Comparison between the cut 4K remastered Blu-ray from 88 Films and the uncut US Blu-ray from Grindhouse Releasing.
Especially in the UK, the film had problems, as expected, because the BBFC was already, and despite other relaxations still is, strict about scenes where animals come to harm. Thus, the British VHS was still censored by over 6 minutes. The 2011 Blu-ray by Shameless was then much more permissive: only the scene with the coati was still objected to and replaced with a recycled shot of monkeys with no difference in running time. The infamous scenes with the turtle and the monkey were included here, apparently because the animals are killed without extended torture after all. The killing of the coati, on the other hand, is sadistically drawn out and purely unnecessary.
In December 2022, 88 Films in the UK has now released the worldwide 4K premiere. Qualitatively this once again marks a big improvement. Unfortunately, however, a censorship was still necessary here with the already known scene with the coati. Only the explicit close-up is still missing here and unlike the Shameless release, this is not covered up with alternative material. So it's simply a slightly shortened version of the film. One can certainly still live well with this one cut. However, we can probably expect a 4K UHD in the U.S. in the future, because the rights holder Grindhouse Releasing there has already teased the 4K upgrade.
The credits were digitally recreated. Unfortunately, there are several typos (Franko instead of Franco and "autheticity"). The font and shading are also slightly different.
18:50 / 18:50-19:05
There's a close-up where you can see the coati whimpering in panic. Miguel slowly cuts him open and after a few screams, the animal falls silent.
Note: In the Shameless version, part of the previous medium long shot with Miguel was already missing. So the cut itself is a bit shorter than on the old UK Blu-ray.
Note: The Shameless version had three unimportant additions to the "Last Road To Hell" sequence, see our separate report. In the regular versions, and thus also in both Grindhouse and 88 Films, these are missing from the main film. 88 Films, however, has also included this alternative sequence in the bonus material.
Here are a few more comparison images across the film. It's fascinating how much the versions differ in image. The 4K remaster clearly looks the most coherent overall. The often massive yellow tint of the old master during "found footage" is no longer objectionable in the new 4K version. In addition, the picture was often quite pale on the old Blu-ray and therefore the new version may feel a bit too dark at first glance - but as mentioned, it looks rather correct overall.
On the last comparative image, on the other hand, some details disappeared on the old master: the "found footage" material was way too dark here. This footage, shot in 16mm instead of 35mm, still deviates a bit from the rest of the film in terms of quality on the 4K remastered version (and rightly so), but not as much as before.
Slipcase and reversible cover of the cut British 4K Blu-ray by 88 Films:
Slipcase and reversible cover of the uncut US Blu-ray by Grindhouse Releasing: