Ah, the famed Director’s Cut, often a lame marketing gimmick to get people to buy more DVDs and Blu-Rays – who can forget all those “Unrated” editions of crude comedies with footage that “was too hot for cinemas!” – and sometimes a necessity for a director to aptly convey their vision of the movie they made. Studios often wrangle projects away from directors such that their original idea for a film can be mutated in subtle yet nevertheless impactful ways; these releases can often restore agency to a filmmaker, but they can equally also prove that a director has become too big for their breeches.
So egregiously bad are these 10 director’s cuts that they seriously impact on the film and in effect turn a bonafide classic into something considerably less enjoyable; meaning is altered, subtlety is eschewed, and tone is in some cases completely shifted. If this is truly what the filmmakers intended, then I think I’ll stick with their accidental excellence the first time around.
Here are 10 Director’s Cuts that ruined awesome movies.
10. Bad Santa
Terry Zwigoff’s Bad Santa was one of those surprising little comedies that came out of nowhere with little-to-no expectations and was actually one of the funniest films of 2003. Zwigoff’s own Director’s Cut is three minutes shorter than what we saw in cinemas, beginning by excising Billy Bob Thornton’s opening monologue, which helps us sympathise with his character while also mining his various misfortunes for laughs.
Essentially, this is a far darker, more serious film – if it’s possible to make a film like this serious – changing the tone from an outrageous comedy to a relatively depressing character study; think of it like The Wrestler but with a mall Santa. The original film worked so well because it was a perfect collision of sombre undertones and comic overtones; to see these positions essentially reversed makes for an intriguing but vastly inferior mix that pleases probably nobody except Zwigoff himself.
This article was first posted on December 30, 2012