Comparison between the Extended Cut on the Austrian DVD of ILLUSIONS UNLTD. films (Uncut material identical to the bonus segment of the old US DVD from Discotek Media) and the 4K Blu-ray/Blu-ray of Vinegar Syndrome.
Ebola Syndrome is Cat.III cinema from Hong Kong at its purest: similar to The Untold Story, Anthony Wong gets to go all out as a permanently horny creep. Thanks to taboo-breaking every minute, the film was already extensively censored in its home country and for years there were no alternatives. The 2007 US DVD from Discotek Media first included "deleted footage" collected as a featurette in the bonus material, which presumably showed all the moments that were cut at the time. ILLUSIONS UNLTD. films took this footage in 2010 and edited it back into the film. The corresponding long version, advertised as "Extended Cut", most likely has been imported by one or the other fan abroad.
For Black Friday, the US label Vinegar Syndrome always presents a few surprise announcements, which are immediately available exclusively in their own online shop. In 2019, this included Tammy and the T-Rex, which was available for the first time in its uncensored original version. It was also available in regular stores, for example, Amazon roughly two months later from January afterwards. This time, Ebola Syndrome was one of the surprise announcements as a new 4K scan from the complete original negative. Since December 2021, you can call the disgusting shocker your own if you have immediately ordered it in the Vinegar Syndrome shop. By now, however, the copies are sold out, so fans will have to hope for a broader release in the future.
Since ILLUSIONS only added single uncut segments to the theatrical version, the complete film has been rescanned for the first time. Therefore we took a closer look at the new version. After all, there are no completely new scene extensions: The ILLUSIONS Extended Cut can thus still be considered a good uncut alternative in SD. Qualitatively, however, the 4K Blu-ray (+ Blu-ray) from the U.S. is of course superior by far. To be able to see the film in one piece, without color fluctuations and above all in such flawless UHD quality, is a small miracle for exploitation fans. The sound is also better, of course, since the uncut moments were previously available without music. For the Extended Cut soundtrack from the scenes around it had been re-used, while on the 4K release we now have a complete audio mix.
And looking closer into it, differences can be noticed indeed: A few frames (always under 0.2 sec!) can be found additionally in almost every scene that was extended before. Possibly this resulted from faulty editing in the previously available uncut material, so that frames got lost along the line. In many transitions from theatrical to extended footage, there used to be small jump cuts on the ILLUSIONS Extended Cut. These are no longer present thanks to the new 4K scan. It should be clearly emphasized again: The following report always shows tiny fractions of a second, which are by no means noticeable during normal viewing - at least if you look at them from a censorship point of view. Nevertheless, these mini-deviations do exist. Their main effect is, as mentioned, a much smoother viewing experience without jump cuts and quality changes.
Running time specifications are arranged according to the scheme
The Golden Harvest logo is missing on the new scan by Vinegar Syndrome.
+ 18 sec
03:17 / 03:07
The extended shot of peeing on Kai's face is longer by one frame at the beginning and at the end it contains three additional frames as well.
05:00 / 04:54
Two shots have been added here in the extended as Kai jumps onto the folding table. The first is a trivial single frame at the beginning. At the end of this first shot we now have even four striking frames though. Before switching to the view of the trapped Guan Yu, one sees a thick blood splash from the left in this split-second.
05:11 / 05:06
The next additional shot of the trapped Guan Yu is four frames longer as well.
05:55 / 05:52
Attaching the scissors to the tongue now starts three frames earlier.
06:02 / 05:59
The last shot of this extension is also four frames longer: On the screenshot, notice the hair of the woman in the middle of the picture. In the extended shot of Illusions, the shot ends while Kai is still covering it with his shoulder.
27:01 / 27:52
There was a small jump cut in the Extended Cut during the longer scene of the chicken being torn apart. The 4K scan now smoothly shows every frame (mainly indicated by the arm movement on the left of the image).
32:03 / 33:07
The next enhancement (Kai hitting the native girl much more often off-screen) also started with a jump cut on the Illusions version. In the 4K scan, the shot now runs with 4 additional frames in one.
At the end of this insert (32:16 / 33:21), the 4K scan has two more inconsequential frames.
40:13 / 41:39
Just one frame can be seen in addition, when Kei backs away with sticks in his eyes. Again, this was caused by the transition from the inserted uncut material to the old master of the theatrical version. In the 4K re-scan we now see it cleanly, without any jumpcut.
40:55 / 42:22
Starting off the next extended part (squeezing the head a little longer with the door) an additional frame now prevents a mini-jumpcut of the previous DVD release.
6 sec later an additional frame concludes this bit.
41:17 / 42:45
When Kai pulls on the corpse and the head thus gets stuck in the door, the shot starts two frames earlier in the 4K scan.
42:22 / 43:54
In the dialog extension, rescanning the material again corrected a mini-jumpcut with three missing frames.
42:38 / 44:10
Same game at the end of this part: Four additional frames at the transition to the moment that is briefly included in the theatrical version, when Ling bends down for oral sex.
42:41 / 44:14
At the end of the extended shot, we once again see a few additional frames.
Interestingly, however, there is a mini-jumpcut shortly before, even with the 4K scan.
43:41 / 45:16
In the transition to the longer shot of Kai moaning, the 4K scan is three frames longer. Hardly noticeable because he doesn't move his body at this moment.
When the material source changes again in the subsequent shot, the Extended is again missing two frames.
44:07 / 45:44
Sucking on the Eye also loses a few frames midway through the insert of the Extended.
44:10 / 45:47
Due to two additional frames, it is now also no longer so choppy to see blood running out of Kai's mouth.
44:15 / 45:52
The Extended also skipped two frames when transitioning to the theatrical version footage in the following shot.
44:23 / 46:01
When Kai jumps onto the table under which he has buried Ling, two frames are lost again.
44:26 / 46:04
Same issue at the end of the shot.
45:22 / 47:02
When Kai rams the employee's head onto the floor for a longer time, there was once again a noticeable jump cut in the Extended Cut. Now the movement is more fluent.
46:06 resp. 46:10-46:20 / 47:48-47:59 resp. 48:03
Interesting: How Kai continues to saw around off-screen actually follows (i.e. in the new 4K scan) without interruption, right after he saws in this perspective for the first time. In the Extended, this part was mistakenly inserted shortly after, after the sawed-off arm has fallen to the ground.
And you already guessed it: In the Illusions version, four frames are missing, right at the beginning.
4K scan 0.16 sec longer
46:28 / 48:11
In the extended tracking shot along the body parts, there is now no longer the noticeable jump cut when Kai's hand comes into view on the left.
58:29 / 60:44
One more inconsequential single frame at the beginning of the extended autopsy.
After identical credits, the 4K scan still has the Vinegar Syndrome logo.