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Shivers

Comparison:

  • UK Blu-ray / R-Rated
  • German DVD
Release: Oct 28, 2014 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB
Compared are the cut UK Blu-ray by Arrow Video (BBFC 18) and the uncut German DVD by Splendid (FSK 18)


- 10 cuts
- Difference: 25.2 sec



This iconic early movie by David Cronenberg from 1975 is one of the setbacks in the HD era because the Blu-ray premiere on 10/13/2014 by the popular UK label Arrow Video is cut. It is very likely that the version censored for the US theatrical release back in the days was the only version available of this Canadian production.

In this matter, one can refer to a statement in the book Cronenberg on Cronenberg:
[In America], AIP predictably came up with their own perfect audience-catcher: They Came from Within (...). This didn't prevent the American release from being a disappointment. Substandard prints and poor distribution only compounded problems, which began in the Classification and Ratings Administration of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). In order to avoid the American X-rating (meaning completely uncut, and associated primarily with pornography), certain scenes from Shivers were 'trimmed': Allan Migicovsky pulling off the parasite bugs stuck to Joe Silver's face and greedily stuffing them back into his own mouth, for instance. As Cronenberg has said: 'He's not eating them. They're just his boys and he wants them back.'

Interesting though that Cronenberg allegeldy insisted on changing the title They Came From Within to Shivers during the restauration process. Given the alternate footage exclusively used for the US release, one could have very well figured out that this version is cut.

Arrow Video responded quite fast to the many complaints:
SHIVERS Update

We are currently looking into this issue and hope to have an update very soon. Just to clarify, our release of Shivers contains a new restoration personally supervised and approved by Director David Cronenberg and which was produced by Tiff Cinematheque Quebec at Technicolor in 2013.

We are unsure as to the reasons why part of Shivers appears to have been shortened except that it doesn't appear to be the results of any conscious act of censorship, as many similar scenes would have been removed as well if that were the case. It may have been Cronenberg's decision to excise this material due to damage to the original materials used, but at this point that's only speculation on our part.

Unlike Zombie Flesh Eaters, this isn't the result of an authoring or encoding error. Unlike many of our releases, we weren't in any way involved with the restoration of this film, so we're having to direct our questions to those who oversaw it. Just to reiterate, we are making enquiries to all the parties involved and hope to have a definitive answer to this very soon.

Best
Arrow Video

Even though Arrow Video has to take the rap for it, it must be admitted that it is rather hard to point the finger at them because Cronenberg himself gave the restored version his blessing. As another piece of the jigsaw puzzle, this clip is very interesting. Cronenberg here makes it clear that he had not watched the entire master. This proves that slogans such as "supervised and approved by the director" should not be taken too seriously.

The very same version is currently available on Netflix and one can assume that the same (cut) version will be available on future HD releases worldwide. If Arrow Video can't come up with a resolution, the only option is getting one of the several uncut DVDs, available for instance in the UK, Germany or - ironically - in the US. Curiously enough, the cut version was barely available before the Blu-ray release - e.g. on the Danish VHS (or at least it contains a very similar cut version).



Time index refers to
UK Blu-ray / German DVD in PAL
Logos

The Arrow Blu-ray contains two additional logos at the beginning.

+ 23.9 sec




02:37 / 02:07

After the last credits, the black screen is slightly longer on the German DVD.

0.8 sec




08:22 / 07:38-07:42

Extended shot of Hobbes moving the scalpel along the girl's stomach. More blood is leaking.

4.5 sec




09:33 / 08:51-08:53

Extended shot of Hobbes slitting his throat. At the end of the shot, a bit more blood is leaking here as well.

2.5 sec




56:31 / 53:56

Extended shot of the crowbar hitting the ground. As a result, there are more details of the guy Roger just killed with the crowbar.

0.6 sec




57:46 / 55:08-55:09

The parasite wiggles out of Tudor's mouth earlier.

1.4 sec




57:49 / 55:12-55:14

The wiggling parasite earlier again.

1.8 sec




65:17-65:18 / 62:24

After Roger fired off a shot, the UK Blu-ray is longer for a change: he keeps lowering the weapon and stands straight.

+ 0.8 sec




74:41 / 71:24-71:28

Tudor longer on Dr. Linksy who can free himself with the words "Get off me!". The following shot starts earlier as well: Tudor attacks him again.

4.7 sec




74:49 / 71:35-71:41

When Tudor kneels next to Dr. Linsky, the shot starts significantly earlier: Tudor grabs the parasite in his mouth and also the one on Dr. Linsky's cheek.

5.3 sec




74:55 / 71:46-71:50

Before Tudor starts to batter Dr. Linsky, the shot of him starts earlier: Dr. Linsky grabs his face.

3.6 sec




76:30 / 73:21-73:22

The parasite in Sister Forsythe's mouth a bit earlier.

0.7 sec




Last but not least, the UK Blu-ray contains a reference to the US R-Rating. At the latest, now the reason for the censored master is obvious.
Further shots in the following.

+ 18.4 sec

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