Just Before Dawn: Ultimate Extended Composite
September 4, 2009
First thing I thought after watching this edit was, man, a lot of work was put into this. Only a true fan of this movie would spend the time putting all this footage back into the film. I’ll be honest and say that when I first saw this film in the theater back in the 80′s when it was released, I thought it was kinda dull. Low on gore and kind of slow. I enjoyed slasher films like THE BURNING, THE PROWLER and MY BLOODY VALENTINE. This one took a while to grow on me but it did. Recently when I heard there was a fan edit of this that made it the full uncut 100 minute version, I had to track it down. This fan edit IS director Liebermans original cut of the film reconstructed before the distributors cut his version down and it’s a joy to behold. The editing is flawless but it’s obvious when the UK footage shows up because it’s inferior to the footage from the Paragon tape. I’m glad the editor chose to use the fullscreen Paragon VHS with the rare UK version. If he was using the widescreen Shriek Show dvd in great quality with the UK footage, it would have been way too distracting and besides, the SS dvd is way overmatted. I’ll be honest and say that the extra footage does slow down the pacing and I’m still a fan of the lean 90 minute Paragon tape that cuts out a lot of the fat but it’s still a joy to see the film the way it was meant to be seen. When I first heard of the extended version, my first thought was, will there be more gore? If I had directed this film, I would have thrown in a beheading or two since the killers are walking around with machetes. I guess a gory slasher film is what Lieberman didn’t want. He wanted to settle for atmosphere and in this case, it worked. The music and slow pacing of this film does work and it creates a feeling of dread and tension. So my final thoughts on this fan edit is that the editor did a great job in restoring the film to it’s original “meant to be seen” version. Check it out.
July 30, 2009
I am an extended edition buff and have a big collection of original ones and all the fanedits from here.
Many extended editions do not add anything to the movie, just add more useless scenes. I will rate the ones here.
Rating criteria: image quality, sound quality, 3x improvement, overall.
Image Quality: 7 of 10
Sound Quality: 7 of 10
Improvement: 7 of 10
Overall: 7 of 10