If you're like me, you were desperately awaiting the DVD release of "Return Of The Living Dead." And though it's wonderful to see it with improved video, sound, and a nifty little featurette, I can't help wondering: why did they stop there? Couldn't they have given us more?
The answer is: yes, they could have. There's a "Workprint" version of this movie that's been floating around for years, and it has over 20 minutes of additional material on it. Some of the scenes are untrimmed, some of the dialogue is pre-looped, and many of the takes are alternates from those that actually ended up in the film. There are even a few scenes that didn't end up in the movie at all, including a different ending.
Since MGM scrimped on the bonus material -- and O'Bannon's commentary on the DVD was sparse, except for the finer points of operating a rain machine -- I'd like to give the fan a detailed description of the differences between the Workprint and the released version. I don't have the ability to do screenshots from a VHS tape -- and few of the scenes are visibly different anyway -- but I've included sound bites of some choice dialogue that's unique to the Workprint.
As an aside, the finished movie is MUCH better than this rough Workprint. Disregarding the fact that few of the effects shots (and none of the music) are on this version, I can't help agreeing with whoever edited it down: much of the stuff was deleted for a good reason, either because it didn't work, it ruined the pacing, or it was simply unnecessary. But some of us like to know as much as we can about our favourite movies. This information is for you!
For convenience, I've broken the movie into four pages, with a total of 62 differences worth noting between the Workprint and the released version. Click on the links to hear the relevant audio clips. Please note that I did this comparison mostly from memory -- if I had to watch it one more time to do a confirmation, I'd go totally insane -- and there are many other differences between the films that I haven't noticed...these are just the most obvious (and interesting) ones.
PS: No, I don't know where you can find the Workprint nowadays. Sorry!
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