Film Censorship: Sudden Death (1985)


 

 

 

 

Sudden Death

Directed by Sig Shore / 1985 / USA / IMDb

In April 1986, a 2468.70-meter (90:14) print of SUDDEN DEATH was banned by the Censorship Board.

In May 1986, a longer 2483.00-meter (90:45) print was also banned.

September 1986 saw SUDDEN DEATH banned for a third time, this time in the form of a censored 2423.00-meter (88:34) version.

In September, and again in October 1986, a heavily censored 2358.98-meter (86:13) print was passed with an R-rating. It was awarded for:

Violence
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

Sex
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

In all of the above cases, SUDDEN DEATH was banned because of 'gratuitous sexual violence'. Reid and Puskar was the applicant.

 

 

Censored VHS

In January 1987, Hoyts Distribution had an 86m videotape of SUDDEN DEATH passed with an R-rating. It was awarded for:

Violence
Frequency: Frequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

Sex
Frequency: Infrequent
Explicitness/Intensity: Medium
Purpose: Gratuitous

The censored 82:32 (PAL) tape was released by RCA-Columbia-Hoyts Video.

 

Sudden Death (1985) - RCA Columbia-Hoyts Video [au] VHS

 

 

SUDDEN DEATH: The censored scenes

Thanks to Simon for this review and screencaps.

UNCUT Vestron Video [us] – 89:44 (NTSC) = to 86:09 (PAL)
CENSORED RCA/Columbia- Hoyts Video [au] – 82:32 (PAL)

SUDDEN DEATH is a standard rape –revenge movie starring Denise Coward, the former Miss Australia. Apparently, she came second in Miss World 1978.  As you can see from the cuts that I have identified, the film has been trimmed of not only the sexual violence, but also Valerie’s revenge against the men. In the UK, where it was re-titled DIRTY HARRIET, the 1987 Vestron Video tape lost 02:32 at the hands on the BBFC.  

The times below refer to the uncut Vestron Video tape.

 

THE INITIAL RAPE

Before – Thug #1 has Valerie pinned down in the back of the taxi. He shouts to thug #2 (the driver) "Hurry up and find some place man"

CENSORED at 07:10 to 08:52 – Thug #1 hits Valerie twice, and asks her where her cash is. She gives him her purse, but he is unhappy with the amount. She says, "That’s all I have". He hits her twice more.

 

Sudden Death (1985) - Australian Censored Scene #1

 

The scene cuts to Valerie’s fiancé waiting and looking at his watch.

Valerie scratches the thug's face. He fights back, rips open her top to expose her breasts, and puts his hands around her throat. In between a couple of cross cuts to the waiting finance, thug #1 rapes Valerie. Eventually thug #2 drags her out of the taxi, and dumps her in the gutter.

 

Sudden Death (1985) - Australian Censored Scene #2Sudden Death (1985) - Australian Censored Scene #3Sudden Death (1985) - Australian Censored Scene #4

 

After – The taxi drives away, leaving Valerie behind.

In the Australian tape, it is obvious that something has been censored. It is made to look like the thugs just pick up Valerie, threaten her in the back of the taxi, then immediately dump her by the side of the road.

 

 

VALERIE'S REVENGE #1

Before – A guy from a bar forces Valerie to go back to his room. He pushes her through the door.

CENSORED at 29:52 to 30:28 – He hits Valerie and she falls to the floor. He then gets on top of her and pulls up her skirt. She fights back, and slaps him twice.  He says "Fucking bitch".

 

Sudden Death (1985) - Australian Censored Scene #5Sudden Death (1985) - Australian Censored Scene #6

 

After/Before – Valerie says, "Please don’t hurt me. Don’t beat me anymore". She then tells him she will have sex, and moves to the bed. He begins to open his shirt, and Valerie grabs the gun from her bag.

CENSORED at 31:06 to 31:28 – Valerie shoots him several times in the chest, and he falls back. She sits on the bed looking on. This is inter-cut with a couple of shots of his dead body on the ground.

 

Sudden Death (1985) - Australian Censored Scene #7Sudden Death (1985) - Australian Censored Scene #8

 

After – Valerie in the shower

 

 

VALERIE'S REVENGE #2

Before- In the back of a van, Reggie tells Valerie to get undressed. He then says, "Baby, you shouldn’t walk around [inaudible] like that".

CENSORED at 38:22 to 39:09 – Valerie replies "Like what!" Reggie gets out his knife, exposes her shoulder, and cuts it. Valerie screams. He licks the knife. Valerie cries, and then regains her composure. She says, "Are you excited?", and moves towards him.

 

Sudden Death (1985) - Australian Censored Scene #9Sudden Death (1985) - Australian Censored Scene #10

 

After/Before – Valerie kisses him, and says, "You get undressed so we can get off together. I’ll screw you to death". She turns away, pulls the gun from her bag, and shoots.

CENSORED at 39:38 to 39:53 – Reggie is shot in the chest.

 

Sudden Death (1985) - Australian Censored Scene #11

 

She then turns and shoots the driver in the head. He falls away in slow-motion, and eventually lands on the horn.

 

Sudden Death (1985) - Australian Censored Scene #12Sudden Death (1985) - Australian Censored Scene #13Sudden Death (1985) - Australian Censored Scene #14

 

After – DJ in a radio studio reporting that there has been another murder.

 

 

VALERIE'S REVENGE #3

Before – Valerie shoots the black taxi driver. He falls backwards out of the door of the taxi to the ground.

CENSORED at 49:26 to 49:27 - The final moment when he hits the ground have been removed. There is also a slight cut before this when Valerie is shooting the driver. However, it was so brief that I was unable to identify it.

 

Sudden Death (1985) - Australian Censored Scene #15

 

After – Valerie preparing herself a drink.


 

 

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