 53:22

Two guards blow their trumpets. After that, we see Ash rushing up the tower.

+ 17 sec



TV Version longer
67:40-67:42 / 57:42

The shot of a burning skeleton comes up a bit earlier in the TV version.

Note: this shot was used at a different point in the DC; only there, it's a few frames longer - in the export version it's identical to the US theatrical version.
It's clearly visible from the identical chronology of the surrounding scenes that the TV version is based on the US theatrical version, and not on the DC. But it's curious that they didn't take other longer extensions from the DC before and after this point...only here, they took the longer part from the DC.

+ 1.6 sec



TV Version longer
67:44-67:59 / 57:44

The skeleton a little longer. Shots of the people, Evil Ash and Zombie Sheila follow. Both is already known from the DC (not contained in the export version!), where it comes up shortly after the shot of the burning skeleton - but other shots of the battle weren't included at this point in the TV version.

+ 15.3 sec



TV Version longer
70:19-70:51 / 60:01

As in the DC, (not contained in the export version!) there's another shot of the door getting rammed, before the battering ram breaks through; then, one of the skeletons shoots a soldier on the command of Evil Ash and finally, Arthur says that one can't rely on Henry the Red.

Again some audio censorship. They muted Arthur's nickname in Ash's answer: "Keep your sardine can on, bucket-head!"

Picture for orientation (taken from the Director's Cut!)



+ 31.6 sec



TV Version longer
71:40-71:50 / 60:49

Arthur wants to ask Ash for advice, but he's hiding.

Note: the DC is the only other version that contains this scene, but it's a bit longer there at the end. Also, the following shot of Arthur begins earlier there and he mumbles something. The TV version sets in with the same frame as the US theatrical version.

+ 10 sec



71:58 / 60:57

Again a fade out/in in the TV version.

+ 0.5 sec




TV Version longer
72:28-72:31 / 61:26

A skeleton, lying on the floor, gets frightened.
This is also contained in the DC, but the chronology is different there.

+ 2.7 sec



TV Version longer
72:52-73:11 / 61:47

Some more footage, only known from the DC: Ash drives around longer with his vehicle and kills skeletons.

Audio censorship at the beginning.
Ash's "Sayonara, sucker!", after he pushed down one guy, was completely muted.

Picture for orientation (taken from the Director's Cut!)


Shortly after that, another audio track difference, but probably not due to censorship. The short line of the skeleton was completely re-dubbed with another voice.
Director's Cut: "Why, you..."
TV Version: "Look out!"

Picture for orientation (taken from the Director's Cut!)



+ 18.9 sec



TV Version longer
74:06-74:35 / 62:41

Only known from the DC: the main villain commands his army to storm the castle walls; some fight scenes follow.

+ 29 sec



TV Version longer
75:10 / 63:16

Only known from the DC: a creature fights with a knight and gets stabbed by him.

+ 6 sec



Audio Censorship
77:20 / 65:20

The whole sentence was re-dubbed, but only one word differs.
Theatrical version: "You crazy bitch, get off of me!"
TV version: "You crazy witch, get off of me!"

Picture for orientation




Audio Censorship
77:20 / 65:20

Ash's comment in the middle of the fight was re-dubbed:
Theatrical version: "You're pissin' me off, you ugly son of a bitch!"
TV version: "You're tickin' me off, you ugly scum of the earth!"

Picture for orientation




TV Version longer
81:00-81:27 / 69:00

Known from the DC / export version: Ash jumps onto a wall and has to dodge some sword attacks of his enemy. Some more fighting, before Ash wins the upper hand by punching him in the "face".

+ 27.7 sec



82:31 / 70:03

Fade out/in in the TV version, after the first skeleton soldiers have fled in panic.

+ 0.5 sec




Alteration in Audio Track
85:16 / 72:48

The TV version also has the supermarket ending. Only here we get some sort of explanation by Ash during the transition: "So I left her there."

Picture for orientation




87:14 / 74:46-74:50

A small censorship cut shortly before the end credits: the zombie jumps at him and Ash hits him in the stomach and face with the shotgun.

4.1 sec




Credits
89:08-90:31 / 76:44-80:53

After the credits aren't shown individually anymore, they run faster in the TV version. Moreover, the MPAA rating sign is missing at the end of the TV version. Not counted to the amount and length of the cuts.

166 sec





Finally, a short picture comparison.
Most of the time, the TV version is open matte, which means that it shows some more at the top and the bottom, without any loss at the sides. Sometimes, they zoomed in and occasionally, they used a completely different aspect ratio. Here are a few pictures of two immediately consecutive shots from the middle of the movie.


US TV VersionUS Theatrical Version

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