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UltraViolet: Rough Cut vs. Studio Cut

 Film Comparison by Psyclops

I'm sure most of you will be going to see ULTRAVIOLET this weekend. I just got back from a showing here in Los Angeles and I figured I'd start a thread discussing the various differences between the cut that was screened last February, which I had the opportunity to see, and the finished product. Some of the changes are pretty insignificant while other scenes changed the way the film was structured. I'll list as many as I can remember either way. The rough cut of the movie ran about two hours in length while this new version clocks in at 88 minutes. There will be spoilers contained within so please tread carefully.

The Beginning

The opening narration is a bit different in the finished version. In the rough cut, Violet explains that "Hemophagia" was an aberration that spread like wildfire, turning humans into vampires but not the kind you've come to expect. The Hemophages would become stronger and faster than normal humans but they wouldn't feed on blood. They did grow fangs and constant blood transfusions were required to keep themselves alive, but their lifespan would also be significantly shortened once they became infected. Death would come ten years from the point of infection for anyone who contracted HPV.

Various Bits

When we were first introduced to Violet it was mentioned that she was living in the last few days of her life. I believe she had a little over 24 hours before she was supposed to expire.

The scene where the detectives are investigating the attack on the blood lab had a bit more dialogue, mostly a few lines where a seasoned cop berates a younger officer for using the term "vampires" to describe the Hemophages.

I don't recall there being an electrical discharge when the swords or various items are pulled out of the dimensional pockets (flat space). The shot where the cop pulls out a sword from the chest of a dead Hemophage and then slides it back in looked and sounded nastier in the rough cut without all the sound and visual effects.

There was also a few more snippets of dialogue in the scene where Violet, posing as the courier, is trying to gain access to the weapon developed by the humans. We see her clothes change into the color of whatever room she's in and when asked by one of the lab technicians if she has any more questions, she replies, "What color is the next room?"

The fight that takes place after Violet's cover is blown was originally extended. The sound effects of bones breaking and people screaming in pain are missing. Also missing is a scene where Violet punches a guard who is wearing the translucent body armor. Her first hit does nothing so he taps his chest and says, "Shatterproof armor, bitch."

Violet responds by hitting him harder and knocking him backwards, shattering his chestplate.

There's also some dialogue missing from the guards who slide into the room with the stun batons. Something along the lines of "Wait! She's armed!", followed by Violet pulling the trigger but having no ammo left, then the guards get all confident and rush her. That's when she disassembles the rifle and beats them with the pieces. Also, this fight was the most heavily edited. It didn't flow as well without the dialogue and the bits that were missing.

Several characters including the lab tech/government guy who speaks to Violet as she's exiting the facility with the weapon as well as the blonde motorcycle courier had their voices dubbed.

The motorcycle chase up the building included a scene where we see a room full of office employees inside get shot up by the stray fire of the helicopter guns.

When Violet opens the package to reveal Six, he is originally seen lying in a pool of bubbling water, not the bright blue animated static that you see now.

Daxus had a longer introduction with more dialogue. We learned that he's got a serious problem with germs. He wears a pin striped suit that goes beyond the sleeves to cover his shoes and hands. You see an entourage of people sanitizing everything for him while he is being briefed about the theft of his weapon by one of his underlings.

When Violet snatches Six and tries to make it out of the building, she is chased up the stairwell by a few vampires. One of them yells out, "I'm gonna kill you with my bare hands!", so Violet leans over the railing with her gun and shoots his hand off right at the wrist. I loved this scene. That same Hemophage is seen later in the mausoleum fight with Nerva and his men, cradling his bloody stump and looking mighty pissed at Violet.

There is a small scene missing where Nerva makes a quick deal on the phone with the Blood Chinois, the Asian gangsters from the rooftop scene, to corner Violet before she can escape with Six. That's why they suddenly appear out of nowhere when she reaches the top of the building.

The scene where Daxus and his soldiers storm the level where the Hemophages are shooting out the lights was longer. When it goes dark, we see the entire room lit only by the flashes of gunfire (very similar to the opening of EQ) as Nerva and his goons surround each soldier and pump them full of bullets. This goes on for a minute, getting all dark and quiet between kills, before Daxus quietly calls out to his troops and the emergency lights go up to reveal them all scattered and shot to death.

The scene where Daxus picks up the coffee showed a bit more of his hands shaking, making him seem less confident and the precision of his kills all the more surprising.

In one scene, Six asks Violet if she has teeth like a vampire. She opens her mouth to reveal fangs and says that she has to grind them down or they grow back.

When Six "dies" in the park, his body was sprayed with foam and taken away by the guys in the funky hazmat suits.

The Flashback

Here's the big one. There were several flashbacks towards the end of the movie. It happens right after Garth brings her back from the dead if I'm not mistaken, and it mostly shows Violet as a young nurse and her husband, the doctor (Ricardo Mamood). Violet is played by another actress, one who looks similar to Milla Jovovich. During the opening montage at the start of the film we see glimpses of this woman in a lab being poked and prodded by scientists, looking very miserable and stripped of her dignity. This is when we discover that the woman is actually Violet from ten years ago and we see how she contracted the virus.

A disheveled looking Hemophage enters the hospital room where a very pregnant Violet and her husband are having a quiet moment. The vampire is trying to steal some blood and gets into a scuffle with the husband before being shot and killed by security. The blood splatters and hits Violet in the face, getting in her eye and pretty much altering the course of her life forever. I do recall a scene where the husband is arguing with some government guys and asking to see his wife, then discovering that their baby was either terminated or lost to the disease. I'm pretty sure I didn't dream that last part up but I swear it's the only scene not stored in my memory banks.

We then cut back to the present. After she leaves Garth on the night of her resurrection, she goes to see her husband. She doesn't actually meet him, just watches him quietly from a balcony outside a fancy restaurant or concert hall, my memory is bit fuzzy on the details... anyway, she sees that he now has a lovely new wife and some children. He smiles at his young daughter and touches her face when a tear drop hits his hand. He looks up but Violet is already gone.

The Ending

The guard on the rooftop that is seen at the very end of the trailer actually gets decapitated in the original cut.

Violet storming enemy HQ was also extended a bit. In the scene where Violet starts attacking that second wave of soldiers during the library fight, she stabs one of them in the balls with her gun-blade and flips him backwards (that one got a great crowd reaction).

The "white room" fight also had a little injection of humor with that last guard going all crazy and doing the flip in the air, which was hilarious, and Violet looking up at him confused and mouthing the words, "What the fuck?", before killing him off.

The fight with the flaming swords had a much better build up. As soon as the room gets dark, Daxus begins taunting Violet. We hear the sound of a sword slicing and Violet screams out in pain.

Daxus: "Oh, come on. That wasn't so bad."

We hear another attack followed by a scream.

Daxus: "Okay. That was pretty bad."

That's when she starts creating the sparks to ignite the sword.

That was pretty much it. Many of the problems that I had with the original cut were actually fixed with the removal of certain scenes while the action suffered a bit with the toned down violence. The film didn't have very much blood other than a hand being shot off or Violet's fingers getting sliced, but I'm sure this was shooting for an R-rating.

Also, the soft lens effect that makes everything in the film appear slightly blurred was not used in the version that was screened last year. The CGI was incomplete but the finished effects make the film look dark and muddy.

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