I personally have always found it astounding that Ken Russell’s controversial but brilliant 1971 film The Devils, a searing, hallucinatory drama of religious hysteria, political persecution and the corrupt marriage of church and state set in 17th century France, with has never had an official DVD release. However, that is about to change. BFI are going to release the movie on DVD on March 12th next year. Here are the special features:
However, fans have already been voicing their disappointment that the version of the film is not the version that has been circulating on bootleg DVDs for a while. That edition restored one important scene to the film, a major hallucination sequence which has been called ‘The Rape Of Christ’, which had appeared on the ‘Hell On Earth’ documentary which was first shown on Channel 4 in 2002. It seems that this scene is also missing from the version of this documentary on thDVD, and the film is only appearing on DVD, not Blu Ray,so what is going on? It seems that Warner Bros US seriously object to the scene and will only license the original theatrical cut, while they also seem to have always disliked the film as a whole, so a DVD only release is all they may want.
Still, it’s better than nothing, and the array of special features goes some way to making up for the problems.