Darragh O’Connorcialis serif;”> looks at fan cuts of films to see it they’re undoing mistakes or making new ones
pilule serif;”>It’s said that a “Director’s Cut” allows the true vision of the director to be realised. These are usually backed by the studio and are considered mainstream, buy cialis even canonical. What most people may not be a aware of is the other practice of editing films, dubbed “recuts.” These often present a new film entirely.
Clive Barker’s Nightbreed is one of those films, that has achieved cult status, despite being a huge flop. This grand departure from Hellraiser was Barker’s attempt at a “Horror fan’s Star Wars.” The studio gutted the film, cutting more than an hour from the running time, and then packaged it as standard slasher film fare. Twenty-two years later, a film that claims to repair Barker’s vision has appeared. Russell Cherrington, supervising director of Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut, at this year’s Horrorthon discussed this process: “it is a composite of the theatrical cut and a VHS tape containing the missing footage that [was] found in the office of Clive Barker.”
The Cabal Cut is a richer film. It is everything that the cult fans wanted. However the story is still rather nonsensical and falls apart in the third act with the wacko-like assault on the Midian. With a running time over two and a half hours, the movie is far too long and most of the third act’s additional scenes are of terrible quality. Due to their VHS tape origin, it has a drastically negative effect on the film. Cherrington stated that this was “the sixth attempt at it.” There is a good film here, but not everything needed to be included.
Highlander II: The Quicking is so bad that not even Sean Connery managed to save it. Considered the “worst sequel ever” director Russell Mulcahy was shafted and not totally responsible for the 1991 version. Due to an unbelievable financial situation while shooting on location in Argentina, the value of Argentinian Peso unexpectedly plummeted and left the production broke in a matter of days. This forced the studio to piece together a film from the material that they had already shot.
Mulcahy tried to repair his film. He renegotiated film rights, re-edited the scenes, and even rehired the actors to shoot new footage. This resulted in a film that is eighteen minutes longer, called Highlander II: The Renegade Version. It is a vast improvement, the nonsense is removed and it is a sequel to the first film instead of just a random isolated event – from the standpoint of a sequel to Highlander, it is perfect.
Star Wars Episode I.I: The Phantom Edit is a re-edited version of StarWarsEpisode I: ThePhantomMenaceto “create a stronger film than what was released by GeorgeLucas“. The changes in this edit include removing most of Jar Jar Binks‘ scenes, limiting the discussion of midi-chlorians, trimming the politics, and removing “yippee” and “oops” from the young Anakin‘s dialogue to give him stronger character. There were a total of 18 minutes cut from the original film, reducing the run time from 136 minutes to 118 minutes. Though unauthorized, this film is highly praised as it is an overall less offensive film, and much better than that of Lucas.
Where is the line? Mike J. Nichols just made minor cuts to The Phantom Menace, while Mulcahy literally reconstructed his film from the ground up. Should these be accepted as legitimate, or even worthwhile? I believe that this is a helpful practice, as it highlights what can be done with a perceived “bad” film through masterful editing. The moral of the story is that not everything that can be put into a new cut, should be. The Cabal Cut – are you listening?