Ringu "Brussels cut" (lost cut of Japanese horror film; existence unconfirmed; 1998)
The open mouth effect as it appears in the definitive (arguably lone) cut of Ringu.
Status: Existence unconfirmed
According to a number of unproven eyewitness accounts, there is an alleged alternate version of Hideo Nakata's 1998 cult horror classic Ringu, dubbed the Brussels Cut . It was said to have been significantly more graphic than the definitive cut we see today. It was supposedly shown at the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film in 1999 (for its European premiere)
The Brussels cut is said to contain a much more disturbing open mouth effect, wherein the victims' mouths were noticeably vertically deformed (as they were, incidentally, in the film's 2002 remake, The Ring). This change was said to have given the film a much creepier effect, with testimonies praising the Brussels screening.
"The print screened in Brussels contained an effect that was apparently cut from the finished film. In the version with which we are familiar, the bodies of those slain by Sadako are shown with their mouths open in scream. The Brussels cut, however, showed the corpses of Tomoko in the closet, Ryuji in his apartment, and Tsuji Yoko being pulled from her car with a mouth that was "not simply open but deformed in a scary way: it was a narrow VERTICAL opening!"
"I never understood why they didn't keep the cut I saw in Brussels," Tom went on to say. "This small extra of the weird deformed mouth makes Ring definitively creepier from the very beginning."
Director Hideo Nakata, when asked (twice in separate interviews) about the possibility of an alternate cut of Ringu, denied having any knowledge of such a cut, though this has not hindered supposed witnesses from testifying to its legitimacy.
While most people have passed off the "Brussels cut" as nothing more than an urban legend, the surprising number of people who have come forward claiming to have seen it is too significant for others to deny, preferring to believe that either Hideo Nakata was, for some reason, attempting to hide its existence, or that someone other than him had tampered with the cut before it was screened.
Notably, since word on the "Brussels cut" broke online, several people have made claims that the alternate cut aired on both Spanish and British TV, though these claims have been heavily disputed. Whether or not the "Brussels cut" truly exists or not, we may never know; until it is unearthed, or more evidence comes to light, it will continue to dwell in the realm of urban legends and movie myths.
- The open mouth effect as it appears in in the 2002 remake of Ringu, The Ring. Last retrieved 07 Oct 2014.
- The 'Curse of the Ring' page about the supposed Brussels cut Last retrieved 24 Aug 2016
- Curse of the Ring page featuring a translation of one of the aforementioned Hideo Nakata interviews. Last retrieved 07 Oct 2014.