A comparison between the alternate French and Spanish versions.
As mentioned in my review, there were 2 differant versions made during filming for the Spanish and French markets. Of the two, the French version is the more commonly available as it was this version the studios used for dubbing into English and releasing overseas.
Jess Franco's original Spanish language cut of the film was a couple of minutes longer and slightly gorier than the French version, which not only shortened some of the gorier scenes but replaced original supporting actors Eduardo Fajardo and Lina Romay from the Spanish version, with French actors Henry Lambert and Myriam Landson.
These scenes were re-shot, and the film was re-edited, by the producer Marius Lesoeur who was credited as AM Frank. Jess Franco's longer Spanish version runs about 1hr 25m (85mins) long at 25fps (PAL video run time), Whereas Marius Lesoeur's re-edited French/English version clocks in at just under 1hr 22m (82mins) at 25fps (PAL video run time).
The first noticeable difference between the two versions occurs during the intro titles. After the opening scene where two girls are killed, the French version cuts to a picture of an Egyptian city whilst displaying the credits. The original Spanish version however freeze frames on one of the attacking zombies faces to display the credits.
The next deviation occurs right after the credits with the French version showing Henry Lambert as Kurt (the former Nazi soldier), with Myriam Landson as his wife, rolling up in a Land Rover to visit Robert's father, whereas the original Spanish release has Eduardo Fajardo and Lina Romay in these roles.
In addition, in the French release they arrive during the daytime, whilst in the Spanish version they arrive after dark. Afterwards, the French version shows Kurt kill Robert's father by injecting him with poison, whilst in the Spanish print he simply shoots him.
The subsequent scene of Kurt and his search party arriviving at the oasis at about the 30min mark is of course differant in both versions, with the relevant actors playing Kurt and his wife.
The zombie attack which follows is also quite differant, in the French version there are a few glimpses of Kurt's wife (Myriam Landson) being disembowelled, whereas in the Spanish version there is more visable nudity, but she (Lina Romay) is simply "bitten" to death.
The scene where Kurt wakes the following morning suffering from a zombie bite (45 mins) is differant again, with the French version showing him (Henry Lambert) getting out of bed and wandering outside, whereas in the original Spanish release he (Eduardo Fajardo) wakes up on the steps outside his house. His subsequent death by fire as he turns into a zombie is also about 20s longer in the Spanish version.
|Additional scenes from the French version
Strangely, there are a few shots included in the French version that are not in the Spanish. About 1hr 2m into the film the "love scene" between Inga (one of Robert's student friends) and her boyfriend is extended by a couple of mins, showing them after getting undressed. Then around 1hr 15m, the French version shows her being grabbed by a zombie emerging from the sand, before being surrounded and bitten on the leg. The Spanish version simply shows the subsequent long shot of her surrounded
|45s close up sequence of the zombies faces, which is shown at a later point in the Spanish print.
The zombie's approach towards Roberts camp is also edited together differantly. In the French version, there's a close up shot of the zombies faces,which appears just after they rise up at around 1hr 14m (74mins). But in the Spanish version, this close up sequence as they march into camp doesn't happen until after Robert and his friends have spotted them and started making petrol bombs, around the 1hr 19m (79mins) mark.
|Additonal scene from the Spanish version
Lastly, the Spanish version has an additional 12s shot showing the zombies dissapearing into thin air at the 1hr 21m (81mins) mark which isn't in the French version.
The soundtrack is also quite differant in the 2 versions, with the French version using composer Daniel White's soundtrack, and the Spanish release Jess Franco's own music.
The US DVD by Image and the UK DVD by Arrow Films are both of the English dubbed French version. However, the Spanish DVD by Divisa is of Jess Franco's original cut of the film which is in Spanish language only and doesn't have English sub-titles..
The US & UK DVD's also show the film in its originally filmed 1.66:1 widescreen ratio, whereas the Spanish DVD has the film in it's matted 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio, so you're actually gaining a bit of picture information at the top and bottom on the screen on the US & UK discs.
Information was compiled with help from the following sources. The "IMDB", "EOFFTV" and "Mondo Erortica".
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