Movies targeted at young male viewers often include a fair bit of raunch - as much as the MPAA will allow, generally. Usually some of the "good stuff" ends up cut in order for the movie's theatrical release to obtain an R or even PG-13 rating, since most theaters won't show NC-17 movies (leaving the rating essentially the province of art films made without the goal of making back their investors' money) and even an R may exclude a lot of teenagers with ready spending cash.
When it's time for the DVD release, there will then be two editions: the theatrical cut with the same rating, and the Unrated Edition with additional footage. Unlike Deleted Scenes on many DVD releases, the Unrated Edition has the cut footage inserted back into the movie in its original location. And the marketing will imply, but not outright state, that this new footage is chock full of bare-breasted women and that the Unrated Edition is just shy of actual hardcore pornography. Alternately, Unrated Editions of Horror and Action Genre films will include Gorn that was removed from the theatrical release.
Clearly this is never the case. First, no major studio wants the stigma of releasing a movie that's too dirty, and A- and B-list actors would likely not be interested, either. And due to the MPAA rules, any new cut of a movie technically has to be re-rated. This means that the studio could add (or even remove) one second of footage and the movie is now "unrated". The general rule is that the font size of the word "unrated" on the DVD cover is inversely proportional to the amount of "good stuff" that was added. If you can barely see the cast behind a giant "unrated" stamp, prepare to be disappointed. Several studios use the same packaging for the U.S. and Canadian markets as well, causing certain "unrated" editions to actually feature a Canadian Home Video Ratings System rating, since that system does not allow for unrated releases.
Chances are the "Unrated" stamp will be used to conceal a pair of otherwise exposed breasts, to establish exactly what they are offering.
Why not just release the Unrated Edition in the theater to begin with? Most movie theaters in the United States will not show unrated films. And in many cases, the Unrated Edition still would've garnered only an R rating anyway. By implying that it's too-hot-for-R, the studio can trick consumers into paying to see the movie twice: once in the theater, and again for the extra scenes. Especially in countries like the US, where DVD rental stores are more likely to fall back on the First Amendment than theaters are. If the studio executives are feeling especially devious, they will release the Unrated Edition a month or two after the Vanilla Edition in hope of squeezing three paid viewings out of us.
In the UK DVDs have to be rated by the same body that rates films and selling actually-unrated DVDs is a criminal offence. Therefore they're just sold as extended editions ("Unseen and Explicit", "Extended and Unsanitized" and so on) instead of being unrated. They also don't generally bother to release the cinema versions on DVD. All the extra "explicit" and "unsanitised" material rarely actually raises the film's rating. A film or DVD can be refused classification by the BBFC, but this only happens in very, very extreme cases. Although having a DVD touted as "rude, naughty and uncut", but then seeing a 12 or 15 rating symbol next to it makes you wonder why they even bother—if it's still a 12 or 15, then it's not that rude or naughty.
In Australia, when they don't just dump a reregioned UK release that possibly includes things cut out by the UK censors before it even arrives for rating in Australia, then they just get it called unrated. (Not that they even need to do that for Australia, as region encoding enforcement is illegal there. note ) It is utterly hilarious to get unrated editions that only get an M rating (basically, PG-13 with the age recommendation being 15).
- Kite was initially released censored with a 16+ age recommendation by Media Blasters; later "director's cut" and "special edition" releases restored the graphic sex scenes. In countries such as Australia where one of the scenes would be likely to be refused classification (due to it featuring the underage protagonist), only the standard edition has been released.
- Mezzo Forte was released in a standard version and an unrated director's cut. The latter version has a protracted sex scene that is not included in any other release (the rest of the film is fairly tame otherwise).
- Perfect Blue was edited for American theatrical release to avoid an NC-17 rating. The DVD was released uncut and unrated.
- Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie was originally released in the US in two versions: a PG-13 version that toned down most of the violence and an unrated version that kept it. Oddly enough, both versions edited Chun-Li's topless shower scene from the original Japanese cut, which was not included in any of the English releases until years later.
- The third Berserk movie, Descent had two edits in Japan due to graphic content. The theatrical version was given the Japanese-equivalent of an R rating while the blu-ray release has the unedited NC-17 content.
- Afro Samurai has two DVD versions available; one which is the edited version broadcast by Spike TV, and the other which is unedited and contains some more profane lines and some more skin during the sex scene in episode 2.
- Humorous aversion: The North American DVD of To Love-Ru's second season has a big "Totally Uncensored!" label on the back by all the risque screencaps from the show...only to have a TV-14/14A rating below it.
- The first Mardock Scramble film was released in Japan in two separate forms: a PG-12 theatrical version which left the most explicit material implied, and an unrated "director's cut" which shows the main character, a teen prostitute, in various graphic sex scenes.
- At least the German TV version of Blade was censored: It was hinted, that the vampires were exploding (with blood flying everywhere), when Blade shot them with these darts with the special serum... In the DVD version, it was shown.
- The American Pie series. In fact, the entire reason for releasing an unrated edition (one of the first on DVD) was due to the fact that the film had leaked online as a workprint before its theatrical run. The creators apparently admitted that the release of that version was due to piracy.
- Bad Santa and Badder Santa
- Which in turn got a second unrated version in the form of Bad Santa: The Director's Cut. This version is the shortest of the releases since Terry Zwigoff disowned the first two cuts and is said to be much darker. The Blu-Ray has the second and third cuts of the film.
- Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy cut a Cluster F-Bomb for the original release, because multiple uses of the F-word result in an automatic R rating. The unrated edition restores it.
- Averted with Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, as the studio theatrically released a Super Sized R-Rated Version for a week, a month ahead of the home media release. The home media release itself, however, featured a separate unrated version along with the original and Super Sized versions.
- Live Free or Die Hard/Die Hard 4.0 (outside of North America). Most notably McClane's catchphrase "Yippee-Ki-Yay, motherfucker" is uncensored from the PG-13 theatrical release.
- The DVD case for I Am Legend promises a "controversial", "unrated" alternative ending. This was actually the original planned ending, changed not because of content, but because test audiences absolutely hated it. For the curious, the ghouls turn out to actually be intelligent, and the main character is able to convince them to leave him alone.
- AVP: Alien vs. Predator had one, and in the case of Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, the Region 2 release's Extreme Combat Edition.
- Alexander had two of these... besides the Vanilla Edition, there was a Director's Cut with unseen footage, and Alexander Revisited, which was promoted as the most
Ho Yay-filled raunchyhistorically accurate version of the three.
- The unrated version of Seed of Chucky is a pretty bad offender—the only added full-length Deleted Scene is less than two minutes long and isn't any more mature than the rest of the film. The real draw, however, is a single deleted close-up shot of Chucky masturbating - hence the packaging blurb, "UNRATED AND FULLY EXTENDED: Featuring A First-Hand Look At Chucky's Dirtiest Deed!"
- The Doom movie actually did include porn in its unrated version, assuming a not-all-that-explicit T&A sequence featuring a nude, blood-soaked, demonically-possessed woman with a severed arm qualifies as porn.
- Rare inversion: the unrated version of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is actually the drastically edited version. This is because most animated direct-to-video features aren't submitted to the MPAA, since it's not required for video release and since they're all assumed to be kid-friendly. Warner Bros. sent out promotional copies of the movie before they decided to edit it, so certain animation sites were able to spot the differences in the retail version and report them to the public. WB eventually released the "Original Uncut Version" with a PG-13 rating to accommodate the content, which ranged from minor things such as extra punches to major things such as an alternate death scene.
- Euro Trip has some fun with this—all the pictures on the back of the unrated DVD's box contain nudity, with the word "Unrated" used as a substitute for the Censor Box.
- Road Trip is a particularly shining example of the rule about the inverse relationship of the size of the "unrated" stamp and the amount of good stuff. The entire cover except for Amy Smart's face is covered with brown paper, and the stamp is at least half the front of the box. New content consists of two seconds of one naked girl oiling another naked girl, right after five minutes of toplessness that were considered perfectly acceptable for the rated version.
- Old School: The good news is that the unrated edition contains more nudity. The bad news is that it's mostly Will Ferrell.
- It's worth noting that the director of the above two, Todd Phillips, is openly critical of this practice.
- Sex Drive had an interesting take on this. On the unrated DVD, the writers appeared before the film, and explained that they were forced to make the DVD, even though they had no real "unrated" content. Therefore, they simply added gratuitous shots of naked men and women at random throughout the film, as well as adding some extra takes. They then explained that if you hadn't seen the original, you should watch that version first, as that was the version that they had wanted to make.
- Adventureland had an astonishing example that bordered on false advertising. There's a stamp on the cover that says "UNRATED"... and in smaller letters beneath it, "bonus features." If you're new to DVDs: Almost all bonus features are unrated on any DVD. Needless to say, the movie on the disc was the movie shown in theaters.
- Mirrors, a horror film featuring Kiefer Sutherland, came on a DVD with both the theatrical R version, and an unrated version.
- This Film Is Not Yet Rated, a documentary about film censorship in America, features clips of several scenes that were removed or altered to get a lower rating. Ironically, that's why This Film is Not Yet Rated is itself unrated in America.
- In the 2005 version of The Dukes of Hazzard there is an unrated scene of the boys crashing in on topless college coeds.
- Basic Instinct was the movie that put unrated editions into the mainstream. Not only was there more violence and nudity, but it was also the director's preferred version of the film.
- The unrated Director's Cut edition of RoboCop (1987) features numerous shots that were altered or removed in the eleven edits the film had to go through in order to knock it down from an X rating to an R rating. Such scenes include longer versions of ED-209's obliterating of Kinney and Boddicker's gang killing Murphy, close-ups of Bobby being shot in the leg and Boddicker being stabbed in the neck, and a cut shot of Boddicker's blood splattering onto RoboCop after the aforementioned neck-stabbing. These re-inserted scenes are generally agreed to improve the film, given how one of its goals was to satirize violence in the media by exaggerating its own gore to the point where it becomes funny.
- Wild Orchid, however, was the first to draw attention to the ability for filmmakers to issue non-MPAA versions of a film. The unrated version contains graphic sexuality during a love scene that, 20 years later, continues to raise the "did they do it for real" question.
- Inverted with Scarface (1983), which was originally rated X for graphic violence. Brian De Palma was forced to trim several violent scenes for an R rating, but that version was never released; instead, De Palma got sneaky and released the uncut version to theatres with the R rating tacked on.
- The Blu-Ray cuts of The Inbetweeners Movie (both the Re-edited version and the Writer's cut) included camera angles and words that weren't included or dubbed over in the cinema release which was available as a standard DVD.
- Caligula has been released in a number of formats and ratings, but any version considered "unrated" will almost certainly be so for good reason and contain many explicit scenes of hardcore sex, compared to the relatively tame togas-and-boobs costume drama of the general releases.
- The unrated version of Epic Movie features full-frontal nudity for some scenes. For example, when the wardrobe is first opened, a girl runs out and tells Lucy not to go in there. In the theater cut, she's wearing a bikini. In the unrated DVD version, she's entirely nude. The gross vomiting scene is also extended in the unrated version.
- Although Pretty Cool isn't really overly explicit, the DVD contains alternate versions of some scenes which were more explicit, though still not to porn levels. This version is available on its own under a different title.
- The Internship had two versions produced, one targeting PG-13, and one targeting an R rating. Eventually, they decided to release the PG-13 version theatrically, but the DVDs include both versions, proudly labeled as unrated.
- Live Free or Die Hard was shot as an R-rated film, like the first three Die Hards, with the director initially unaware it was slated to be PG-13. Reshoots and cuts were made to fit PG-13 for theatres, but the original R-rated version was the one released on DVD and Blu-ray in most markets.
- Absolutely Anything: The cinema release of the film is rated 12A, and DVD version rated 12 (Likely because of one of the bonus features). The Blu-ray edition however is rated 15, and according to the box it "contains added filth". But actually all that changed was a dozen or so instances of "feck" being changed to "fuck", and a few lines being added to one scene which contain some more swearing. The difference in run time between the DVD and Blu-Ray is a mere 19.3 seconds.
- The unrated cut of The Wicker Man (2006) removes the "six months later" epilogue, possibly because the film's status as a critical and commercial failure rendered the Sequel Hook moot. However, it adds the memetic scene where the protagonist, played by Nicolas Cage, is tortured with bees.
- Truth or Dare (2018) was released on home video with an unrated cut...that's a whopping thirty seconds longer.
- John Wick:
- The UK theatrical version of John Wick: Chapter 2 had a scene of a character's suicide heavily cut down to remove almost all the detail. This was done so the film could obtain a 15 rating like the previous film; the home release version is uncensored and rated 18.
- The Australian theatrical, DVD and Blu-Ray versions of John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum had a moment in which Wick drives a knife into a mook's eye edited so the gory detail is left out of frame. Like the above, this was done so the film could receive an MA 15+ rating, and the 4K UHD version of the film is uncensored and rated R 18+.
- The DVD releases of the series Las Vegas include footage deemed too sexy for broadcast.
- The U.S. season one boxset of Lexx has all its episodes uncensored (much like its original run on Showtime), but truncates a number of scenes to accommodate commercial breaks. The U.K. DVD boxsets have all the scenes in full except for the unrated content. Later seasons of the show were unrated in European DVD sets, while otherwise truncated in U.S. printings.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 mocks this in their viewing of a short called The Truck Farmer (2nd Edition).
Truck Farmer: The Special Edition! Contains scenes originally thought too graphic for audiences.
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World. When it was released overseas, the first season featured unrated footage (female nudity) that was only seen during its pay-per-view television run (and never on syndication). However, this set was not advertised as being unrated, and is different from the U.S. boxsets released (which are censored).
- Underbelly: the 'Uncut' edition is apparently the only version of the second series available. Given the show, it's actually kind of surprising that there was anything cut to put back in.
- The DVD release of Action contains profanities that cannot be uttered on prime-time U.S. broadcast television.
- The video game example, Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy in America) had an Adults Only-rated 'Director's Cut' in America, containing two (plot-irrelevant) sex scenes from the European edition. Oddly enough, the remastered edition includes them, but is only rated M.
- Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude was originally rated AO by the ESRB, which stores like Target and Walmart would have refused to sell, so it was edited down to a mature rating in the US and Canada. The European edition wasn't edited and featured a disclaimer on the packaging highlighting that it was "uncut". This version was eventually released in North America as the Uncut and Uncensored version. Unsurprisingly, the main differences were full-frontal nudity and sex scenes.
- Resident Evil 7: Biohazard received an 18+ "Grotesque Edition" in Japan that included more gore than the vanilla Japanese version, though even that version was censored compared to the international version due to Japanese rating restrictions.
- Conker: Live & Reloaded was originally announced as "Conker: Live & Uncut" and promised as a remastered, more extreme version of the Nintendo 64 classic for the Xbox. The game that actually emerged, however, was even more censored than the original.