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Here’s Why We’ll Never See the Gruesome ‘Event Horizon’ Director’s Cut

Released in 1997, Paul W.S. Anderson’s hellish space horror flick Event Horizon is a favorite of ours here on Bloody Disgusting, and we know we’re not alone on that. We’ve written about the film a handful of times over the years, and each article we write inevitably gets replied to with the same comment…

WHERE THE HELL IS THE DIRECTOR’S CUT?!

For those who aren’t all that familiar with the project’s creation, a much longer and more gruesome cut of Event Horizon was initially screened for test audiences, who were downright repulsed by the graphic horrors on display in the film – according to legend, some audience members even fainted during the infamous screening.

Paramount agreed that the so-called “director’s cut” was way too brutal, so they commissioned a new cut that excised some of the carnage. And that’s the version we’ve all seen.

According to Wikipedia, “Known deleted scenes include a meeting scene between Weir and people in charge of the mission in which they discuss Event Horizon, some dialogue of which remained present in the theatrical trailer; more backstory for Cooper and Justin, including a stronger explanation for Justin entering the black hole; a deleted backstory of the relationship between Starck and Miller; additional scenes explaining what the gateway to hell/black hole is; Miller finding a tooth floating in Event Horizon, a longer version of the scene in which Peters hallucinates that her son’s mangled legs are covered in maggots; a scene in which Weir hallucinates that Justin turns into his wife Claire; a bloodier version of Weir’s wife Claire’s suicide; a longer version of the scene where Miller finds D.J’s dead body with his guts on the table; and a longer version of the “Visions From Hell” scene during Miller’s final fight with Weir with more shots of Event Horizon crew being tortured.”

After it became a cult hit on home video, the studio wanted to re-release the film with some of the excised footage put back in, but to date we’ve never seen the full Director’s Cut of Event Horizon. And in a new interview with Crave Online, Paul W.S. Anderson reiterated what we have long feared: it’s just never going to happen.

He explained to the site:

There was a lot more that was shot that isn’t in the movie. But you’ll never see the messed up version because we made Event before the kind of DVD revolution. You know, DVD ushered in this era when you had to have additional footage, deleted scenes, things like that. There was no call for that back when we were just doing VHS cassettes and LaserDiscs. So the material just wasn’t archived very well. And since the movie became a big cult classic, Paramount have asked us to come back in and do different versions; we looked for the material, and it just doesn’t exist.

So that’s that. Sorry folks. We’re as bummed as you are.


81 Comments
  • Elizabeth

    That sucks. Maybe we’ll get lucky and some day they’ll find it squirreled away in a PA’s attic.

    • Saturn

      Yup – hopefully he also has a pristine print of London After Midnight too.

  • With some of the movies they’ve recovered director’s/producer’s cut footage for–movies made in the 80’s before DVD was even dreamed of–I have trouble believing there’s NOTHING to be able to reassemble the original cut from.

    • zombie84_41

      legit. It has to be prob to much work or money and they dont’ wanta do it cus its a hassle.

    • SeanCC

      If the original negative is damaged there’s not much that can be done.

      • nd4spd

        .jfh

  • They said that about Nightbreed. HAVE FAITH.

    • I was thinking the same exact thing.

    • zombie84_41

      Ya seriously and looked how that turned out. Maybe if us fans keep bitchin or do a petition maybe we will get it. It has to be out there.

  • DJV1985

    Gonna reveal my weak stomach here but I’ve never actually been able to watch this the whole way through. I like that it’s a scifi horror and that I get why people love it but as soon as the nasty parts happen I always give up which is hilarious for the other people watching with me who scream things like “Oh god, Dan you gotta look at this. What the heck is up with his face?” so I’m left looking in the other direction lol but maybe one day…

  • Sam Beckett

    Sure he’s just not interested in going back to a film his wife didn’t star in. Also why would PWSA ever do something anybody would want to watch?

  • Nahuel Benvenuto

    test screenings and audiences are retarded

    • zombie84_41

      Seriously.

    • Forca84

      No kidding. Think of how many movies had interesting stuff cut out because of test screenings.

  • Rohan

    I love Event Horizon! Such an awesome space horror movie. Sucks they can’t find the brutal stuff, stupid audiences.

    • zombie84_41

      Ya if this was japan we would of gotten it.

  • zombie84_41

    “WHERE THE HELL IS THE DIRECTOR’S CUT?!”

  • Creepshow

    Has anyone else ever noticed the “eyes” at the top of the screen, in this scene? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8246e873062a31856d3b9a11b6c551a741dd2006dfe9a0c372c4f0ef5be087b5.jpg

  • RKSDooM

    I am quite sure that I have read – from the effects artists on AVP, maybe? – that Paul Anderson has a habit of claiming that the studio cut things from his movies in order to cover his ass when he gets called out on the plot holes in his scripts.

    Specifically, I seem to recall that Anderson kept claiming that the reason that the lifecycle of the ALIENS is ridiculously fast in AVP was due to some sort of hormone that the Predators were injecting into the Queen, and for whatever reasons the studio made him cut the scenes that explained this. After he repeated this story over and over one of the crew came forward and denied that was true.

    With that in mind, I’m a bit skeptical that this “so scary people shat themselves to death” Director’s Cut of EVENT HORIZON actually exists.

  • Meatwad

    So we don’t get our ‘Director’s Cut’ because some pussies couldn’t handle it? WTF that sucks.

    • David Andrew Baros

      Did you read the article? That excited footage was not carefully archived- it’s not usable.

      • The Fucked Up

        The Director’s cut allegedly WAS the theatrical cut, so Meatwad read it right. If the test audience hadn’t been 15 year old girls we would have gotten a proper version.

        • David Andrew Baros

          Sorry, but that does not make a bit of sense. Read what you wrote… see the problem?

  • aFriendlyAgenda

    I know why I’ll never see it

    It starts with a “P”,
    and ends with a “aul ws anderson”

    • The chicken man

      Event Horizon is a classic. You are missing out!

      • David Andrew Baros

        I think aFriendlyAgenda meant the Director’s Cut version.

  • David Andrew Baros

    “Damn, that really sucks…… ” I say in my whiniest voice aloud! I was really hoping this cut would’ve come to fruition. Bummerrrrrrr!

  • Laurie Lynn

    It’s ashame really. I saw it when it originally came out, and it was pretty tame by my standards. I always figured there was more to it than that, and unfortunately those lost scenes are what keep a rather mediocre horror film from being a great horror film

    • zero2815

      Exactly what I was thinking.

    • DezzNutz

      I found it was a scary movie overall, but I also thought they cut out a lot of the gore. They didnt show much, scenes looked like they were cut short to lesson the gore, like when they finally found the archived video of what happened to the previous crew

  • Fester B. Gone

    Test audiences are pusswads.

    • The Drucifer

      They almost always grab the people who would never be interested in the film anyway. It’s very bizarre trying to capture general audiences with niche cinema.

      • Fester B. Gone

        I’ve heard that they actually grab people off the street with bribes of $40 and free food. no wonder they don’t care at all to give actual criticism.

  • SeanCC

    That’s BS. The whole deal with extras, special editions, extended director’s cuts, that originated on the laserdisc format. These people simply didn’t archive their materials, didn’t think anyone would want it, didn’t have the money, are likely careless with the rest of their library too, or a variety of other reasons but to say it’s because things were different before DVD is to lie, perhaps cynically counting on most of the audience not knowing any different.

    • DarklingMagick

      Yet we have extended cuts of things like Highlander, the director’s cut of Nightbreed, Blade Runner, ect…

      • SeanCC

        The first of these that I ever bought, before even owning a laserdisc player, was the brushed metal look, CAV boxset of T2, which was released in 1991 or 1992, and represents the best looking picture of an standard-def release of the movie, including the DVDs. In 1993 the “Special Edition” CLV box was released which offered the more-is-sometimes-just-more extended cut as well as the behind the scenes material that was also included with the previous CAV box.

        There were boxsets for The Abyss, with extras, Aliens, Alien, Jurassic Park, PHANTASM (including 24ct gold CD of the score), Evil Dead 2, DUNE, 1941, 2001, you name it. The Criterion Collection alone.

        Meanwhile, Event Horizon is a film from 1997, which is only a couple years before the decline of laserdisc as the premiere cinephile’s format.

  • DarklingMagick

    And yet they were able to find the original cut of Clive Barker’s 1991 Nightbreed which looks incredible.

    • wedellbudwhite

      And who long did that take?

  • Mike Leeder

    Yes Paul because nobody has ever heard of audio commentary, deleted scenes, directors cuts, promo materials etc before DvD? So the various Laserdisc and even select VHS special editions of movies somehow passed you by?

    • Brandon MisterJuicy Alexander

      dude calm down.
      a LOT of people didnt anticipate what formats 10 years in the future would be.
      this is a very understandable situation.

      • Mike Leeder

        Thanks ‘Dude” but if anyone needs to calm down, perhaps its you? My comment is not about people not having any idea of future formats, my comment as are several other peoples, with regards to his comment implying that until DVD and Bluray nobody ever considered bonus features for movies, thats all…I like Anderson’s work and his commentaries etc for his subsequent movies, and as so many studios and film-makers save their earlier cuts, alternate edits in some form etc, i am surprized he didnt…

        • Yes. Exactly.

          Blade Runner. Legend. Aliens. And so many others way before Event Horizon come to mind.

          • Kane Leal

            Sure, but those were higher budget movies, from bigger studios, with prestige directors, and they archived stuff. This was one step up from an indie film. I wish it were available too, but I don’t see a point arguing with the facts as stated. It’s not like any of us can go and find the material in those archives, if it does exist, which I find unlikely.

          • lostboy408

            “One step above an indie film”

            Those are pretty strong words for a $60 million studio film from the nineties

      • Vicente Garcia

        This was his third film ever and the studio didn’t have much faith in him or the movie. He didn’t have much control over the final edit, let alone control enough to ask for deleted scenes and commentary and such.

  • Mik Crone

    Probably to do with money and creating a buzz. Morgan Creek claimed there was no Nightbreed footage for years then all of a sudden look at our new restored Nightbreed.

    • DezzNutz

      Some footage is lost, only to be found later. Other footage is outright destroyed/recycled.

      Its just the way it was back then

  • Wyatt

    Would love a directors cut! But i cant complain seeing as i love the final product… SAM NEILL IS GOD!!!!

  • James Allard

    Doesn’t it seem odd that when they run things past a “test audience” they ignore web sites like BD? Or any of the other horror sites? (Certainly existed at the time…) If I had made a film that I thought was decent etc., and it was genre specific… why wouldn’t I approach the very people that would be most likely to see it (and thus make money)? The era of “broadcasting,” in the terms of reaching as many people as possible, is all but dead anyway, why not lean towards the fans?

    • Tiger Quinn

      If they existed at the time they were completely unknown at at best boards that wouldn’t have much affect on the real world. The problem was this: today a spaceship that goes to Hell would almost seem passe, but we’re a culture now that’s been steeped in decades of sci fi and fantasy. Our minds are a bit more open. Back then this was seen as just way too out there and gross.

      • James Allard

        It was indeed, which is why, when I heard of it, ran to get a copy. Now on my third, 1st was a VHS that went the way of all tape, 2nd was a disc that vanished or was loaned and never returned. The one I have now was double purchased because I knew my son in law is a huge fan… may as well pick up 2, so I did just to save time and effort. He was stunned, he’d forgotten (it happens… I guess) and could not believe it when he saw it.

    • Jarek Draven

      Its weird today, yes. 20 years ago, not so much. Because the internet wasn’t QUITE the cultural phenomenon that it is today. Computers were more expensive. More people were getting them at that point, but not everyone had one. Today damn near everyone has access to the internet, with the advent of cheap smartphones. But 20 years ago that was not the case.

  • dsxy

    Bs excuse, he just can’t be arsed as he’s to busy making shit RE films for his talentless wife.

  • Buddy Repperton

    Another film that BD needs to revisit is John Landis’s Innocent Blood aka A French Vampire in Pittsburgh. This under rated film was basically Goodfellas meets An American Werewolf in London. You got Robert Loggia, many actors from the Sopranos and Goodfellas, Tom Savini, Angela Bassett, Chaz Palminteri, Kim Coates, Sam Raimi, Forrest Ackerman, Frank Oz, Don Rickles, and Linnea Quigley in a horror/black comedy that is set in Romero’s Pittsburgh and has subtle nods to John Carpenter’s Halloween (the horror movies playing on all the tvs). I know hard core horror fans that have never even seen it or barely know about it.

    • Mark B

      One of my favorite vampire movies that is truly brutal, awesome, and fun. I agree in that I’d love to see more of this.

    • Dan Warren (Forgottenretroworl

      Wow, what a cast. Haven’t seen it in years but I do remember Dario Argento in it as a paramedic.

  • sliceanddice

    The making of this is on youtube and they go into some detail about how / why it was all cut and why it will never see the light of day. worth a watch if you’re a big fan.

  • horrormaker

    in some ways, i can believe this. Rob Zombie said the same thing about House of a 1000 Corpses. The footage is just gone. On the other hand, we have had, director’s cut on VHS of The abyss, Aliens, (i know, James Cameron) and other films. Move Channel had a directors cut of Lawnmower Man back in the early 90’s. That hasn’t even come out. So who knows?

  • horrormaker

    Didn’t we even have a director’s cut of Hellbound: Hellraiser 2, on VHS?

  • horrormaker

    even Alien 3 had a director’s cut. And the movie was better. That came out before EH.

    • Craig Stephen Tower

      There may be a second version of ALIEN3 available, but David Fincher will be the first person to tell you it ain’t no “director’s cut”.
      But I get your point. Many films HAVE been restored… but it wasn’t considered mandatory to save footage.
      Example: There’s a ton of behind the scenes stills showing deleted scenes from the 1982 CONAN THE BARBARIAN, but when John Milius put together a Director’s Cut for DVD release, most of it was gone (largely because Milius had edited the film twice before it’s initial release, and had discarded a lot of footage fairly early on). Milius has noted that he wasn’t interested in putting that stuff back in the actual film anyway, but it would have been nice to include some of it in the bonus features.

  • horrormaker

    Maybe the company Paramount. They just don’t keep the footage around. Does anyone know of a Paramount film that is a director’s cut. This might be the same for Lion’s Gate?

    • General Consenses

      Most of the Star Trek films. There was a Wrath of Kahn director’s Cut on bluray.

  • Jason Chocianowski

    I don’t believe all that footage was destroyed or recycled, This is the 90’s who destroys footage from a motion picture? It’s around somewhere, just put it together add a commentary boom- blu-ray sales thru the roof. count me in!

    • F. This

      I heard a thing from goodbadflicks that some of the footage was found in a salt mine in Russia….I think. I trust Cecil would not bring this up without some amount of proof. If so, HOW THE FUCK DID IT END UP IN A SALT MINE?!?

      • BeoWulfe

        I’m sure it wasn’t just found buried by itself in a salt mine, lol. Probably a warehouse facility converted from old salt mines. Excavated salt mines are commonly used for storage because the conditions are near perfect for preservation of paper and film. The original film negatives of The Wizard of Oz, for example, are stored in an old underground salt mine in Kansas.

    • Vicente Garcia

      Literally the only existing footage of the cut stuff is a) on a bad VHS tape that Anderson currently has, or b) from the salt mine footage. AKA it’s all so badly scratched up that they’ll never cut it back into the movie. We got to see some stuff on one of the DVD releases, but a true HD blu-ray of a directors cut will never happen.

  • Jay

    In 1958–38 years before Event Horizon was filmed and 39 before its release–Orson Welles directed and starred in the classic film about a sadistic border sheriff, Touch of Evil. During post production, Welles saw the project seized from his control and butchered by the studio. He wrote an impassioned letter requesting the restoration of the excised footage. A few years after Event Horizon came out, a DVD featuring Welles’ cut of the movie came out, giving current audiences their first chance to see the masterpiece as intended.

    Now Anderson claims lost footage wasn’t preserved when Evdnt Horizon was being filmed. The legendary Orson Welles would passionately disagree.

    • zid

      Welles is a special case. The footage was subject to a court battle and the footage stored in a vault while the court case dragged on. Event Horizon was not subject to a court case. The footage was likley treated like most footage was and in many cases still is. As trash meant to be tossed in order to save money on storage and prevent unscrupulous persons from using it in competing studios films.

  • Forca84

    I really dug this movie. Bought it on video in 2002. On Bluray last year. It sounds silly but back in 1997 when I was younger the movie really messed with me. I’m talking scared to go to sleep and nghtmres.

    A shame we can’t get a proper director’s cut. But I guess that’s Hollywood. If I had my way all the gory bits from “F13” films would be restored to pristine condition.

  • Josh Tucker

    Bullshit lies… I don’t believe for a moment that the footage no longer exists.

  • M. Park

    So at best it’s another Exorcist 3 type situation where they’ll say the footage is gone for decades…then maybe, we’ll get a rough version from scraps when they finally locate enough footage.

    Or at worst – it really is gone.

  • GonzoG

    That movie woke me up for weeks afterwards.

    The Director’s Cut would probably see me in Therapy!

  • RIB

    I’d kill everyone on this page to see the EVENT HORIZON directors cut. lol.

    • hiiiiii

      get help

  • Raul Calvo

    This is so oooold news. Anderson already talked about this when the special edition DVD was released.

  • TonyR

    Probably as with all things, the numbers were crunched and the cost of restoration was higher than the profit estimate.

  • Ricki

    Go to youtube and you can see the Hell torture in slow motion.

  • DaJuan Hayes

    I didn’t enjoy “Event Horizon” very much to begin with. It was like “Hellraiser” in outer space, with a lot of scenery-chewing by Sam Neill and Lawrence Fishburne.

  • Valak

    The MPAA gave the original 135 minute long version an NC-17 rating. 30 minutes was removed to get an R rating. I would give anything to see that original version.

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