random thought barf, which I just attempted to post on netflix: (2,008 characters it seems…):
This is one of those rare movies that is completely transformed by it’s director’s cut.
the theatrical cut is a sloppy mess, but the director’s cut is genius held back by low budget filmmaking.
watching the 30 minutes of deleted scenes on the DVD really doesn’t work. You need to watch them integrated (only possible in the ancient VHS release?). Almost every scene in the movie has had beginning and ending bits chopped off to avoid references to the excised opening scenes.
in the director’s cut, the chimp isn’t randomly shot while escaping the lab (which makes it seems like a pointless distraction). No, he actually succeeds in escaping and turns up at Job’s shack. Job is traumatized when cops and coporate stooges turn up and surround his shack, eager to shoot the chimp he has befriended. He meets pierce brosnan’s character for the first time amidst this mess, and they both refere back to it throughout the film as Dr. Angelo turns Job into his next test subject. Job’s final line “a backdoor ha ha ha!” carries much more weight when you realize he was referring to the failings of his cheap shack/former-life (in the excised scene, he keeps crying over the fact the he doesn’t have a backdoor to help the chimp escape).
blah blah. there is also a more interesting bit of business where Dr. angelo outsmarts and physically attacks some corporate muscle, which makes him seem a more interesting and dynamic hero.
and there is more background on the people Job chooses to torment once he gains his powers (and more murders? It’s been a while, but I can’t recall if Job’s telepathic attack on the gas station bully, or his pyrokinetic attack on the priest are in the theatrical).
in the end the theatrical cut feels like an excuse for random imagery, slapped together by idiots. The director’s cut feels like a layered mixture of Flowers for Algernon and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.
I hesitate to rate it 5 out of 5 stars, only because I’m unable to make the distinction between these two wildly different cuts.
I think the theatrical cut only kept the telekinetic killing of Peter’s father with the lawnmower. there’s a loss of symmetry when you only show him using one of his powers to murder? instead of a holy trinity of powers? (ugh. i go too far in say in that).
anywho. thought it would be interesting to note that the film was originally called “cyber god” and stephen king’s short story was sutured clumsily into it thanks to the insidious geniusidiots at New Line Cinema. (More Info)
… I also have this strong memory that there is a scene where Dr.Angelo and Job are driving, and Job says something like “what happened to the chimp isn’t going to happen to me. heh. right?” but in the theatrical it was chopped and poorly dubbed with something bizarrely wrong for the scene. hmm.
wish i could find my old VHS. sighhhhhhh.
(wish they’d release the director’s cut on bluray. nudge nudge.)