Sunday, March 27

Just Before Dawn (1981) - 1983 Paragon Video Productions VHS

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Here's a well known tape to most collectors that I felt should have a proper scan available online. The brouhaha that erupted over Shriek Show's DVD release was palpable amongst this foundational slasher's fans back in 2005 despite its excellent supplements. That long awaited special edition re-release ended up being edited rather extensively unbeknownst to the DVD distributor. Much like their (far more) edited disc of Bill Herbert's Warlock Moon (1975). To complicate matters further, a now out-of-print British DVD from Odeon Entertainment features a version with a healthy amount of footage not seen in both this stateside VHS or DVD release.

From the IMDB, spoilers: "There are exactly 7 differences between the US Shriek Show DVD and the US VHS from Paragon. Unless otherwise noted, the Paragon VHS shows the full uncut version of the film. These are as follows: 1. The Shriek Show disc cuts right into the film with the "Doro Vlado" credit on the screen. The Paragon tape shows a few extra seconds of the woods before this as it slowly pans to the right and then the "Doro" credit appears. 2. Vachel's death scene (machete through crotch) is cut down by roughly 3-4 seconds. The Paragon tape shows this scene fully uncut. 3. When the group reaches the campsite by driving ("that's it folks, end of the line"), the DVD cuts out two seconds at the end of this scene before the next shot of them exiting the camper occurs. 4. The scene where Megan and Jonathan are playing together in the water (by the waterfall) is cut down by 6 seconds on the DVD. 5. When Jonathan is kicked back into the water by the killer (later on in the film) his splash back into the river is cut down by two-three seconds. 6. The first few seconds of Daniel walking in the graveyard is cut down. 7. The scene right after the Ranger picks up Merry Kat on the horse and we see Connie sitting by the fire is cut down. The DVD starts Connie's scene about 1 millisecond before you hear the whistle in the woods. The Paragon tape shows her sitting and staring into the fire for a few seconds first and then you hear the whistle."

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