Compared were the director's cut and the italian edited version of the director's cut (long version). Both are on the UK Blu-ray from Nucleus Films.
Together with his dominant wife Anne, Marco runs a chicken farm, which is supposed to become designed more efficient at the moment. Machines are supposed to substitute the workers. Furthermore a professor is working on the breeding of a new chicken race, that shall lay more eggs and produce more meat. Marco doesn't like the idea very much, because he thinks it's a crime to nature. At work he is confronted with the upcoming advertising specialist, which is supposed to develop a new advertising campaign for him. Marco has a dark secret: To compensate his frustration, he kills prostitutes in a remote hotel and starts a secret affaire with his secretary Gabrielle. Is he able to keep this secret double life from his wife?
Death Laid an Egg is a bizarre nested thriller from Giulio Questi (Django Kill If You Live, Shoot!), that comes in the typical Giallo-style. Because of its strange narrating and many weird scenes, this movie is very much recommendable.
Up to now, there were two cuts of this film: the italian and the german version. Both contain scenes, that the other version doesn't have. Some scenes were erased from the german cut and one scene was placed to a different spot. But there are also some extended and even some new scenes. This new blu-ray from Nucleus Films enables to shed some light into the darkness. Until the end of November 2016 Nucleus Films ran a campaign at indiegogo , in which there was collected money for a restoration of Lady Frankenstein and Death Laid an Egg. For Death Laid an Egg there was a 35 mm print available, which was supposed to contain unrevealed material. The goal at indiegogo was achieved and at the 3rd of September 2018 eventually the blu-ray containing two edited versions was released. On one hand the "Giallo"-cut, which is the Standard italian version and on the other hand the director's cut, running nearly 14 minutes longer. It contains all the scenes, that till then only were in the german version and even some scenes, which were never seen before in any version. The biggest difference here is the introduction of a new character. While Marco is watching a movie about the manipulation of embrios with his collegues, his old fellow Luigi appears. This character stays mysterious as intended, because it is never obvious what Luigi is up to or how Luigi and Marco got to know each other. Generally speaking one can say, that the director's cut furthermore emphasises the sociocritical aspect of the movie. There are more scenes, that focus on the commercial exploitation of the hens, for example the professor, which explains his works or Marcos boss, which tries to optimize and globally sell the chickens. It seems now clear, that both edited versions, the italian and the german, are based on the director's cut and therefore were cut versions. One scene was changed intentionally for the german version. In the director's cut Marco awakes as the workers are smashing his window with a stone. He slowly walks to the window and watches as the workers are complaining, inflamed with rage, about the loss of their jobs. Gabrielle, which is drying herself up during this very moment, joins Marco at the window also looking at the workers. Whereas in the german cut it seems, as if Marco was going to the window, watching Gabrielle, since the scenes with the workers were removed.
The director's cut is a spectacular opportunity to discover this movie anew. Because of the stronger elaboration of the sociocritical aspects, this movie gained in strength. The transfer of the UK Blu-ray is excellent and overshadows every other release before. The austrian or US blu-ray are not even close.
Contains the italian cut of the movie. Full screen and italian sound.
Contains the german cut of the movie. German sound.
For a long time the only DVD release of the movie and contains the italian cut. English & italian sound with optional japanese subtitles.
The main version ist the german cut of the movie. German sound with optional english subtitles. The german cut Misses 10:34 min., which are included in the japanese DVD. In return the german version possesses in total 4:48 min., that are missing on the japanese DVD.
The bonus material contains the alleged italian cut of the movie. For this it seems the italian DVD from Videa was used, which has exactly the same runtime. Some of the violent scenes with a runtime of 1:38 min. were erased from the blu-ray. Italian sound with optional english subtitles.
On one hand contains the uncut italian version as "Giallo Cut" on the other hand also the so far unreleased director's cut of the movie. Qualitywise clearly superior to all other releases. Hence a definite recommendation to choose this version of the film.
Italian cut: 90:20 min. (90:45 min. incl. music after the credits)
Long version: 104:01 min. (104:26 min. incl. music after the credits)
After the scene on the chicken exchange follows a new scene.
To the question how the machineís doing, Marco answers, that itís functioning well. A man joins them asking, if they donít know, that a demonstration is taking place. They are unaware. The man then says, that it is shocking and that it is about the modification of embrios about which is going to be talked about in the conference of Amsterdam. There is supposed to be a great breakthrough and they should go to Amsterdam.
LV: 42 sec.
The Professor puts an example with embrio-cells under the microscope to enable Anna to take a look at them. She looks through the microscope and the professor asks, if she can see, how the cells are fighting for a new structure. Gabrielle is the next one looking through the microscope, while the professor explains, that the short lifespan of the cells is the biggest problem. Gabrielle thinks, that the statements of the professor are interessting even though, she doesnít understand them. Gabrielle takes a second look and asks what happens, if the experiment fails. The professor responds dryly, that the embrios will then die off. He then says, that he needs to continue working and injects his developed serum into an egg using a syringe. Gabrielle asks, if Anna has noticed the many varied colours. Anna responds, that she also would like to have this within her body. Gabrielle is horrified, since it is cancer. Anna says, that she meant, she wants to change again and again until she explodes one day. Gabrielle responds, that sheís getting scared by her statements. Anna assumes, that Marco conceals something and wants to team up with Gabrielle. Together, so she hopes, they can reach Marco easier.
The scene with the business meeting begins earlier. The Boss reckons, that in the image of the public their sector did nothing wrong. The news, that hens are available every day, shall be spread. One man throws in the idea, that chicken are like our daily bread. The boss likes this slogan.
LV: 3:03 min.
The boss says, that it is time for the demonstration. In a dark room they are watching a film about the modifications of embrios. The boss says, that this is the future. One of the men points out, that one could not wait any longer inactive for those great results. What follows is a lively discussion, but the boss interrups by telling them to be quiet to enable them to continue watching the movie. A man, which turns out to be Luigi, takes a seat next to Marco and asks him, if he still remembers him. Marco affirms. Luigi says he was sick for a long time. Marco offers to continue the conversation outside. Mondaini gazes after them.
Marco and Luigi are walking through the city. Luigi explains, that due to electroshocks he lost many of his memories. Marco asks him about his law firm, but Luigi doesnít care. He just wants to get wealthy again and to be able to remember his past. Marco says, that he might be the luckiest man on earth. Luigi runs away and suddenly is gone.
LV: 2:54 min.
While the guests are emptying out the room, a new scene with Luigi follows.
Luigi, who met Marco in the demonstration room, appears at the party. Anna asks how he got in. He responds, that he urgently needs to speak to Marco. Anna wants to brush him off, but then Marco appears. Luigi says, that he was looking for a street, that was surrounded by trees and then splits, but got lost in the process and arrived at Marcos place. Anna mentions, that he can stay, but for Luigi there are too many guests.
LV: 1:03 min.
After the first couple disappeared in a room, again follows a scene with Luigi.
Luigi asks whatís going on. Marco says, that itís a game. Anna adds, that itís a game of truth in an empty room. Luigi tells them, that he now has to go, because he has a lot of stuff to do.
LV: 34 sec.
Before the couple reappears out of the room, another scene follows.
Marco tells Anna, to be thoughtful, since Luigi is sick. Anna asks how exactly he came here and from where Marco knows him. He also doesnít remember exactly. Anna wonders why today of all days he came arround.
LV: 24 sec.
The man in the room tells a strange story. The people outside of the room mention, that it sometimes can turn out dangerous. The man in the room suddenly forgets the punchline of his story. The woman runs towards him.
LV: 26 sec.
As the guests are leaving the room, Luigi is being shown, how he is looking through the window.
The take has got a strange jump cut. It is possible, that some seconds are missing here.
LV: 2 sec.
One of the workers is throwing a stone through the window, whereby Marco awakes. He slowly walks to the window and sees the enraged crowd. They are complaining loudly about the loss of their jobs due to the machines. Gabrielle, which is drying herself up at the same time, joins Marco at the window also looking at the workers.
LV: 43 sec.
Marco walks through the enclosure and arrives in a room in which the hens are being slaughtered and handled mechanicaly. Afterwards he walks back.
LV: 1:32 min.
Before Marco walks into his office, there is a new scene.
Marco joins the listeners as his boss is talking about the fact, that politics shall support unlimited availability of hens. A second speaker also demands more freedoms.
LV: 38 sec.
Luigi notices Marco on the street and walks towards him. Heís happy to meet him and asks, if he is going away on a trip. Marco says, that not him, but his wife is going to a conference in Amsterdam.Luigi apologizes for that one evening, because he didnít feel well that night.
During the following scenes, in which the cars can be seen, they continue talking. This dialogue is missing in the italian cut.
LV: 31 sec.
Luigi mentions, that the street he spoke of exists and that Anna is wrong. Marco responds, that Anna was confused, too and that this trip will benefit her. Luigi says, that he has found the street, but still needs to discover many other things.
LV: 22 sec.
Using speakers the boss anounces, that the moment, where the international boundarys are gone, has arrived, while hens are thrown into the crowd on the street. Because of that Marcos onward journey by car is being interrupted.
LV: 48 sec.