Comparison between the theatrical version (on the US DVD from Lionsgate) and the unrated version (on the US Blu-ray & 4K UHD from Lionsgate).
- 20 Differences
- Runtime difference: 40.8 sec
Rob Zombies Firefly trilogy in the MPA's focus
It took Rob Zombie a long time to get the Firefly family back to work. In 2003, the Firefly family first saw the light of day in The House of 1000 Corpses. In 2005, the story was continued in TDR - The Devil's Rejects. In 2019, 3 From Hell moves the plot 10 years later. After a long stay in prison, Captain Spaulding's death sentence is carried out right at the beginning, which has a bitter aftertaste in that actor and exploitation legend Sid Haig unfortunately died shortly afterwards on 21 September 2019. In the style of Natural Born Killers, the film then deals with the fact that many supporters of the psychopathic clan have found their way into the younger society through lively media reports. However, this socially critical approach has no great significance for the rest of the story, because the remaining family members succeed in breaking out and shortly afterwards end up in Mexico on their bloody journey.
As expected, Zombie again found many occasions to let his wife Sheri Moon act especially crazy as the character Baby or Bill Moseley as the quite sadistic Otis. In this context we can look back at how the two predecessors already had problems with the American MPA (which it calls itself by now). House of 1000 Corpses exists only in an R-rated version, whereby a 15-minute longer version was occasionally shown at festivals but never made it to home video. Censorship for the MPAA rating are said to be rather underrepresented among the additional material that accounts for the majority of the additional runtime. TDR - The Devil's Rejects, on the other hand, ran with an R rating in cinemas, but also appeared on DVD as a longer and much harder unrated version.
In the beginning, not much was known except that 3 From Hell's received an "R" rating, but later it became apparent by the announcement of a limited unrated cinema release that in this case, too, censorship for the MPA release had to be made. The US Blu-ray and the American 4K UHD now each contain only this unrated version, while the main theatrical version with the "R" rating remains DVD-exclusive (and is thus included in the BD/DVD combo set). Until the release, there was no information about the differences that can be expected here and also the runtime of the Unrated matches the cinema release.
The unrated version of 3 FROM HELL
In fact, you can say right away that the unrated runs only 41 seconds longer and the differences are therefore rather marginal. The degree of violence is ultimately almost the same and for an "R" rating it is quite high or probably "hard R". Especially with nudity, a rather critical topic in America, there's no restraint here or one would probably have had to accept considerably more cuts for a US rating in the past.
The censorship-relevant differences are thus mostly in the frame area and show that one probably only had to discreetly reduce the intensity. Frequently, shots are only longer at the beginning or end, but also "sufficiently" long in the shorter version, so that the difference shouldn't be noticeable by many viewers. At least during Baby's attack against the naked woman in Virgil's house there were some additional shots in the Unrated, although similar shots in the vicinity are still available several times. Otis' machete use towards the end is also noticeably more drastic.
Apart from that, there are several irrelevant extensions, which are quite common in gore scenes, but don't show any drastic material. In fact, this accounts for more than half of the runtime difference, so that the unrated version can be described as a small cheat. These cuts are most likely not made for the MPA and the deviating flow of those scenes doesn't make a more rounded impression. It's rather strange.
So the result remains ambivalent. On the one hand there are really some extensions in drastic scenes, on the other hand the movie isn't as drastically censored in the theatrical version as several other "R"-rated versions. US buyers can enjoy the longer version in HD/4K anyway. As one of our users could confirm, you can also find the unrated version on the British Blu-ray, although there is no corresponding reference on the cover of the Blu-ray. Anyone who is dependent on the region code B has a good alternative here.
Runtimes are ordered as follows: Theatrical version DVD in NTSC / Unrated Blu-ray
21:19 / 21:19-21:20
The tree slightly longer and the woman a few frames earlier.
21:28 / 21:29
The final frontal shot is also a little longer. Absolutely insignificant with this short duration, since it is so in the scene several seconds before.
23:51 / 23:52-23:53
One second before the cut to the guard, a few more frames of unclear fast waving around with the knife in front of Baby.
24:03 / 24:05
Meaningless mini shortening: Baby from behind two frames longer and the guard a few frames earlier.
50:47 / 50:50
Otis hits the man on the ground once more - without seeing anything explicit.
51:18 / 51:21-51:25
Baby is seen one more time and thinks it's a lot of fun. The naked woman screams. By the way, this is by no means more drastic than the shots the scene has to offer in its "R"-rated form.
51:27 / 51:34-51:37
Baby throws the knife around longer in slow motion and another shot over her shoulder.
51:34 / 51:45-51:46
Winslow slits Judy's throat a little longer.
51:36 / 51:48-51:49
The next cut to this shot also starts a little earlier, here blood splashes again.
51:41 / 51:54-51:58
Judy's gasps on his lap longer. Winslow says "Time to go back to Mama" and howls like a wolf.
51:48-51:49 / 52:05-52:07
The soft transition to Heather running outside begins a little earlier. This means that the previous shot of Baby in the unrated is also over earlier.
Unrated 1.3 sec longer
52:04 / 52:23-52:25
Heather's running away from Baby a little longer.
52:09 / 52:30-52:40
More slow-motion shots of the small chase.
52:18 / 52:49-52:51
Baby stabs Heather twice from different perspectives. The follow-up starts a few frames earlier.
52:19 / 52:52-52:55
The shot is a few frames longer and several more punctures are visible.
52:21 / 52:57-52:58
With a jumpcut in the frontal shot, two more quick punctures are omitted here - only Baby's face can be seen in close-up.
52:25 / 53:02-53:04
The drilling in the abdominal wound can be seen in detail and the following, distant shot begins a little earlier.
90:15 / 90:54-90:55
The naked Mexican woman behind the curtain is pierced a little longer. Not really more drastic than the previously included part of the shot where you could also see her breasts.
90:19 / 90:59-91:00
She's hit by more shots which we can see from a shot from behind.
105:23 / 106:04-106:05
Otis pulls the machete out at the end of the shot, whereupon a lot of blood/insides bubble out of his stomach.