The International version contained on the Blu-ray of the Studio 88 films (2017) was compared with the censored Italian version contained in the Mediabook release of Cinestrange Extreme.
Some background storyAugust 1980, Man-Eater was released under the title Antropophagus. The Movie was a big let down at the Italian box offices. According to director Joe D'Amato, one of the least expected circumstances was that his film doesn´t make a profit, because all his films where profitable in the past. After that let down D'Amato turned his back on the atmospheric horror genre and enriched his future film projects with more sex and violence.
In Germany, the film was released in theatres on 28 February 1981 and the German wave of indexing and confiscation of the film began with the indexing of the film advertising poster on 10 September 1981.
One year after the theatrical release, on 23.02.1982, the already censored VHS of Eurovideo/Bavaria landed on the index. This indexing process is still very well remembered today, especially because the indexing report explicitly mentions that the official advisor was not able to view the movie in one sitting and was tormented by prolonged nausea, stomach cramps and other severe discomfort afterwards. Beyond that, officals wanted to examine if there is a possibility to charge and report the producers and distributors because of physical injury.
On 03.03.1986 the movie was banned and on 24.10.1986 the confiscation of the Eurovideo/Bavaria VHS began.
The theatrical version was banned on 13.01.1987 and the confiscation on 05.05.1988.
Over the years, various domestic and foreign publications were indexed or confiscated. Last on 31.05.2017, when the Italian VHS was indexed by Gala Film on List B.
Only the Filmhansa film advertising poster was removed from the index again on 31.08.2006.
Versions and releasesThe2015 Blu-ray, released from 88 films was the first HD release of the film. As early as 2016 88 Films informed that the label would give the film a new 2k treatmment and in August 2017 this Remastered Special Edition was released on Blu-ray. Unfortunately, the August 2017 release of Cinestrange Extreme was based on the 2015 master. In this transfer, two flaws have to be emphasized in comparison to the Remastered Special Edition. At first the colors of the old transfer are not so strong and on the other hand the remastered version is longer in uncountable frames of many takes. These additional frames add up to just over two minutes for the remastered version. Actually I had planned to create a comparison of the 2015 Version with the 2017 Blu-ray of 88 movies. But already after 5 minutes runtime there were more than 30 scenes where the 2017 version was longer by these frames (on average there are about 6 frames each). If you extrapolate this to the running time of the film, this would mean more than 500 such frame cuts.
Despite the "outdated" transfer, Cinestrange's Mediabooks still contain a few extra goodies. A HD scan of a German cinema movie reel would be worth mentioning here. This version has never been released before on DVD or even Blu-ray. Although this version lacks more than six minutes of action scenes, the violence scenes remained untouched. In some scenes at the beginning of the film there are even a few more frames to be seen in the theatrical version.
Cinestrange also pressed a so-called censored Italian Version on DVD (Italian audio language without subtitles) and attached it to the mediabook. According to film historian Alessio de Rocco, D'Amato created this version to circumvent Italian censorship. For economic reasons, it was important that the film will be shown uncensored in D'Amato's desired version in Italian movie theatres. The director knew that two of the violent scenes wouldn´t get along with the authorities. So he cut the scene of how the axe stuck in Marco Maiello's head and how Serena Grandi fetus was tearing out of her body and the man-eater bites into it. In return, D'Amato inserted a more harmless scene, with exactly the same running time as the other two scenes so that the uncensored version and the censored version had the same running time. This scene was shot especially for the censored version. So much for Alessio de Rocco's remarks.
On the DVD release it looks a bit different. The extent to which this censored Italian version corresponds to the actual version of that time is not known. In any case the two mentioned scenes are missing in this version and therefore the alternative, more harmless scene was added. However, both violent scenes and the alternative scene did not have the same runtime. More importantly, the so-called censored Italian version actually has a not even one-minute long action scene, which has probably not been seen in any known version until now. In this scene you can see Andy and Arnold steering the sailboat. Also another, short shot of Arnold on the island can be seen exclusively in this version, as well as a short violent scene starts earlier, in which you see Carol with her throat cut. Also the well-known scene with the head in the bucket is a bit longer. The censored Italian version also lacks scenes and camera-angles of the international version. More details can be found in the following cut report.
It is noticeable that many framecuts of the 2015 transfer of 88 films and the Cinestrange Blu-ray do not occur in the scanning of the German theatrical version and the censored Italian version.
Cuts and (delayed) time difference11 scenes where the censored Italian version is longer (91.28 sec.)
17 scenes where the international version is longer (73.24 sec.)
= 18.04 sec.
In the remastered version, the setting at the beginning of the film is longer but the next scene in the censored Italian version starts a bit earlier.
The credits are different.
No time difference
Amidst the scene of the couple running down the steps, the censored Italian version lacks almost a second.
In the censored version the boat can be seen a little longer.
In the remastered version, the woman is shown minimally earlier.
The underwater scene is 3 frames longer in the censored Italian version.
Another scene under water is 5 frames longer.
Again 8 frames more at an underwater scene.
The view from the sea to the beach and the beginning of the next take are longer in the censored Italian version.
The bloody take of the dead man with the hatchet in his head, as well as the first frames of the next scene are missing in the censored Italian version.
During the conversation between Julie and Andy 3 frames are missing in the censored Italian version.
The view of the maps in the water is a few frames longer in the remastered version.
When changing movie reels, several seconds are missing in the censored Italian version. You can see the boat a little longer. The beginning of the next scene is also missing. The camera zooms away from the sign with the boat´s name on it as the group begins to leave the boat.
The view of the head in the bucket begins one second earlier in the censored Italian version.
Two text panels are displayed in the censored Italian version, indicating the end of the first film part respectively the beginning of the second film part.
not included in the cuts.
After the man-eater has bitten Daniel in the throat and blood runs out of the wound, the censorship version cuts off. You see the man-eater and then the dying Daniel. Another scene of the cannibal follows.
The view of the house is one second longer on the 88 movie Blu-ray.
The remastered version is slightly longer when there is a scene change. Andy and Arnold can be seen running through the forest earlier.
In the censored Italian version the view of the boy is missing and how his mother strokes his cheek.
Due to a rupture in the film-material, the censorship version lacks the end of a shot of the mother stroking her son again, followed by the view of the father.
Another rupture in the film-material. The woman recognizes her husband's intention as he moves towards her.
The censorship version lacks the scene in which the man-eater pulls the fetus out of Mary´s body and bites into it. Arnold has to stand idly. The first frames of the next scene with Carol are also missing.
Due to a rupture in the film-material the end of Rita take is missing and the beginning of a camera shot of Carol going through the door.
The scene of the man-eater biting into Rita's throat and seeing the bloody wound afterwards is missing in the censored Italian version.
Julie looks around. The remastered version is missing the end of the camera panning over the house.
Already after a few frames, when we can see the gaping abdominal wound of the man-eater, the censored Italian version cuts off.
On the Blu-ray, "The End" is displayed, followed by a black screen. The censored Italian version closes with "Fine".
not included in the cuts.