[3rd June 2001]: OK, it's been a long time coming but here's two snippets concerning one of our favourite, and criminally neglected, early 80's slasher flick:
1) Firstly, I was alerted to the fact (thanks, Paula) that this list of supposed MPAA cuts has appeared on the IMDB . I can't vouch for their validity but they all certainly sound feasible. I hope they don't mind but here they are for you to salivate over:
version now in existence seems to be the USA "R" rated version,
which, like Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), suffered heavy cutting. The
uncut version apparently played UK cinemas on its original run on a double
bill with Tobe Hooper's Funhouse (1981).
2) Secondly, there was some excitement at the news that the UK cable film channel, Film Four, were showing MY BLOODY VALENTINE as part of their 'Midsummer Night's Screamers' season in June (well, I was excited, for one!). Initially the channel had promised to show as many films as possible uncut and in their original ratios, however, they had later reneged somewhat on this promise and pledged only to show films with BBFC approved certificates. The thing was that it has long been thought that the cut of the film that was released on video in the UK back in the early 80's was the butchered American 'R'-rated print and, in-fact, the BBFC had passed a fuller version for UK cinemas back in 1981. Also, the channel were advertising the film at running at 91 minutes - the length of the original UK cinema cut.
So, with some trepidation I set the VCR and, the next day I checked it out. Firstly, the good news: the print was lovely and the film was presented in a widescreen format (although, and bare in mind I'm pretty clueless when it comes to all the ratio jargon, it didn't look quite as widescreen as it possibly should). However, compared to the American fullscreen re-release from a couple of years back there *was* extra information shown at either side of the screen. The bad news, however, was the fact that the film was as cut as it's ever been; the 91 minutes running time was incorrect (the film ran without adverts and weighed in at more like 87 minutes). In fact, apart from the the letterboxed presentation (and baring in mind I haven't, yet had a chance to go through it with a fine tooth comb) it was just the same old version Paramount has been peddling all these years.I did try and contact Film Four about the showing via their message board but they didn't deign to reply, which hints that were pretty clueless themselves. Oh, well - the search goes on ...
[19 Nov 2000 ] : Good news is, as is often the way, followed by bad news- and vice-versa... A little while ago I was contacted by Dragon Film Entertainment in Germany about their future uncut DVD of THE BURNING. In one of the emails I asked about the possibility of the company ever putting out an uncut version of MY BLOODY VALENTINE; the guy said that the film was a favourite of his and he had, indeed, been looking for the rights to put the film out, as, apparently Paramount didn't own the rights in Germany. The trouble was that it was proving pretty difficult to track down an uncut print from which to cut a master from.
Next up I received an email from fellow slasher movie devotee, Simon Caleb, who is presently on a quest to track down an uncut HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME (yes, that one's cut too!). This is what he told me:
"twas me who wrote to George Milhaka & got a rather off reply from his PA. I thought if I could get through to him & start a campaign of some sorts (along the lines of that Friday the 13th part 7/John Buechler thing) I'd get somewhere, but I guess he's far too busy making TV movies.
I have some bad news concerning MBV's British theatrical release & what Master Jones told you, a friend Mark Williams, who worked at Paramount UK in the early Eighties, had the wonderful job of splicing/cutting movies, in fact one job he had was to splice in more gore for MBV, the only difference's between the US R rated & BBFC X prints was the addition of insert gore shots of the killer tearing his arm off in the climax, he told me ALL the cut stuff IS in the vaults at Paramount UK, he could kick himself for not pinching it! Interestingly all the censored gore scenes were included in a separate reel & sent out to every country, Mark also mentioned he'd contact you at some point."
So, it sounds as if the 'uncut' UK print may have just included the final arm ripping shot, but not the other gore that was cut. However, this is tantalising news- the uncut footage, as they say, is out there...
PHYSICAL ADDRESS: MR. ROB FRIEDMAN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE MOTION PICTURES GROUP Paramount Pictures 5555 Melrose Avenue Hollywood, CA 90038
DVD CONSUMER HOTLINE: 1-323-956-8070 (in the US)
...you never know, Paramount may have second thoughts; at least they'll know that we aren't going to let 'em get away with it quietly!
[Thanks to the following who made this rant possible: Joseph Henson (fellow uncut slasher flick freedom fighter!), Scott Grantham (for the pics), Alan Jones, Will Kay (JASON UNBOUND), Tim Rogerson, John Charles, and a coupla others whose names I've misplaced (apologies to those).]