Comparison between the censored Thai-DVD from Metro Pro Disc and the uncensored UK-DVD from 4Digital Media
75 differences, including
* 26x alternative footage
* 7 "re-cuts"
* 4 changes in running-speed
* 7 scenes where the Thai version is longer
* 9 text insertions (warnings) that are only in the Thai version
* 1 blur effect
time difference: 11:18 min
At least two censored versions of the Thai horror film Meat Grinder were released in Asia. Beside the Thai version, a Taiwanese version is available that is discussed here: Comparison between the Taiwanese DVD and the UK-DVD
This censorship-report deals with the DVD from Thailand, the producing country of the film. This was the very first release of the film and interestingly, this version by far deviates the most from the uncensored version. This is not only due to the amount of censorship but many scenes were completely re-cut. Added to that are several strange warnings, that for example shown when one of the characters smokes a cigarette and other pleasantries that one normally only expects from the US. Harmless and irrelevant alternative footage, additional scene in the shorter version, changes in running-speed and even a blur effect that is related to censorship.
The censorship already begins with the title. Originally, the movie was planned to be titled "Human Meat Noodles" but was changed at the urging of the censors.
Irritating and in its implementation rather questionable is the censorship concerning the Thai cuisine. Rumors about this kind of censorship were circulating even before the release of the film and when early reviews mentioned weaknesses of the film and criticised the rather confusing plot, this was often explained with the intervention of the Thai censors. And indeed, in the uncensored version, the issue of human meat being used in the kitchen of the protagonist is addressed briefly in different parts of the film. Having said, the film does not critise Thai food in any new or unexpected ways. In the Thai version a complete strand of the plot (the fiance of the murdered employee Aoi appears in the uncensored version at the very beginning, is kidnapped, tortured and then processed as gourmet food) is not mentioned at first and is only shown in very concise form later in the film. That's why the human meat issue seems to play a minor role. Nevertheless, it is not completely omitted. The other changes have a much bigger impact on the "flow" of the film, though. Due to the absence of the short inserts in the first half of the film, it seems to drag on a tiny bit too long. This is especially true for gorehounds, for which the movie was made, since they expect some blood and the brief summaries of the torture sequences in the second half are rather confusing. Furthermore, the most disgusting part, the nail torture, is simply not in the Thai-version. What is surprising is the high percentage of censored violence. Almost all violent scenes were changed; sometimes more (the nail torture had to be removed completely), sometimes less (during the massacre in the restaurant with the landlord only some brief shots are missing.) Anyone who has only seen the Thai-version, cannot judge how "hard" the film really is.
Apart from that and beside the warnings when people smoke on screen there is more interesting censorship in the Thai version. The main character Buss and the younger Attapon meet each other for the first time at a student rally in the streets. Here several shots of policemen attacking the protesters, as well as historical footage of Thai student protests from the 70s was removed. Maybe these political aspects, although not very well integrated into the film, were also anathema to the Thai censors.
Furthermore, the Thai version contains some material that was cut out from uncensored version. Therefore, the total difference in running-time is misleading. There are about 5 minutes of exclusive footage in the Thai version, which in comparison with the British version is 15 minutes shorter. The latter can still be considered uncensored though, because of the obvious censorship in the Thai version. Having said that, the Thai version is still worth a look, at least for fans of the movie because the additional material can only be found there. This cannot be said about the Taiwanese version that was mentioned earlier, since that version does not contain any new material but is nevertheless censored.
Annotations to the before mentioned amount of censorship.
The differences at "00:53-04:07 / 00:27-09:40" as well as "55:59-58:28 / 69:58" are each counted as one difference. Since footage from several parts of the movie is combined there, those scene consist of multiple extensions to be exact. However, in this report they are summarized, which makes it easier to follow. If counted differently, the amount of differences can vary.
The following is a chronological overview of all licensed DVDs that have been released so far:
1) August 2009, Thailand: 88min PAL
=> The plot and violent scenes are heavily censored. This version contains some exclusive additional footage and was re-cut. Furthermore, the US-Bootleg from Bonzai Media Corporation with English subtitles is based on it.
2) Januar 2010, Germany: 95min PAL
=> The plot is complete, but the violence is censored. A censorship-report (in German) is available here Schnittbericht
3) Februar 2010, Taiwan: 102min NTSC = 98min PAL
=> Only the violence was censored
4) August 2010, UK: 99min PAL
=> uncensored and identical with the Austrian release from ILLUSIONS
In between (June 2010) a DVD was released in Hongkong with a Cat.III-rating. The official running-time of that release is 91 min in NTSC. Therefore, it's very likely that this version is also censored, but maybe differently.
the running-time references are arranged as follows:
Thai-DVD in PAL / British DVD in PAL
The picture of the Thai-version was cropped from the top and bottom to get the real 1,85:1 ratio.
The picture of the uncensored version, instead, was not cropped in order to make it easier to distinguish the two versions and thus is 16:9 and has visible black bars.
00:00-00:26 / 00:00
Before the studio logos are shown some information (maybe about the food issue) and the logo of the DVD company were inserted on the Thai-DVD.
+ 26,2 sec
alternative / re-cut / chroma-keying
00:53-04:07 / 00:27-09:40
After the logo, the film begins totally differently. In the Thai version not only the prologue with Buss' mother is completely omitted but at first (!) also Aoi's fiance asks Buss for her and is then kidnapped and locked up in the basement. The remaining scenes (a montage of flashbacks to Buss' childhood and Buss' daughter Bua, who watches her mother in the basement in shock) are arranged differently and the Thai version is significantly longer.
The first shot shows Buss as a child hanging above a jug of water. This is followed by an argument between the parents (The mother criticizes that the father wastes all their money on gambling). During that, the young Buss sticks her head into the water.
Her memories continue with a scene where she is pushed under water by a boy who is holding her legs. In-between there is for the first time an inter-cut to the present. Here Buss' head is also under water. Bua comes around the corner and watches her. Buss notices Bua and asks whether everything is alright. She caresses her daughter and after a shot of the house from the outside, the fade-out follows.
(In this scene one of the anti-smoking warnings appears. This was counted seperately.)
After that Buss is shown sitting in front of a noodles-cart in broad daylight. Then another fade-out follows.
First, the prologue in black and white with some yellow colouring in between. The mother of Buss is shown chopping up a corpse at an obviously earlier point in time. Another one is hanging in chains over boiling water. This is followed by a cut to the mother, who at that time is sorting the pieces of meat. Then she lowers the man in chains into the boiling water.
Cut to the present: A shot of Buss in front of the noodles-cart.
After the previous shot is given colour, the strand of the plot about Aoi and her fiance follows. He comes to her with a photo of Buss. She lets him in after some hesitation. He eats something, walks around and suddenly, Buss is standing in the door. In the following conversation Buss says that Aoi has cheating on her husband, but he doesn't want to believe that because Aoi wanted to marry him. So he continues to walk through the house. Eventually, Buss is fed up with that and chops off one of his legs. He goes down and she knocks him out by throwing his own leg at his head. At last, she pushes him down the stairs.
In the kitchen: Buss prepares the other ingredients, in between there are b&w inter-cuts to her mother, who did the same in the past. The mother is saying something about an old family recipe.
Buss adds some spices to Aoi's fiance, who is still unconcious and begins to drive nails into his fingernails.
Only now does some footage with which the Thai version began follow but in a different order.
The sequence begins with a shot of Buss in the present. Buss bends over the jug with water, or rather this parallel is shown here from the beginning. The flashbacks to the argument between the parents follow.After that she puts her head into the water on both time levels. In the past, the boy grabs her legs. Buss notices her daughter and asks whether everything is alright. She caresses her daughter and after a shot of the house from the outside, the fade-out follows.
(In total the Thai version shows about 1 minute of footage that is not in the uncensored version)
the uncensored version is 358,3 sec longer
The two version continue in almost identical order when the landlord wants to collect the money.
06:13 / 11:46-12:10
First, two shots of Buss pushing her noodles-cart through an alley. Then a cut to Aoi and her fiance who, although nailed to the ground, has waken up. The following shot of Buss in the alley begins a little earlier.
08:33 / 14:30-14:33
A shot of the street protest is missing: In the background some protestors are hit with batons.
08:35 / 14:35-14:37
The middle part of a pan shot through the crowd was removed.
08:38-08:39 / 14:40-14:43
In the uncensored version a policeman fires his gun and a pan shot along the protest-posters is shown.
In the Thai version the following shot of the corridor begins
about 1 sec earlier.
the uncensored version is 2,4 sec longer
08:57 / 15:01-15:27
Only the uncensored version shows historical footage of the student protests in the 70s with a large-scale police presence.
10:27-10:28 / 16:58-17:20
More historical footage of suffering people in the uncensored version The following shot begins.
In the Thai version said shot begins a little earlier.
the uncensored version is 21,7 sec longer
10:33 / 17:25-18:25
After an outside-shot, the Thai version continues with a short shot of the ants. Therefore and as expected, the second part of the nail-torture scene was completely omitted. Aoi's fiance tries to free his fingers, but Buss continues to nail him to the ground.
10:37 / 18:30-19:05
Also after the ants-shot, the uncensored version shows more footage of the nail-torture scene.
10:50 / 19:18-19:22
For some reason the Thai version doesn't show how Bua examines the ants.
11:47-11:49 / 20:19-20:27
In the Thai version there is a fade-out after the shot of Buss and a fade-in to the shot at night (no pictures)
The uncensored version shows the shots without any fading and in between a shot of Bua sitting on the stairs
the uncensored version is 6,5 sec longer
alternative / re-cut
11:53-12:02 / 20:31-20:32
The Thai version shows another shot at night. Then the shot of Bua on the stairs, which was shown in the uncensored version a couple of seconds earlier, follows.
In the uncensored version only the previous pan-shot at night is about 1 sec longer.
the Thai-version is 8,7 sec longer
13:10 / 21:40-21:41
An additional shot of a policeman firing his gun.
13:34-13:36 / 22:05-22:20
The Thai version fades out after the shot of Buss and fades in again when the shot of the telephone begins (no pictures).
The uncensored version shows the shot of Buss with her noodles-cart that is shown in the Thai version at the very beginning.
Furthermore, the previously mentioned shots are longer accordingly, particulary the shot of the telephone begins earlier.
the uncensored version is 13,6 sec longer
alternative / re-cut
16:21-18:15 / 25:05-28:48
Here the versions begin to deviate from each other significantly, again.
Fade-out when Nid (Attapon's future girlfriend) enters the garden. Then the scene in which Aoi's fiance looks for with a photo. This scene is shown in the uncensored version at the very beginning of the film. However, the scene ends with a fade-out after the shot of the surprised man (After Buss has told him that Aoi apparently cheats on her husband)
After the first shot, which is longer, Buss is shown in the torture-chamber. She sees Bua's splint for the leg and finds her cowering in a corner of the room. After the she see Aoi's fiance outside of the building. He wants to escape.
Buss comforts Bua and pushes the poor fellow back into the basement, where is fed with several different spices. Afterwards, she hangs him onto a hook. In between there are inter-cuts to the frightened and mumbling Bua.
At the very end of the scene Bua sorts some more pieces of the corpses, with a comment by the mother from the off.
The uncensored version is 109,4 sec longer
19:00 / 29:33-29:34
The knee shot is slightley longer. The slap onto the fingers of her husband by Buss' mother is already shown here.
19:02-19:12 / 29:36-30:50
In the Thai version more shots of Buss' mother punishing her husband follow.
Instead, the uncensored version switches to the torture chamber in the present. Buss stabs Aoi's fiance and lets him bleed out to death. She leaves the room for a bit, returns and removes the plug. This is accompanied by the voice of Buss' mother, who talks about human blood as special ingredient.
This makes the following scenes appear in a totally different light: Buss serves her guests the food
the uncensored version is 63,9 sec longer
19:54 / 31:32-31:35
This shot is slightly longer. a head appears on the surface of the broth. Cut to Buss looking down and one more close-up of the head.
change in running-speed
19:54-19:59 / 31:35-31:39
When Buss bends over the pot, the shots are played a lot slower in the Thai version.
the Thai version is 1,6 sec longer
19:59 / 31:39-31:41
The following shot is missing from the Thai-version: Bus pushes the head down again with a ladle.
This equates the previous time-difference completely. Apparently, the Thai version was slowed down to prevent a gap in the audiotrack.
change in running- speed
21:32-21:37 / 33:14-33:17
The shot of Bua on the stairs is slowed down.
The Thai version is 1,5 sec longer
22:19 / 33:59-34:13
Pan shot up along the hanged fiance of Aoi.
22:19-22:30 / 34:13-34:24
In the following shot only the Thai version shows a warning. Probably, because people with hawk eyes could spot cigarettes in the background.
22:30-22:34 / 34:24-34:27
In the Thai version the transition from said shot to the following one with pictures of missing persons contains an additional fade-out and fade-in. The uncensored version shows both shots slightly longer without the post-editing, but is nevertheless shorter.
the Thai version is 0,8 sec longer
Only the Thai version is longer
22:45-22:49 / 34:38
Only the Thai version shows a shot of the legs of Buss and Attapon. And he says in this shot that the pictures show Chart. In the uncensored version this is said in the off of the previous shot, which means that the audio track has been adjusted.
+ 4,2 sec
23:45-24:18 / 35:34-36:07
While the landlord and his friends eat in Buss' basement, a warning is shown. Apparently because of the smoking guy in the background.
24:25 / 36:14-36:27
In between the scenes at the table the uncensored version again cuts to the fiance in the basement.
26:55-26:59 / 38:57-39:02
Another warning in the Thai version.
27:06-27:14 / 39:09-39:17
And again we see bad cigarettes.
Only the Thai version is longer / warning
27:17-27:21 / 39:20
The next shot that suffers from a warning is Thai exclusive.
+ 3,7 sec
27:27-28:07 / 39:26-40:06
several outdoor shots with smoking people.
30:36 / 42:35-42:36
The shot of the throat-cutting as well as the following knee shot are missing from the Thai version.
31:23 / 43:23-43:24
Two short shots are missing. A close-up of how the landlord pulls out the axe and the knee shot where the blood comes gushing out of the wound.
31:25-31:27 / 43:26-43:28
The uncensored version shows another close-up. The Thai version shows the whole thing from further away.
no time difference
32:29 / 44:30-44:32
A short shot that shows how the corpse of the landlord loses its head while being dragged away.
Only the Thai-Fassung is longer
32:39-32:43 / 44:42
A shot in which Bua bends down to the head is Thai exclusive.
+ 4,2 sec
32:46 / 44:45-44:58
The shot is longer. Bua picks the head off the ground and carries it through the room afterward.
33:24-33:34 / 45:36-45:50
In the Thai version Buss washes a corpse.
In the uncensored version she cuts the meat and sorts the severed body parts.
the uncensored version is 4,6 sec longer
33:48-33:52 / 46:04-46:11
The Thai version shows a long shot in which Buss washes a corpse. The uncensored version shows a shot from above the a grid.
the uncensored version is 3,2 sec longer
34:03-34:05 / 46:22-46:26
The uncensored version shows from an acceptable distance how Buss works at the heap of body parts. The Thai version also shows this but the shot is a close up of Buss which does not show the body parts.
the uncensored version is 1,5 sec longer
34:09-34:11 / 46:30-46:42
The Thai version shows another close-up of Buss. Theuncensored version instead shows additional shots of Buss removing bowels from the corpses.
the uncensored version is 9,6 sec longer
alternative / re-cut
34:30-34:40 / 47:01-47:05
Now the shots from 33:48-33:52 / 46:04-46:11 are re-integrated into the version from which they had previously been missing.
In addition to that, he Thai version shows an additional upward shot of Bua sitting on the stairs (pictures only of that)
the Thai version is 5,8 sec longer
36:18-36:20 / 48:43-48:45
The Thai version fades out when Buss is running through the door and fades in again after that. The uncensored version shows the same shot longer and fades back in a little later.
39:38-39:39 / 52:03-52:04
The uncensored version here shows one more short shot of how Buss rips off a piece of skin of her husband's leg. The Thai version replaces this with a shot of the same length that shows of the husband falls to the ground from his perspective.
40:42 / 53:07-53:17
Buss tears Aoi down o the ground on her hair. Her arms which had already been severed before, gets stuck in the banister.
Then Buss husband is shown again with the stick in his head. He now collapses.
47:25 / 60:00
Close-up of the stick piercing the skin.
change in speed
47:27-47:29 / 60:02-60:04
The shot of Buss using the stick are shown in slow motion in the Thai version.
the Thai-version is 0,7 sec longer
47:29 / 60:04
The following shot of the stick exiting the skin was removed.
change in speed
47:29-47:30 / 60:04-60:05
The shot immediately after that was slowed down as well (Aoi and Buss' husband are screaming)
the Thai version is 0,6 sec longer
47:58-48:03 / 60:33-60:38
Again, another warning during a shot with a smoker. (the silhouette on the left)
48:16 / 60:51-60:52
The first shot of Buss' torture chamber or more specifically the long shot from further away is missing.
only the Thai version is longer
48:17-48:18 / 60:53
Instead only the Thai version shows a shot of Aoi from above after a close-up of Aoi and Buss' husband that is in both versions.
+ 1,2 sec
49:11-49:21 / 61:46
During the shot of Buss biting her nails that is shown all in one in the uncensored version the Thai version shows a strange b/w flashback.
This flashback is shown in the uncensored version later.
+ 10 sec
49:27-49:31 / 61:52-63:32
In the Thai version the flashback of Aoi is shown again here and the remaining part of it follows right after that, whereas the uncensored version first shows an insert.
The uncensored version instead again cuts to Aoi's fiance in the torture chamber. His flesh is too weak and so he falls of the hook. He then crawls through the room and sees in one corner how Buss' husband is nibbling at the dead Aoi. Before he is able to react, Buss enters the room and swiftly chops off his fingers. at the end at least the first couple of the seconds of the pan-shot that were mentioned at 49:11-49:21 / 61:46 are shown.
the uncensored version is 96,6 sec longer
49:36-49:37 / 63:37-63:38
A short shot of Aoi was adjusted to each version: The Thai version shows her face, the uncensored version shows her hands since the previous pan-shot ended in that position.
49:42-49:43 / 63:43-63:44
And again the same: the Thai version shows Aoi's face, the uncensored version shows another part of the pan-shot.
49:46-49:48 / 63:47-63:49
49:50-49:51 / 63:51-63:52
and a last time.
49:53 / 63:54-64:03
Close-up of Buss' husband taking another bite of Aoi. After that another flashback of Aoi with the bobbin.
re-cut / Only the Thai version is longer
50:01-50:12 / 64:11
First, the previously removed shot of Aoi with the bobbin is re-integrated here. after that a Thai eclusive of the panting husband is shown. He collapses.
+ 10,9 sec
52:50-52:52 / 66:49-66:51
Warning, probably because Buss father has a bottle of beer in his hand and is bad shape.
55:59-58:28 / 69:58
Before the last shot of Nid in the trap, the Thai version shows a long insert: Briefly, the strand of the plot with Aoi's fiance is continued here or rather his fate that is shown in the uncensored version throughout the film is summarized in a hardly comprehensible way here.
The most gruesome scenes like the nail torture are still held back. Buss grabs his hands on the ground one time but nails are not used. Also, all hints to cannibalism (Buss husband as Aoi but here one can only recognize Aoi because of the necklace and the husband is not shown at all) are missing. Furthermore, the bloody close-up of the "finger-chopping" was removed. The order of the shots at the end was changed as well. First, the husband tries to crawl away and then Buss hangs him onto the hook followed by his fall, which makes it look as if he is already dead in the last scene.
+ 148,8 sec
65:30 / 77:00
The pictures was blurred during a very short shot (0,5 sec) that shows how a tendon is cut.
That is really a heck of an idea... Probably the blurry background offered itself to that change or the censors were against the use of a knife on this part of the body. However, other knife attacks are not blurred.
65:31 / 77:01-77:03
Shortly after that, the shot of the now bloody foot and the cut to the screaming Nid are missing.
Only the Thai version is longer
65:32-65:33 / 77:04
Another shot of Nid on the ground with Buss in the background, however, is Thai exclusive.
+ 1,3 sec
67:10 / 78:41-78:49
Buss uses the nail to fixate Nid on the table. In the background Attapon appears.
68:02-68:05 / 79:41-79:44
In the uncensored version Attapon removes the nails. The Thai version shows the following knee shot earlier so that one can hardly see what he is doing.
73:47-73:49 / 85:25-85:48
The Thai version only shows an additional shot of the had of Buss' father.
In the uncensored version the mother first cuts open the arm of the corpse. Then it is shown hanging over the big cooking pot in two more shots.
the uncensored version is 20,8 sec longer
75:02-75:03 / 87:01-87:02
The flashback ends with the mother kicking the baby that is then sliding over the floor.
In the Thai version only the upper body of the mother is shown.
81:04-81:10 / 93:03-93:09
When Attapon turns to the policeman, the two versions show this from two different angles.
81:47-81:53 / 93:46-93:52
Attention: A cigarette.
82:40-82:45 / 94:39-94:44
82:53-84:01 / 94:52-96:00
In the Thai version the closing-credits already begin when Buss has her last delusion in which she meets her mother and herself as a child.
Only the Thai version is longer.
84:30-85:13 / 96:29
After the first credits that are identical in both versions, the Thai version fades in again and shows a short epilog. One of the policeman talks to himself about family problems and walks over to a young child that is sitting sad on the ground.
+ 43 sec