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Old 01-24-2013, 05:53 AM   #1
Werewolf Vixen
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Has The Prowler (1981) R rated version ever been released on VHS?

Has the R rated version of the film ever been released on vhs in the U.S.? I'd love to see it, to see what was edited and how the cuts affected the scenes. But I haven't been able to find any concrete information. Were the old VCII vhs releases in various covers the unrated version or R rated? Please let me know if the R version can be found anywhere. Thanks.
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:17 AM   #2
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Has anyone ever seen this version before? It's the Astal release from Canada, and apparently is the R rated version. And just look at that cover art. The MPAA would never let something like that pass today.

http://vhscollector.com/sites/defaul...rs/prowler.jpg


It's amusing how posters could be a bit explicit back then, even while the MPAA was cracking down on explicit content in film. Meanwhile it's flipped today where posters are sanitized in the extreme, but more is allowed through in R rated films and such.
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:58 AM   #3
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Yes, the Canadian VHS on Astral video is the R rated cut
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:47 AM   #4
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Amazing. The company is located at 720 King Street West... that's just down the street from me lol.

Awful choice of photo for the back of the box... they're setting up the damn FX shot!
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:10 PM   #5
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Lol @ 720 King Street West.

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Old 07-15-2014, 05:26 PM   #6
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I remember renting the R-rated cut once....

I was already a fan of the film, only seeing the uncut version before. The uncut version I drove about 50 miles out of town just to get from this single, large video store. This was around 1990. I remember I got THE PROWLER, DAY OF THE DEAD and FANGORIA'S WEEKEND OF HORRORS... all back in the days when independent stores still ran strong (and re-releases of movies were never even thought of). Of course I copied them all and kept for home use, but somehow I taped over THE PROWLER a few years later.

Finally around 1995, I happened upon another independent rental shop. This one was smaller, but run by an English married couple who had their own chain of stores in the UK since the early 80's. They claimed to be one of the original pioneers of the rental business in UK, and branched into Canada around 1986. These guys had LOADS of tapes... everything you could imagine. The original Wizard release of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE... Ruggero Deodato's CANNIBAL (JUNGLE HOLOCAUST)... just everything you could imagine that wasn't at your local Blockbuster.

Anyhow, they had THE PROWLER with it's old faded black & white cover art, and of course I grabbed it. When I got home it was another story. The bloodiest parts were cut out! I quickly realized that it was an R-rated print (might even have said so on the cassette sticker). The scenes I remember missing were really around the swimming pool scene... they stood out most because those scenes were also in FANGORIA'S SCREAM GREATS: TOM SAVINI tape. I pretty much stopped duping it and never gave it another thought. When Blue Underground released the film on DVD, I bought it day 1. The bluray release makes it even more striking... with very nice colors and resolution (I understand some people describe this film as boring, but I'm in love with every frame on bluray). Both the DVD and Blu are of course, uncut.

Now 20 years later, I'm starting to understand why anyone might want to see a cut R-rated print of a film... they're relics of a time past! Just like Media's R-rated print of DAY OF THE DEAD, they're timecapsules of a period when censorship was overtly concerned with gore and violence... they're the TRUE lost versions of films in today's "Uncut & Remastered" timeperiod.

I fully support those hunting for old R-rated prints of films... they're a Special Feature all in themselves!
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Last edited by RickMoe; 07-15-2014 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:11 PM   #7
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You want to see an awful R-rated cut of a film for nostalgic purposes? See if you can locate the original R cut of Suspiria. It's unbelievably horrible. I'm curious to know if this was the cut that was released in US theaters because if so, I'm blown away that the film was so successful.

It's cut very much like the R-rated cut of The Burning: Jump cuts, jumps in audio/music, and the colors are so washed out that there's virtually no point. Reds are now brown, blues are now grey, greens are now snot-yellow...

About 10ish years ago, we had a paid station here in Canada called Scream TV and they'd air a lot of classic horror films, promoting that they were uncut and commercial free. Crock o' shit. They showed the R-rated cut of Suspiria and I almost wanted to throw a brick at the TV.
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:39 PM   #8
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Hey. isn't that the killer on the back??
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:25 AM   #9
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Another thing I'm wondering about the film and the R rated version. Was it released theatrically R rated or unrated? Or was it released in both versions? I've heard conflicting reports of people seeing it uncut and gory as hell, and then seeing it again only to find it heavily cut in the gore department. So I'm curious about it's theatrical release history.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RickMoe View Post
I remember renting the R-rated cut once....

Now 20 years later, I'm starting to understand why anyone might want to see a cut R-rated print of a film... they're relics of a time past! Just like Media's R-rated print of DAY OF THE DEAD, they're timecapsules of a period when censorship was overtly concerned with gore and violence... they're the TRUE lost versions of films in today's "Uncut & Remastered" timeperiod.

I fully support those hunting for old R-rated prints of films... they're a Special Feature all in themselves!

I've heard about the Canadian releases of Day of the Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2 being heavily cut. I've never ran across a copy though, being in America and all. But I'm curious if their is any way to tell which version of the Media tapes is the U.S. or Canadian release from the packaging itself?

I do wish both versions of a film were included once uncut releases come about. Since just hearing about the issues a film faced with the MPAA makes one want to see exactly what the results were to the film itself, rather than just hearing about it. At least it does for myself!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shlockjock81 View Post
You want to see an awful R-rated cut of a film for nostalgic purposes? See if you can locate the original R cut of Suspiria. It's unbelievably horrible. I'm curious to know if this was the cut that was released in US theaters because if so, I'm blown away that the film was so successful.

It's cut very much like the R-rated cut of The Burning: Jump cuts, jumps in audio/music,...

About 10ish years ago, we had a paid station here in Canada called Scream TV and they'd air a lot of classic horror films, promoting that they were uncut and commercial free. Crock o' shit. They showed the R-rated cut of Suspiria and I almost wanted to throw a brick at the TV.

To be fair, Fox owns the U.S. rights(maybe even Canadian) to Suspiria, at least the R rated print. They released that version theatrically, and it's the only version ever shown on T.V. so far, since they own the T.V. rights as well. And it's the only version ever shown at theatrical revivals again since Fox still has those rights.

Also only the opening murder sequence is really badly edited in the R version, the cuts being so obvious and jarring. The other cuts later on were fairly minor, and some make no sense other than for pacing(the blind piano player has a few of his scenes cut, though it was stupid to have these moments cut).

Another fun to me thing about older R rated prints of films now available uncut/unrated. Is seeing just how heavily some films were cut compared to today, where the unrated versions are not a huge deal since mere frames in most cases were missing(with rare exceptions).

Last edited by Werewolf Vixen; 07-16-2014 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 07-16-2014, 05:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Werewolf Vixen View Post
I've heard about the Canadian releases of Day of the Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2 being heavily cut. I've never ran across a copy though, being in America and all. But I'm curious if their is any way to tell which version of the Media tapes is the U.S. or Canadian release from the packaging itself?
I never ran across an R-rated cut of TEXAS CHAINSAW 2, but yes the Media VHS of DAY OF THE DEAD was R-rated (at least in Canada). Video Treasures released the film uncut on VHS, and the distinction between the two (besides the distributor's logo) was the direction Bub was looking on the front cover. One had him looking to the left, while the other had a flipped image of him looking to the right.

The big noticable thing on the Media R-rated version though was a tiny, horizontal sticker placed on top of the text that said the running time. The sticker was placed to cover up the 100+ minutes and instead read "90 minutes / R-rated"... something like that.

The hack job that turned DAY OF THE DEAD into an R-rated version was legendarily bad... they literally just cut parts out of the movie... even the music cues were cut. An example would be like this.... Rhodes holds the gun to John Amplas head... he cocks the gun... his hands squeeze, about to pull the trigger... then CUT... Amplas is on the ground and you only hear the left over echo of the gun blast (not even the actual blast). It was that terrible!
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:42 PM   #11
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I had a Canadian VHS tape of Drive-In Massacre, and it was completely cut. Like, shredded. Hard to watch.
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