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Perverted cuts

DVD

Bad news, folks: it would appear that Severin Films’ release of Perversion Story is in fact cut after all. I came across a post at the Latarnia Forums in which user operaman35 points out the bad news:

I’m so disappointed. I thought we could trust Severin to release an uncut version of this classic Fulci giallo. But I immediately noticed that a sequence filmed in Reno, Nevada has been abbreviated (after Jean Sorel meets Elsa Martinelli at the train station - the scene where they’re talking in the car while driving from California to Reno, the scene where they drive into downtown Reno, and part of their scene in a casino has been cut). In short, the Severin DVD is 5 minutes shorter (97 minutes) than the fullscreen English language Greek version (which runs 102 minutes).

I’ve checked the running time myself, and he is indeed correct: although the back of the DVD cover lists a running time of 103 minutes, the DVD in fact only runs for 97 minutes and 10 seconds (and it’s not a standards conversion, in case anyone’s wondering, so PAL speed-up doesn’t enter the equation). My VHS dupe of the English print, meanwhile, runs for 98 minutes and 40 seconds, although, judging by the higher pitch of the dialogue and music, this is because it is a PAL to NTSC standards conversion (which would give it an original running time of just under 103 minutes). I’ve also checked the material cut from the DVD, and it’s not exactly what you’d call unimportant stuff: George and Jane discuss the future of their relationship as they drive along a snowy hilltop motorway, before driving through Reno at night, and arrive at a casino, where a clerk hands George a telegram. At this point, the Severin DVD’s print kicks in again, with a noticeable splice, making it fairly clear, even to the untrained eye, that something has been lopped off.

Gone!

Gone!

Gone!

Gone!

Gone!

Gone!

Gone!

Gone!

Now, this only accounts for around a minute of the running time discrepancy, and the added sexual material in the French cut accounts for a lot of additional running time, with this version still shorter than the English version, so there is obviously considerably more material missing somewhere else - at a rough estimate, I would say a good 7 minutes, at least. Clearly, I’m going to have to go through the whole thing shot by shot and catalogue the differences between the two versions.

What really galls me, ultimately, is that Severin had to conform their French print to the English and Italian audio tracks, so they must have known that material was missing! Now I understand why they list this title on their web site as the “French theatrical version” rather than the “uncut version”, while their decision to release it under its French title of Perversion Story rather than the English One on Top of the Other now makes a lot more sense. As such, it’s a little difficult to attack them for false advertising, but I really am rather disappointed that they didn’t make an effort to release a less truncated version of the film. Essentially, we gain a bunch of raunchier sex scenes but lose elements of the plot - not exactly the sort of trade-off I’m happy about making, although at least one member of the Latarnia seems to have other ideas. (“Isn’t [the sexy footage] the kind of stuff that matters? Unless it effects the narrative, isn’t decrying the lack of a few minutes of dialog being a bit nit-picky?”)

 
Posted: Sunday, February 25, 2007 at 11:44 AM | Comments: 3
Categories: Cinema | DVD | Gialli

 
Comments

1.

Well, bugger.

Hopefully someone will release a more complete version eventually, but for now I suppose it's a case of beggars can't be choosers.

Posted by: Philly Q, February 25, 2007 1:45 PM

2.

Your letterbox VHS transfer is far better quality than my P&S DVD-R with Greek subs!

Posted by: Shepski, February 25, 2007 5:30 PM

3.

There's a stunning fanmade composite/resoration doing the rounds at the moment which is timed at 107m44s and is English language throughout,also features 2 different Italian opening titles as well as the Spanish as extras.

Posted by: xxx, July 13, 2007 6:22 PM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 30th 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:

https://www.landofwhimsy.com

 

 
 
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