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By Film Threat Staff | September 19, 2002

We just got this email recently from filmmaker Maurice Devereaux in regards to the treamtment of his film “Slashers” by those hosers in Toronto. Check it out –
I’m really disappointed about Canada, listen to this…
“Slashers” is coming out on September 24th in the US with my director’s cut, unrated and uncensored, on both VHS and DVD under the FANGORIA PRESENTS label, with the DVD being a class act job, with a beautiful 16/9 widescreen, enhanced transfer, director’s commentary, 55min making of documentary, Chainsaw Charlie interview, deleted scenes, trailers, and more…A DVD on par with the quality of major releases. Great news…
Now get this, the Toronto based company 49th Parallel (who produced the excellent “Ginger Snaps,” which makes what’s coming all the more sad) have branched out into film distribution with a label called Kaboom and have acquired the English Canada rights to Slashers from the US distributor, but instead of releasing the same version, they have had the film CENSORED, to get a US, R rating.
Now this new R rated version would have done Chainsaw Charlie proud! WHAT A HACKING JOB! I’ve never seen such butchering (pun intended!) They’ve cut almost all the gore out!!! (2min 20 sec worth!) and created in the process, huge gaps of logic! Music ends mid-note, characters are alive then PRESTO, they are already dead!?!?!! Not to mention that my whole continuous, one take approach is out the window!
Not only that, they have SPENT EXTRA MONEY to re-encode the already mastered 16/9 DVD, with the inferior 4/3 pan and scan, censored version. And in the process, got rid of the director’s commentary (to avoid strange gaps of silence, where I stop talking every time there’s a murder!)
So of course when I heard this, I contacted them immediately to try to convince them of the inherent silliness of releasing an almost goreless film called “Slashers,” that would be a rip off to all Canadian horror fan who would buy or rent it.
Now their reasons for doing this are simple, but I feel, very misguided. They believe the ratings boards of the individual provinces will not accept the film unless it has a US, R rating…And that it would cost too much money and take too much time to have it be rated by each Province individually…
Well I don’t know where they got their “facts’, and they may be right…But then why does every videoclub across Canada (including Blockbuster and Rogers) now stock many unrated horror films (“Evil Dead 1-2,” “Dawn of the Dead,” “Re-Animator,” “Suspiria,” “Phenomena” and tons more!). It seems to me that this whole ratings thing is a joke and the kicker is of course, THAT MY FILM IS CANADIAN AND WOULD NEED A US RATING TO BE SEEN IN CANADA!
This hurts even more coming from a Canadian company that calls itself EDGY on their website…Well they just took the edge out of my film, and most frustrating, perhaps for no reason…
Luckily Quebec will not be getting this version for now, the film will play uncensored theatrically in Montreal at Cinema du Parc on Sept 20-21 at 11:30pm and the 26 at 9:50pm, then we’ll have to wait to see what the distributors from France will unleash here in Quebec, but I’m 99% sure it will uncensored. Even England is releasing it uncensored in October, and they used to be kings of horror films censorship! Well that crown now belongs to English Canada!
Just wanted Canadian horror fans to know, I went to bat for them, I tried my best…But legally I couldn’t do anything, they have the rights and can do what they want…
Kindest regards, ^ Maurice

We’ll have a review of “Slashers” soon!

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