Whatever happened to "The Devils?"

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Stas T, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. Stas T

    Stas T Stunt Coordinator

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    I recall in a previous Warner chat here, they mentioned that we'd get "The Devils" on DVD "sooner than you think." But no mention of it after that. Just wondering if and/or when it might get released.
     
  2. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    I'm interested too. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. Bob Graham

    Bob Graham Supporting Actor

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    I've noticed that a region 0 version is available from Xploited Cinema and other dealers of international DVDs. I looked at the description but couldn't determine the country of origin. It says it is anamorphically enhanced for 16x9 TVs and is Russell's director's cut, so it doesn't sound like a bootleg. It's currently out of stock, but I have it on order. I will report when it arrives.
     
  4. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    But it definitely is. It's taken from a British television boradcast and it cropped from 2.35:1 to 1.78:1.

    DJ
     
  5. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    I know someone who has it and it is definately a bootleg.

    Warner UK, at least are working on the DVD. Warner USA are planning on working on all of the films they own but they won't be out until next year, with a remastered SE of Altered States. I love his films; great filmmaker.

    I have never seen The Devils in its 2.35:1 framing, so I am really looking forward to DVD...
     
  6. Anthony Thorne

    Anthony Thorne Supporting Actor

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    I'm also keen on this movie - hopefully with a Russell commentary recorded while he's still with us. Maybe we'll get a further hint or clarification - maybe? - during the upcoming chat.
     
  7. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    Since this is my #1 most wanted film for DVD release, I am EAGERLY awaiting news that Warner is working on the director's cut for DVD release. I'm also hoping that this film is mentioned in the chat.
     
  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Since it has been established that the disc described above is a bootleg, there will be no further discussion of it permitted in this thread. Thanks for your cooperation.

    M.
     
  9. Stas T

    Stas T Stunt Coordinator

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    Don't know about the DVD, but I have a Warner UK-released VHS of "The Devils" that's also cropped/zoomed to 1:78. Never mad much sense to me why on an official release they would opt for this in-between AR rather than just release it at 2:35, especially since the tape was released back in the 90's, before 16:9 TVs were common.

    Whatever the case, I hope Warner soon gets to releasing the film on DVD.
     
  10. Anthony Neilson

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    Gordon - an ALTERED STATES S.E ? That's great news. No offence but where did you hear that i.e is it a rumour or do you know it for a fact ?
     
  11. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    I never seen this, but have always wanted too. I'll gladly wait for an SE!
     
  12. Stas T

    Stas T Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's the exact quote from last year's Warner chat (March 8, 2004)

    [JonRobertson] Thanks so much for dozens of fantastic classic films recently (Death in Venice especially!) I just wanted to ask about what plans you had for THE DEVILS? Will we ever see the full uncut version? I can't believe the censored footage (I've seen it on UK TV) would get anything above an R.

    [warnerbros] We plan to release THE DEVILS at some point soon.


    Let's hope "some point soon" doesn't mean another year.[​IMG]
     
  13. Anthony*B

    Anthony*B Stunt Coordinator

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    I can believe the censored footage would EASILY get The Devils slapped with an NC-17, especially in today's (ahem) rather "moral" climes [​IMG]
     
  14. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Yeah, if Warner releases it (unlikely, notwithstanding the statements in the chat) it will almost certainly be the old US cut. The blasphemous imagery would be far too much for the delicate sensitivities of today.
     
  15. Anthony Thorne

    Anthony Thorne Supporting Actor

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    Warner put the unrated TRUE ROMANCE out on DVD, so I can't see an NC-17 being an unsurmountable big deal. Likewise, the hillbilly rape in DELIVERANCE, crucifix masturbation in THE EXORCIST and extreme bloodletting in WILD BUNCH are all examples of strong material in Warner titles. Finally - and I think this point beats out most others - would Warner even bother to release a shorter cut of the film to an audience of fans who by-and-large are waiting solely for some sort of restored cut? As Film Comment recently said about THE BIG RED ONE, extended back-to-the vault restorations are happening with greater frequency now because they've proven to be popular sellers on DVD. Warner will sell more copies of their upgraded Peckinpah titles when they finally come out because of the 'special' extras, restored scenes and time spent on making the discs worthwhile. Given the philosophy there I can't see a half-hearted shorter cut of THE DEVILS being worth anyone's while - for the studio, or for collectors. If they put out a restored DEVILS with a Russell commentary I'd be happy to buy it. If they brought out the shorter cut (with, I don't know, an 'extra' like Russell on an alternate track saying things like "This sequence is missing some stuff - we found the footage last year but unfortunately it's not in this version") I don't think I'd be motivated to go near it. They should make at least some attempt to do it right or not bother. Finally, if Blue Underground can casually put out a nuns-in-trouble title like KILLER NUN (alongside the extreme material in EMANUELLE IN AMERICA, FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE and FAREWELL UNCLE TOM), whilst ArtsMagic preps a box set of the Japanese Nikkatsu titles for mainstream release, and Criterion cohort HVE hypes next month's glossy box of the HANZO THE BLADE movies with a full colour cover shot of an assault matched with the name 'Hanzo' in goofy red phallic typography - all without anyone really batting an eyelid - I doubt anyone will blink if THE DEVILS comes out with a couple of extra scenes. Would the deletion of a couple of minutes from THE DEVILS really change the minds of any conservative groups already predisposed to disliking the movie? Would the easily offended even bother to buy a shorter version of the movie on disc when they'd still find the subject matter disagreeable in any case? If Warner finds it worthwhile to put out a shorter, no-frills release of THE DEVILS I'd be surprised. If it's coming at all, someone must have some hopes of making some money back off it, and the logical way to do that is to put the recently rediscovered footage back into the movie in the expectation that fans and the curious will then want to buy it.
     
  16. Anthony*B

    Anthony*B Stunt Coordinator

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    Anthony, I think you give Warners too much credit...True Romance was a fluke & I'm pretty sure they now have a pretty strict "nothing harder than R" policy....
    they are CERTAINLY not comparable to smaller companies like Blue Underground who can often slip under the radar...you just don't tend to see Emmanuelle In America at Wal Mart mixed in with the Warner discs [​IMG]
    I certainly HOPE I am wrong, & I would buy The Devils even if it wasnt the full cut just for the PQ and such...
    & for the record I don't think those hanzo flicks are NEARLY as "offensive" as something like The Devils would be to the right-wingers today...the Devils actually has a MESSAGE that they feel is dangerous ( hysterically presented though it may be)
     
  17. Anthony Thorne

    Anthony Thorne Supporting Actor

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    Perhaps.. I think the 'message' in THE DEVILS is still largely present in the shorter cut (the longer cut rams it home) and if anyone finds the message in the film offensive itself, the shorter cut wouldn't mollify them.

    Just as a quick aside - and this is SOLELY MY OWN OPINION, folks - a funny observation occurs to me at this point in the thread. I'm no fan at all of dogma and right-wing sponsored censorship myself, but I recall archetypal lefty Richard Neville (who co-edited OZ magazine in the UK among other things) eventually bemoaning the violence in Greenaway's THE COOK, THE THIEF and others like it. Meanwhile, there's a hardline right-winger over at the DVD Maniacs forum who fits the mold yet simultaneously adores Deodato's CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, one of the most violent and excessive movies ever. I consequently have to pause for thought before ascribing all censorship of stuff like THE DEVILS to the right, and wonder if the converse could also hold true - some lefties perhaps bemoaning Russell's 'exploitative' treament of women whilst a few conservative stockholders ponder the extra bucks to be made via a quick sale to the right market. THE DEER HUNTER is a Warner title out as a SE in the UK but not the US - maybe a Region 2 DEVILS would find a more favourable market.

    I dunno, and as I remember THE DEVILS has some fairly excessive 'Oliver Reed as Jesus' scenes (just prior to Vanessa Redgrave's hump making a grisly cameo onscreen) you have to wonder what some people unfamiliar with the movie would make of it. All that said those people would probably never watch the movie in the first place and it's the savvier film fans who should first jump to grab a restored SE. Then again, 'controversy' does sell...
     
  18. Anthony*B

    Anthony*B Stunt Coordinator

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    you hit the nail on the head with just about everything you posted there, Anthony....the left is sometimes just as guilty as "the right" when it comes to misplaced "moralism"...just read the review of The Devils in Phil Hardy's Encyclopedia of Horror Films to read a "leftist" review of the film that is so absurd it's laughable...
    I love HT Forum by the way...what a great place to be able to talk & discuss such esoteric subjects!
    I DO think a region 2 Devils SE is our only hope, sadly....set region-hacked players to stun baby! bring it on!
     
  19. Malcolm Cleugh

    Malcolm Cleugh Second Unit

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    I was one of the audience at the BFI (British Film Institute) screening in London last November.
    This featured a restored directors cut with the scenes cut from the UK release reinstated. As it was a special one off screening not sure if they would get a rating and hence be allowed on DVD in the UK.

    The event was chaired by the film historian / documentary maker Mark Kermode and included a Q&A with Russell which he chaired. This was filmed so could go on the DVD.

    The question of a DVD release was not answered directly, but it was hinted that the new version of the film would get a wider audience so this may imply theatrical release at film festivals etc or a DVD.
     
  20. Anthony*B

    Anthony*B Stunt Coordinator

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    you are a lucky guy Malcolm! I would love to see it on a big screen!
     

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