What's new
Signup for GameFly to rent the newest 4k UHD movies!

Is there a legal way to make a family-friendly DVD from THE DEAD ZONE? (1 Viewer)

Dick

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
9,947
Real Name
Rick
Here's the thing:

THE DEAD ZONE is a very fine film that would have made an A+ PG-13 film had one short sequence been omitted, having to do with a pedophile murderer and his eventual gory suicide. The whole sequence is like a dropped-in afterthought (even though it is included in the King novel), and the film would not only flow more smoothly without it, it's omission would allow for a much more family-friendly presentation. It isn't a necessary sequence. Plenty of less-graphic scenes well establish the hero's newfound clairvoyance. It could be cleanly removed starting with Tom Skerritt's coming to Christopher Walken's home to compel him to help him solve a recent child murder, and ending with a perp suicide that is so graphic that it doesn't fit in an otherwise very restrained movie. I've always been disappointed that David Cronenberg felt he had to go so graphic for a few seconds, thus requiring an "R" rating. The remainder of the film contains hardly any "adult" language and absolutely no graphic violence.

I "own" the movie and am wondering, first, if it is legal to create a modified version of a film for one's own library (this falls into that gray "personal back-up" area with regards to copyright) and second, if yes to the first question, is there software that would allow me to make a copy that would remove that sequence and burn that copy for playing on a DVD player, thus making it far more digestible for my family who would love to see this film but for that one sequence.

No, I totally don't believe in censorship, so don't flame me for that, please. And you might suggest that my intended audience wait until they are older and can watch the movie in its entirety without controversy rather than circumvent a film as released in theaters (and in this case, well-reviewed). I've been on this forum since 1999 and you'd think I would know the answers to these questions, but this gets into nebulous territory. Perhaps an inquiry directly to Paramount would be helpful, except that the studio would be likely to answer based on its desire to prevent any and all copying of its product rather than on whether or not legal exceptions exist.

Anyway, I doubt this process is even possible without spending a fortune, but I think Mr. Cronenberg would have had a much more financially-successful film had he removed about five minutes from his film. Movie scripts drop sub-plots from their source materials all the time, often improving on them. I submit that this would have been one of those times.
 

RichMurphy

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 15, 2005
Messages
894
Location
Somewhere, VA
Real Name
Rich
The scene you mention, along with the brief flash of female breasts and the use of the "f"-word (as detailed by IMDb) may have been intentionally inserted to assure an "R" rating. It was likely assumed that a PG-rated Stephen King adaptation would be considered too tepid for horror fans.

While the MPAA has five ratings, only three are assumed to be "usable". I gave up when the film version of ANNIE got a "Parental Guidance Suggested" rating, since the "G" rating is assumed to be the kiss of death at the boxoffice.
 

WillG

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Messages
7,572
Not an expert in these matters but it sounds like if it was just for personal use and you're not selling your version that it falls under fair use. Even if not, I doubt anyone would be breaking down your door.

On a personal note, although you've explained yourself, I just can't fathom the cuts you've suggested. Even without that one scene of gore, there are still other questionable moments. For example there is a brief snippet of female nudity of the Killer's victim (as well as the suggestion of rape). The visions Johnny had of the burning house (poor fishy) and the future fate of the youth hockey team are pretty frightening even if they don't contain any graphic imagery. I assume you're referring to your kids as the audience. I would suggest to judge whether they're mature enough to handle the movie unaltered or wait to let them see it.

I guess as for why Croneneberg needed to go "R" well, for one, he's Cronenberg who was known for doing films with graphic content. Also it was a King story who was primarially known for Horror in those days. A more "tame" version might have dissapointed audiences.
 
Last edited:

Winston T. Boogie

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
Messages
11,791
Location
Agua Verde
Real Name
Pike Bishop
To go directly to your question I was under the impression that as long as you are not using the film for public showings you can do whatever you want with it in your own home. So, I think you can make as many copies as you want for your own personal use and you could, of course, edit the film if you so desire. One odd but excellent instance of somebody doing their own cut of a major motion picture and then putting it out there for public viewing was Steven Soderbergh doing his own cut of Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate...which he posted on the internet. Not sure how he was able to do that or if he got permission but I believe since he did not do it for profit and it was sort of for educational benefit only it may have just fallen under fair use.

I don't know if you need to go to the trouble of editing the film couldn't you just skip over the section/s you want to skip? With the DVD or blu-ray that should be pretty easy.
 

Rick Thompson

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 1, 2008
Messages
1,866
You can do anything you want with it, and make as many copies as you want for your own use only. The minute you give one away — unless you give him/her every single copy and you retain nothing — you're violating copyright law.
 

Worth

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
5,266
Real Name
Nick Dobbs
I believe it's technically legal to make copies for personal use, but illegal to break the DRM copy protection found on discs and legitimate downloads, so it's something of a grey area.
 

Dick

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
9,947
Real Name
Rick
To go directly to your question I was under the impression that as long as you are not using the film for public showings you can do whatever you want with it in your own home. So, I think you can make as many copies as you want for your own personal use and you could, of course, edit the film if you so desire. One odd but excellent instance of somebody doing their own cut of a major motion picture and then putting it out there for public viewing was Steven Soderbergh doing his own cut of Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate...which he posted on the internet. Not sure how he was able to do that or if he got permission but I believe since he did not do it for profit and it was sort of for educational benefit only it may have just fallen under fair use.

I don't know if you need to go to the trouble of editing the film couldn't you just skip over the section/s you want to skip? With the DVD or blu-ray that should be pretty easy.

No domestic Blu-ray yet, unfortunately, but I might order the UK that has a commentary and hope that the chapter stops would allow me to cleanly bypass that one sequence while leaving the rest untouched.

Thanks to all for your thoughtful replies.
 

Ferdinand Hudson

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
211
Location
Sweden
Real Name
Ronnie
No domestic Blu-ray yet, unfortunately, but I might order the UK that has a commentary and hope that the chapter stops would allow me to cleanly bypass that one sequence while leaving the rest untouched.

Thanks to all for your thoughtful replies.
You're probably thinking of the Australian (sold on Amazon UK), there is no actual UK BD release of the film at the moment.
 

smithbrad

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2013
Messages
2,052
Real Name
Brad
I've actually done this many times over the years for my kids. It is not difficult to do. I use software I've purchased for various aspects of it but there may be some free-ware ones as well. Just PM me if needed. People can say what they want to about the integrity of the original film, but when it comes to one's children a parent does what they think best. I've even (some will shudder) edited out certain aspects of Disney films when needed. Now my kids are 10 and 14 so they no longer watch the one's i edited, but when they were much younger it was the way we chose to go.
 

Mark-P

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2005
Messages
6,518
Location
Camas, WA
Real Name
Mark Probst
It's perfectly legal to do what you are proposing, however it is illegal to discuss how you accomplish it on this forum! :D
 

TJPC

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2016
Messages
4,843
Location
Hamilton Ontario
Real Name
Terry Carroll
Don't forget each country has different laws. I find the TV edit is the best one if available, and a movie has been on regular TV.
 

David Norman

Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2001
Messages
9,650
Location
Charlotte, NC
The Region Free 1080p AUS SE is available in the US from a few sellers for $22-23 (Deep Discount, Blowitoutahere).
Deep Discount has a 15% code BAYWATCH (exp Noon CT Friday) for now so you could get it a little under $20 if you have enough to
make a $25 FS order.

Walmart for around $24. Most of their online product is now being handled by Alliance/Shepherdsville like everyone else now.

$30 at AmazonUS, AmazonUK not selling it directly though some 3rd Parties are

jbhifi you can order directly for $18 more or less. If you can get them to remove the GST/VAT aftewards (hit or miss in my experience) that should get it to $16 shipped. Wait for one of their 20% off sales and even cheaper.

Unfortunately it looks like Bullmoose isnt' carrying it though they do have plenty of AUS titles.
 

MatthewA

BANNED
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2000
Messages
9,727
Location
Salinas, CA
Real Name
Matthew
I'll get back to you on this when I'm done making a G-rated version of Pink Flamingos. Oh wait, John Waters already did.


While the MPAA has five ratings, only three are assumed to be "usable". I gave up when the film version of ANNIE got a "Parental Guidance Suggested" rating, since the "G" rating is assumed to be the kiss of death at the boxoffice.

The underpants, profanity and violence* pushed that up to PG. That and Annie kissing Molly on the cheek after a nightmare probably had something to do with it. A year after that, Disney could do full male nudity in Never Cry Wolf and get the same rating. Flash forward to today, and Wonder Woman gets a PG-13 without showing as much of Chris Pine as Carroll Ballard could show of Charles Martin Smith!**

*Making a hypocrite out of Mrs. Jensen in the video store in Serial Mom when she asked, "Haven't you had enough violence, Chip Sutphin?" before returning her unrewound copy of Ghost Dad. In the original DVD commentary John Waters talked about "killing the song [Tomorrow]", yet the song outlived the technology.
**Who were you going to get if you couldn't get him, Charles Nelson Reilly?
 
Last edited:

TonyD

Who do we think I am?
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 1, 1999
Messages
24,381
Location
Gulf Coast
Real Name
Tony D.
I don't get it.

One why would you want children to watch a movie that you think needs censorship.

And why not just dont show them a movie that you feel needs to be censored and let them watch it when they are at an appropriate age.

Also my parents took me to plenty of movies when I was under 10 that
may be considered inappropriate for the age I was at the time I'm a relatively normal person.

So point is I don't get it. Don't show the movie or just let them watch it.
 

TonyD

Who do we think I am?
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 1, 1999
Messages
24,381
Location
Gulf Coast
Real Name
Tony D.
it's omission would allow for a much more family-friendly presentation.

This is the part of you post that bugs me the most.

This movie isn't meant to be a family friendly experience.
 

Dick

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
9,947
Real Name
Rick
Disney could do full male nudity in Never Cry Wolf and get the same rating. Flash forward to today, and Wonder Woman gets a PG-13 without showing as much of Chris Pine as Carroll Ballard could show of Charles Martin Smith!

The seven or so members of the MPAA, each member representing a studio, has never earned its keep. These typically stodgy old farts rather arbitrarily decide who can or cannot see this movie or that, which today is absurd, since any kid of any age with two fingers and a keyboard can watch these films at home with no one blocking their view. There are so many double-standards in the association's decision-making that it's downright laughable and, ultimately, a terrible means by which parents decide what to allow for their kids.

Try to rent a copy of THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED (2006), which is carried by Netflix. It is a very revealing documentary about the history of the association, and it names names.
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Sign up for our newsletter

and receive essential news, curated deals, and much more







You will only receive emails from us. We will never sell or distribute your email address to third party companies at any time.

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
357,293
Messages
5,134,973
Members
144,345
Latest member
BennettKarina
Recent bookmarks
0
Top