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Buy the US Blu-ray by Severin Films with both versions.



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Siege

original title: Self Defense

Comparison:

  • Theatrical Version
  • Extended Version
Release: Oct 12, 2021 - Author: Mike Lowrey - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB

This exploitation thriller from Canada was made in 1983, but for whatever reason it was released in Germany under the title New York 1991 - Night Without Law (rough translation). In the original it is called either Siege or Self Defense and is partly reminiscent of John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13. What it has ahead of this role model, however, is its enormously dark note, which, especially at the beginning, emanates from a brutal, ice-cold execution of several guests of a gay bar by a self-appointed militia. This group of thugs, who do not shy away from armed violence, wants to use the current police strike in the Canadian city of Halifax to enforce their own moral values. The only escape from this massacre is a young man who, after a chase, finds shelter in a shared apartment. And the residents are determined to defend him and themselves against the gang.

Not much has happened on the international home video markets since the first release on VHS. However, one can now look towards America, where the enthusiast label Severin Films has released a 2K re-release of the film on Blu-ray. In addition to the familiar version, it also includes an extended version that has never been seen anywhere else. The comparison shows that there are only a few new scenes at the beginning with more character development for the most dominant characters of the film. However, the visual quality difference alone compared to the VHS releases before (which we present like this by contrasting the new version with the US VHS containing the Theatrical Version) should be a selling point for those interested in this rather forgotten film.

With four new scenes, the Extended Version runs 505.92 sec. or about 8 minutes 26 seconds longer than the Theatrical Version (which in turn has one longer scene).

Alternate Prologue


Extended Cut
0:02:10: Several scenes right at the beginning are new. It starts with a nearly deserted downtown, a couple of punk kids are pushing an expensive car in front of them and Horatio is helping them. He has no idea that they have stolen the car. When the owner chases after them, the kids flee, which is why Horatio gets in all the trouble. In the process, the car rolls downhill and damages another car, after which the angry owner commits a hit-and-run.



Horatio then goes home and notices that neighbor boy Chester has gotten into an awkward situation while carrying up his motorcycle. At his request, Horatio helps him out.



New scene at Goose, who is adding barbed wire to his front yard. When his wife offers him some sandwiches, he annoyedly refuses them. His wife claims to have made them to his liking, so he goes to her irritated and then is stunned to find margarine on them instead of butter. She didn't give the last butter to the children, did she? Furious, he grabs her and demonstratively eats a piece in front of her. She tears herself away and goes to her room to do some pottery, obviously his wife's refuge. He, on the other hand, turns on the news and watches a segment about the police strike and the night ahead, when there will probably be riots. Meanwhile, he builds himself a striking tool out of a piece of squared lumber and a piece of metal. When Rosie drives up in the car and honks the horn several times to pick up Goose, his wife doesn't want him to leave. When she blocks his way, he goes into her study and smashes her pottery in front of her, causing her to cry in despair. He then walks out and heads to the car with Rosie.



After that, the sun sets and you can see Goose at the wheel of the moving car, looking out for something or someone.


668.76 Sec. or about 11 minutes 9 seconds

Theatrical Version
Here comes the sunset first and then the TV feature on the strike and related unrest. There is more footage to see here, but the reporter's statements are the same as in the scene in the extended cut.


162.84 sec. or about 2 minutes 43 seconds

Recut
0:13:53: Insignificant, but still it should be mentioned: the different shots of the deserted streets come in different order in both versions.
No time difference