View Full Version : "Return of the Living Dead" DVD now up for pre-order at BlackStar

02-07-2001, 09:21 PM
It seems as though the original classic is now up for pre-order (as Sex Gore Mutants said it would be):


SGM also has more info and a cover shot available in their "News" section:


It comes to just under $20 US. I like the cover and am glad they stuck with the classic poster art, but this "original aspect ratio" claim worries me. This disc is coming from Tartan who previously released a matted LD (which was supposedly rather dark as well). This film's OAR is 1.33 full-frame, so unless the disc is full-frame they are not correct in that claim. I hope they do the proper thing and release an unmatted version with a new, clean transfer.

Just FYI, this will of course be PAL - but is R0. Only extras are a trailer and filmographies. Again, this is courtesy of the SGM news page.

Tartan is also releasing "The Ring" on the same day:


This will be anamorphic widescreen and I've heard it's a great film.

And coincidentally enough, BFI Films is also releasing "Salo" on the same day:


Of course, I don't think I can recommend this one as much as the other two - but at least I won't be preaching morality... ;)

02-07-2001, 11:15 PM
So, will Salo and the Ring be Region 0 also?

02-09-2001, 12:09 AM
Does anyone know if this R2 release is going to be the totally uncut version of the film? If not I ain't going to bother with it.

02-09-2001, 02:11 AM
From what I hear it's identical to the past UK VHS and LD release. If so, that would mean it's identical to the US theatrical release.

02-09-2001, 06:48 AM
And is the US Theatrical Cut an uncut version of the film?

I have only ever seen rental versions of the film and do not know if it is cut to any degree. More information would be appreciated guys.

02-09-2001, 12:19 PM
I suppose it depends on how you define "uncut". Apparently there's a workprint of Return of the Living Dead that contains additional footage. If that footage was cut by the director then I'd say the US theatrical is "uncut". If that footage HAD to be cut to get an R rating then I'd say the US theatrical is "cut".

Someone else on the forum may know more.

Mark Relford
02-09-2001, 04:23 PM
To my knowledge, the ROTLD workprint doesn't contain any extra gore. It features additional characterization, extended scenes, and a different ending. (Note: There's an extended scene of Ernie embalming a corpse, but it's far from gruesome.)

The extra footage was cut out by O' Bannon for a quicker pace, but I might be wrong.

02-09-2001, 09:23 PM
Matt - Both RotLD and The Ring are being released by Tartan as R0 PAL (according to SGM). I'm not sure about Salo though. BlackStar almost always lists pre-orders as R2 - even if it doesn't end up being an R2 disc - so you can't judge by their site.

This RotLD R2 disc is supposed to be the uncut theatrical version (which is the longest official release ever put on video to date). It will run about 87 minutes PAL - which is equivalent to the approximately 91 minute NTSC runtime we're used to in the US. The BBFC has not touched it:

http://www.bbfc.co.uk/website/Classified.nsf/ClassifiedWorks/336F5D1 739E485E18025660B0033C2D0?OpenDocument (http://www.bbfc.co.uk/website/Classified.nsf/ClassifiedWorks/336F5D1739E485E18025660B0033C2D0?OpenDocument)

My biggest worry is that this will just be a dark, faded, letterboxed release like Tartan's past LD. That actually mattes out intended information. It's especially annoying to matte out the ground in graveyard scenes... I think the UK release also has some alternate music.

There is a truly "uncut" 108 minute version with extra footage (non-gore, as Mark said), but this has only ever been available as a hideous quality bootleg workprint. You can see all the differences here:


The cuts were made to get near the magic "ideal" 90 minute mark. Having seen the workprint, it certainly wasn't a certification or pace issue. I thought the extended ending was superior - but it does "feel" different (like a documentary) from the rest of the film, so it was a logical cut. In all fairness, none of the cuts hurt the film in any way. I give credit to the editor.

Mark Relford
02-10-2001, 01:31 AM
I prefer the theatrical ending over the extended one. Russo's novelization features a similar take on the "documentary" ending and I wish they would've filmed it.

In the book, three defected spies who are responsible for the missing drums are celebrating the Louisville aftermath in the outskirts of Moscow. They talk about the contaminated soil being stored in railroad cars in South Dakota and the terror will happen again.

Here are some interesting alternate scenes from Hackmaster's book:

Freddy and Tina finding their buddy, "Sunshine" dead from a heroin overdose, which makes them go cold turkey. Freddy decides to get a job at Uneeda.

Ernie working on a dead banker and his wife, Morton and Helen Dowden. (Car crash victims.)

Suicide doing the nasty with Trash (Legs in the book.) on top of a grave.

Tina catching up with Frank and Freddy outside of the funeral home. Frank gives her the keys to the warehouse.

Morton and Helen coming back to life. Helen
puts Scuz in a choke-hold and chomps his brain.

Chuck gets his groove on with Casey at the warehouse.

The gang burns up the bodies of Morton and Helen at the crematoriun. Helen laughs at them while burning.

Trash stays dead.

A twitching finger drops on Burt's lap

The tarman meets a kinder fate. They drop a home-made net on the walking oil slick and lock him in the office.

Frank joins the ghouls and attacks an officer.

Burt and the gang calls the Colonel on a outside pay phone. Uneeda's phones are dead.

Russo's book is worth checking out, if you can find it.

Al Sex Gore
02-10-2001, 02:00 AM
Hi gang,

Yeah, both 'Ring' and 'Return of the Living Dead' are both Region 0 Pal.

You'll be pleased to know that 'Return' is the uncut theatrical version and it is NOT going to be matted into a widescreen version.

So, kudos to Tartan - I've found that they really are listening to us horror fans when it comes to such releases.

And sadly there was no work print available for them or they would have used it in some way.

Alan http://www.sexgoremutants.co.uk

Roll on March 19th !!

PS. Region 0 Pal users - don't forget to check out the great 'Zombie Holocaust' disc out in the UK from Stonevision (check out our Review) - and NTSC folk can still kick back to Dragon's tasty disc !

02-11-2001, 02:17 AM
Thanks Al. That's great news. Glad this should only be a month wait - especially after the RotLD3 incident...

I know in the past Tartan has released this letterboxed on both VHS and LD. Did they actually get a new print for the DVD (hopefully color corrected and cleaned up)? I certainly hope they are not cropping the sides off their old letterboxed print to get it to 1.33.

It's too bad they didn't try to hunt down the workprint. It sounds like the guy running the http://members.tripod.com/uneedamed/ site could have given them the workprint plus a gag reel, storyboards, and loads of artwork. I really would have loved a full blown SE.