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Devil, The

original title: Xie mo

Comparison:

  • Video Cut (US BD)
  • Uncut
Release: May 14, 2020 - Author: brainbug1602 - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB

The Alternative Video Cut was compared to the original uncut version. Both are included on the US BD by Massacre Video.

Synopsis of The Devil

The neat Mr. Gu checks in as a guest in a small family hotel. The errand boy Ding Dong immediately notices that Mr. Gu has his eye on Li, the pretty daughter of his boss. For a fee, he offers his services as a matchmaker and indeed the two fall in love, much to the annoyance of cousin Lu, who is secretly in love with Li. The wedding ceremony is disturbed by a man who claims that Gu has done something terrible to his sister, but because of the man's confused appearance the wedding guests label him as crazy. In fact, Gu seems to be haunted by a ghostly female figure. After the wedding, Gu shows his true face. He never cared about Li, whom he now pushes around like a slave, but rather tries to enrich himself at the expense of the family hotel. When Li's father dies of a heart attack after an argument about this, there seems to be only one solution. The aunt is supposed to pronounce a death curse on Gu, which decomposes his intestines with maggots and makes him spit insects and earthworms.

In terms of far-eastern disgusting horror, The Devil convinces with well-timed scenes, but the inclined gore fan should be patient, because after a fulminant exorcism scene with blood, worms and intestines, there is a standstill for a while until, you can already guess it, Mr. Gu meets his just fate. Apart from some disgusting witch curses, the movie also mixes a rather half-baked ghost story about a mysterious woman, who brings a dark chapter of Gus' past to light. If you haven't overslept the sequence before the opening credits, where a woman was killed with a stone on the platform, then you might already know from which corner the ghost is coming from. Apart from that, the movie is mainly a Ding Dong show, which is dominated by our shrewd bellboy, who at times wears a somewhat oppressive leisure outfit, and the plot is dominated by greed, procuring and know-it-all. Not a masterpiece, but thanks to disgusting scenes, a trashy plot and a gaga finale it's definitely worth seeing.

The US Blu-ray offers two versions of The Devil

On the US Blu-ray by Massacre Video, there are two versions of the film. The main version is a 4K scan from the mold-infested original camera negative, which is lovingly advertised on the back of the Blu-ray as Brand New UNCUT 4k Scan from the Moldtastic Original Camera Negative. Before the film appears the note that the camera negative has been stored unfavorably and that the mold has eaten its way into the picture. The title insertions were missing in the camera negative and were not replaced. On the one hand it's quite astonishing that the camera negative of this rather obscure Taiwanese horror movie could be found at all, on the other hand the picture quality causes some headaches in the long run. During the whole movie there are constantly various green shades flickering through the picture. This is more noticeable in bright scenes than in dark scenes.

A further restoration to get these green spots out of the picture probably would have been too expensive. What a pity, because otherwise there is nothing wrong with the image quality. In the bonus material there is an alternative video cut version, which was drawn from the original 1" master. The picture quality is clearly worse here and in addition, the picture was pulled to 4:3 by means of Pan&Scan, so that left and right picture information gets lost. Especially at the beginning of the film, the video version differs from the main version. In some places there is alternative footage. But it was probably only film tears that were concealed by other footage.

The main version offers the Mandarin sound with optional English subtitles, while the video cut version offers the choice between English and Mandarin with English subtitles. It is a little pity that the English sound was not adapted to the main version. This would certainly not have been a big effort.

A comparison with the Japanese VHS by Tokuma showed that the new scan from the original camera negative does not contain any new scenes and is therefore identical with the Japanese VHS version. The statement at the beginning of the film that it is a long version is therefore not correct. By the way, the Japanese VHS has the correct title insertions.

Furthermore, the US DVD by Video Asia was released with the film being titled The Devil's Express together with The Rapist on one DVD. The pictures on the cover fit, but the table of contents wrongly points to The Devil's Express (the US movie from 1976).

It seems that the cover design was a bit careless there for a moment. The Japanese VHS is obviously used as a template here, and the subtitles in the widescreen bar were simply removed.

Whether mold on bread, in the apartment or on the camera negative: None of this is good. Like when visiting a swingers club with a surplus of men, you are left a bit unsatisfied after watching the Massacre Blu-ray. The green mould shadows that constantly ghost through the picture are very annoying during the duration of the movie, as the otherwise very good picture quality is of little consolation. The video cut version differs only slightly from the main version, but is unfortunately in the wrong image format and is qualitatively mixed.

Image comparison:

Video cut version:

Main version:

Runtimes:

Video cut: 86:03 min.
Camera Negative: 86:05 min.

[00:00:00][00:00:00]

The video cut begins with the First Films logo.



VC: 14 sec.


[00:00:15][00:00:02]

The man can be seen a little longer.



CN: 4 sec.


[00:00:16][00:00:07]

Before cutting to the train, you see the man longer.



CN: 2 sec.


[00:00:16][00:00:09]

The VC cuts to the train, then a quick cut to the man.



You can see the train all the time on the CN.



VC: 2 sec.
CN: 5 sec.


[00:00:28][00:00:23]

The VC cuts to the moon, the woman, the train and finally to the man.



In the CN, you can see the woman standing on the platform all the time.



VC: 7 sec.
CN: 6 sec.


[00:00:38][00:00:31]

The woman can be seen longer on the platform.



CN: 4 sec.


[00:00:46][00:00:44]

The VC makes a quick cut into the bushes.



The CN continues to show the woman.



VC: 1 sec.
CN: 1 sec.


[00:00:49][00:00:47]

Again, the VC cuts to the bushes.



The CN still shows the woman.



VC: 2 sec.
CN: 2 sec.


[00:00:52][00:00:50]

The VC is cutting to the moon again.



In the CN, still the woman.



VC: 1 sec.
CN: 1 sec.


[00:00:55][00:00:52]

The woman can be seen a little longer.



CN: 1 sec.


[00:01:31][00:01:30]

In the VC, the title "The Devil" is displayed. In the CN, nothing is visible.



No time difference. (4 secs. each)


[00:01:35][00:01:34]

In the VC, the title is displayed once again (!).



In the CN, you can see the train instead and then the furnace earlier.



VC: 4 sec.
CN: 4 sec.


[00:01:53][00:01:53]

The CN is missing all title insertions.



No time difference.


[00:22:50][00:22:48]

The CN has a little more dialogue as Gu lights his cigarette.

Ding Dong: "Uh, Mr. Gu, don't underestimate me. Just wait for my good news later!"



CN: 7 sec.


[00:41:33][00:41:37]

Li and her father can be seen a little earlier.



CN: 1 sec.


[01:05:21][01:05:26]

The VC makes a quick cut to Lu.



The CN still shows his mother.



VC: 1 sec.
CN: 1 sec.


[01:23:24][01:23:27]

The dead Gu can be seen a little longer.



CN: 1 sec.


[01:25:53][01:25:57]

The VC fades in "The End" at the last shot.



No time difference.