Sunday, July 5, 2009

THE BEASTS - Nasty 80's Hong Kong

Look at this beauty:

This is the UK VHS of The Beasts, also known as Flesh and the Bloody Terror. After viewing the trailer for this I got a Cannibal Holocaust and Last House on the Left vibe! And people confirmed that it was somewhere up that alley.

In just a few seconds I got obsessed with this movie, like I do with almost all Asian rarities! The only way you can see it uncut is on the Dutch and UK VHS. On the Flesh and the Bloody Terror version there are XXX inserts (which the director didn't shoot for the film), but the violence is cut. So if you are lucky enough to get the UK or Dutch VHS you should buy it. I will be getting a DVDr copy of the Dutch VHS in a few days, thanks to a Danish fella who started this craze at his Blog and at Avmaniacs.

Edit: It seems that dialogue is cut from the Flesh and the Bloody Terror version, not any of the gore scenes.


Lyle U:

''Regarding "uncut" versions of THE BEAST, the Hong Kong theatrical print was not as graphic as the dubbed, export print. I'm pretty confident about this. The o-o-p LD and the recent DVD are identical. Both are taken from theatrical prints, with subtitles burned into the prints. The longer, more graphic export version was released with an adequate English dub in the U. K. Like many Hong Kong films from the seventies and very early eighties, nudity and graphic violence trimmed for domestic release was often left intact for export.

I'm fairly certain that Dennis Yu never, ever shot XXX inserts for the film. It's not entirely beyond some Hong Kong distributors to insert hardcore shots, though. I won't defend Vomit Search of Mihammy, but I know of one occasion where an older Hong Kong film was rechristened and padded with hardcore insert shots by distributors. There's a print of the Chow Yun-fat drama THEIR PRIVATE LIVES that was rereleased after the success of A BETTER TOMORROW, and it played the territory's raincoat cinemas, complete with crudely photographed hardcore penetration shots. I'm not sure if Goldig Films, the original production outfit (still in business, by the way!), did it themselves but I doubt it. So maybe it is possible that the VSOM print was taken from a repurposed rain coater version. With VSOM it's not beyond the realms of imagination that they'd play with it. I haven't seen their version, nor do I want to contribute to their "business," by paying for the displeasure to find out.

So, it's not "uncut," with the hardcore inserts. It's actually a tampered version. Because the dubbed export print was released with more graphic footage I think the an argument can be made that it is closer to Yu's original vision.''


''It is the original Hong Kong theatrical print (This version). I'm certain of this. It's identical to the print on the old laserdisc. it does not contain any crude splices nor redux editing. It's an actual theatrical print, with burnt-in subtitles. I don't have it next to me, but it only features Cantonese audio, if memory serves correct.

The dubbed export version is more explicit. Clearly it was shot that way and I'd venture to guess that it was what Dennis Yu had envisioned from the start. It seems doubtful that he or his producers would say, "hey, let's shoot these scenes in two versions. One for the locals and one for foreign markets." Given how small Teddy Robin's production company - at the time; he participated with other companies later on - was (I think it only produced a couple of films, like COPS AND ROBBERS, for example), and given how the Chinese language print was edited: I think they realized that they had to shorten the rape sequence in order to be able to release the film. At that time there was no CAT. III option. Tsui Hark had similar problems at that time, with DON'T PLAY WITH FIRE. He had to dramatically restructure his film just to be able to get it into theaters!

I will give credit to Teddy Robin's production company for keeping the export version at maximum strength.

With all of this said, I think the cuts in THE BEASTS Hong Kong DVD are unfortunate, but not detrimental. I think it amounts to BBFC style cuts, with "ten seconds here, " "five here," "a shot here, etc." They were not done after the fact, but clearly exist in a finished, theatrical form here. I have no idea if the film was released in Taiwan, but if it was I would imagine an even more compromised version.''


Jack J said...

About the cuts:
The version of The Beasts that ran in the HK cinemas was cut.

The English dubbed export version that was released in Holland and on pre-cert vhs in the UK is uncut.

The "Flesh and Bloody Terror" version (sometimes called "Flesh and Bloody Horror") has extra HC porn inserts but I'm pretty sure all the gore is in there as well. I've never sat down and compared the two versions but I'm sure it's dialogue scenes that are missing, not gore.

Patrick B said...

Ah, ok! I thought it was gore scenes.

Bah, now I have to edit. I hate editing! Hehe.

Jack J said...

Don't bother. Readers are dumb they'll never notice. XD

Patrick B said...


But I would like to give the correct info, so I made a little edit at the bottom of the post.