Good News and Bad News About Scream Factory's Event Horizon: Collector's Edition

Courtesy: Scream Factory

After having its release date delayed several times for a total of six months, Scream Factory's eagerly-anticipated collector's edition of the cult sci-fi/horror classic Event Horizon at last has a firm release date and a finalized list of extras. Scream Factory announced the final extras for the set on Facebook earlier today, and there's a lot to be excited about - and one major cause for disappointment. The set will contain a new 4k restoration of the film, and an absolute ton of extras old and new, but it sadly will not contain the one extra that fans were hoping for most.

In their announcement, Scream Factory confirmed the suspicion that the primary cause of the release date delays was to give them more time to search for the long-lost, much hoped-for director's cut of the film, which was said to run over half an hour longer than the theatrical cut, and contain much more - and much more extreme - gore. Alas, it was not to be. The 35mm elements for the director's cut were previously thought to have been destroyed - a victim of an earlier era before alternate cuts on DVD and blu-ray were the norm - and an exhaustive worldwide search by Scream Factory appears to have reached the same conclusion. There have also long been rumors of VHS workprints of the director's cut existing, like the workprints used by Scream Factory to complete William Peter Blatty's director's cut of Exorcist III, but the search for these likewise apparently turned up nothing. Director Paul Anderson himself had said a few years ago that he knew of a VHS workprint copy that had been found, but at the time, he had not yet been able to watch or digitize it, and could not confirm whether the tape was in usable condition, or if it may have deteriorated. The condition or usability of this rumored tape was not addressed in Scream Factory's statement, but considering that it has not been included on this set - not even as a collection of deleted scenes, like on Scream's recent Friday the 13th Part 2 disc - it seems safe to assume that it was not in usable condition after all. Scream Factory's full statement about the missing footage (or lack thereof) reads as follows:

"We do want address the natural question of "Were you not able to find more uncut footage?" that has been on many minds since we announced the release last year.

We did an exhaustive search for film elements for the director’s cut, but as you’ll hear in his new 2021 interview, director Paul W.S. Anderson doesn’t think his cut will materialize. Unfortunately, much of the footage is lost and as he mentions, he’d need to shoot new footage. We moved the release date a few times because of some leads, but to our disappointment, they didn’t pan out. We definitely tried our best.

We're still very proud of what we we're able to deliver. We have a new 4k scan, as well as a robust slate of new interviews and additional bonus materials, so we hope you still enjoy the release."

Courtesy: Paramount
It really can't be overstated what a disappointment this is to fans of the film, who have been hoping to see the mythical director's cut of Event Horizon ever since it came out, even if only on a workprint VHS copy. The film was famously the victim of a very rushed editing process, excessive demands by the studio to shorten its runtime, and heavy MPAA cuts, and while the finished product is still quite a good movie that has rightfully become a major cult classic, it clearly isn't quite the horror masterpiece that it should have been, if the editing process weren't such a well-publicized mess. This disc seemed like the last, best chance for Anderson's intended version of the film to finally see the light of day, and while Scream Factory clearly did all they could to make that happen, with months of rigorous detective work, the knowledge that the lost footage truly is lost forever is a bitter pill to swallow.

However, clearly Scream Factory knows this, and it seems like they have really gone out of their way to compensate for the lack of any new footage by stacking this collector's edition with an absolutely absurd amount of new bonus materials. The previous special edition of Event Horizon already had an outstanding feature-length documentary, which raised questions about how much Scream Factory could really do to expand on the film's special features. The list of extras they unveiled today shows that their ability to assemble a stellar collector's edition should never be doubted. That list of extras, which includes that feature-length documentary from the previous release, is as follows:

• NEW 4K scan of the original camera negative

• NEW Reflecting on Hell - an interview with director Paul W.S. Anderson

• NEW Ghost Galleon - an interview with writer Philip Eisner

• NEW Organized Chaos – an interview with actress Kathleen Quinlan

• NEW Compassion in Space – an interview with actor Jack Noseworthy

• NEW The Doomed Captain – an interview with actor Peter Marinker

• NEW Space Cathedral – an interview with production designer Joseph Bennett

• NEW Something New – an interview with set decorator Crispian Sallis

• NEW Taking Care of It – an interview with production manager Dusty Symonds

• NEW Reinforcements – an interview with second unit director Robin Vidgeon

•  NEW Almost Real – an interview with location manager Derek Harrington

• NEW Screams from the Cosmos – an interview with sound designer Campbell Askew

• Audio Commentary with director Paul W.S. Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt

• The Making of EVENT HORIZON – a 5-part documentary

• The Point of No Return – a 4-part look at the filming of EVENT HORIZON with narration by Paul W.S. Anderson

• Secrets – deleted and extended scenes with director’s commentary

• The Unseen EVENT HORIZON – The un-filmed rescue scene and conceptual art with director’s commentary

• Theatrical Trailer

• Video Trailer

That's a pretty unbelievable list of special features, which definitely takes the sting out of the lack of a director's cut. Aside from that one unfortunate missing piece, this is absolutely a definitive package of Event Horizon, blowing the previous Paramount blu-ray out of the water. It definitely will be a must-own when it comes out on March 23rd.

- Christopher S. Jordan