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Just Before Dawn (1981) Poster

Alternate Versions

Interglobal Video released a cut version with most of the explicit gore removed. The uncut version was released by Paragon Video.
Although the cinema version was uncut the 1986 UK MIA video was cut by 7 secs by the BBFC to edit a scene where a man is stabbed through the groin with a machete and the blade emerges from his back. The cut was waived for the 2005 Odeon DVD which also features an additional 9 minutes of dialogue scenes.
A recent play.com exclusive of the film released on dvd in 2006, includes a different cut of the film with scenes not shown iN other releases (video quality is awful though).
Despite the various release through the years, there are three main versions of the film. 1: The US VHS release from Paragon (1980s). This is still the most complete version of the film to date. Also it was considered completely uncut until very recently with the release of a UK dvd (see below). 2: The US region 1 two disc DVD set from Shriek Show - this disc is a cut down version of the film. All the footage in this version also appears on the Paragon video tape (minus a number of scenes). Shriek Show used the best print they were able to obtain (widescreen with a second disc of extras) for their release. 3: The UK region 2 DVD (originally a play.com exclusive, now available at all major retailers) released by Odeon entertainment (pal format) is also a cut down version of the film. However, it contains many small scenes/dialogue that do not appear in any known prior US/UK version of the film. The film used for this UK release is in bad shape and its original source is unknown
There are exactly 7 differences between the US region 1 Shriek show dvd and the older US video tape by Paragon. Unless otherwise noted the Paragon tape 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 on the shriek show DVD. 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 Shriek show 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 shriek show 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 on the Shriek show DVD. 6. The first few seconds of Daniel walking in the graveyard is cut down on the shriek show DVD. 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 on the Shriek show DVD. The shriek show 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.
The 2006 UK DVD released by Odeon Entertainment features an alternate version of the film. This has 9 extra minutes never in any US version. What is listed below is a comparison of the DVD with the US Paragon tape as that is the longest edition released Stateside. Everything on here does not appear in the US version unless otherwise noted. Although not always listed, quite a number of music cues are missing or different between the UK and US scenes 1. After the credit "directed by Jeff Lieberman", we see two brief seconds of the woods and an extended opening scene when it shows the cabin/church. 2 More dialogue appears in the church before Ty (the hiker) goes outside the door 3 Huge amount of extra footage appears when the campers are going up to the camp site. The US version edits this scene very differently 4 When Warren goes outside to check for the hit deer, the scene is extended 5. When they get to the camp site, getting out of the camper and the first few seconds at the waterfall are extended 6 After the first visit to the waterfall, extended footage of them walking 7 Extended footage during camp fire and added audio effect not present in US version (you can actually hear the sound the campers react to. In the US version they just turn their heads in the direction of the noise you cannot hear). 8. The next morning, Warren walking towards Connie by the waterfall is extended 9. Extended footage when they see Merry Kat (Mountain girl) singing by the waterfall 10. Crossing the rope bridge is extended and adds music not in the US version 11. After crossing the rope bridge, extended footage of them going down the hill to the bottom of the waterfall 12. UK version cuts out the entire sequence of when the killer goes into the water and grabs Megan. The UK version cuts back into the middle of the camp fire party 13. Extended footage of them dancing at the party 14. Extended footage after the Mountain family shoots the radio 15. Slight extra footage during breakfast the next day 16. Slight extra footage when Merry Kat runs from Jonathan in the woods 17. Extra footage of Merry Kat running away when Jonathan is on the rope bridge 18. Jonathan trying to climb up the rope has a point of view shot that appears in the US version and not the UK. 19. Jonathan falling back into the water: splash extended and this goes into extra footage of Warren and Connie by the river (US version goes directly to Daniel in the graveyard instead) 20 Extended scene when Warren and Connie discuss how Jonathan could have died 21. UK version cuts down the Mountain family beating Merry Kat after the Ranger's visit. The UK version then cuts back into when Connie is already standing after hearing the deer whistle
The German/Berlin region 2 DVD released by CMV laservision (2007) is the same as the US region 1 Shriek Show DVD (even down to some of the same film noise in spots), however it offers the machete through crotch scene completely uncut unlike the US shriek show disc which shows an edited down version. The rest of the minor scenes that are missing from the shriek show disc (mentioned above this in another paragraph) are also missing from this CMV edition as well. As a bonus the CMV version offers most (but NOT all) of the alternate footage that only appears in the UK version (Odeon entertainment) DVD of the film as an extra

See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Connections | Soundtracks

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