China-Censored Version of Alien: Covenant Has Next to No Alien in It
[Warning: this post contains plot details from Alien: Covenant that may be considered to be spoilers.]
Horror film aficionados hoping to watch Alien: Covenant in China may want to reconsider after Chinese fans have complained a censored version of the film barely shows its eponymous monster.
Chinese news is reporting that Ridley Scott's sequel to the long-running alien franchise is six minutes shorter than the international version.
Alien: Covenant is set to open in Chinese theaters on June 16, but fans attending a preview screening on Tuesday have taken to the Internet to air their grievances.
Reviews posted to peer rating site Douban complain that the cuts are a "castration" that "cut off the climax of the movie."
On a Baidu message board, one viewer who attended an advance screening called the censored version "extremely frustrating" to watch, estimating that the film's monsters are only shown on screen for a total of "one to two minutes."
Calling himself "Angel Will Drive," the poster said the "distinct" cuts are most noticeable in two scenes in the film's second half, explaining that all gory images of aliens covered in blood have been removed as have scenes in which humans are attacked.
One scene from Alien: Covenant that involves a "broken back" has been changed so that "in the China version you can only see the scared expressions of the people outside the door."
With no rating system in place for its audiences, China routinely censors movies playing in its theaters. as it did this past winter with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter and Logan, which had 14 minutes of its runtime sliced off.
While six minutes may not seem like much, complaints say that the Chinese cuts made to Alien: Covenant are "abrupt," "profound," and "ruin the rhythm of the film."
"Scenes removed from Logan didn't hinder the film's characters, imagery, and expressions, but the cuts made to Alien: Covenant will greatly reduce audience enjoyment of the film," said Angel Will Drive, advising Chinese viewers who wanted to watch an unadulterated version of the film to "wait for the online (pirated) version."
Meanwhile, the latest official release dates show just a handful of Hollywood blockbusters will be joining Alien: Covenant in Chinese theaters this month.
Tom Cruise's The Mummy (新木乃伊) is set to scare Chinese audiences (shown above) this Friday, while the Transformers franchise is back with its latest sequel (变形金刚5:最后的骑士) on June 23.
Meanwhile, no confirmations have been made for the China release dates for Cars 3 (with a June 16 US release) and the hugely popular Despicable Me 3 (with a June 30 US release).
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