I got a couple of posts in the comment area and a few IM’s so I figured I should bring this into its own post rather than a comment.
The first DVD and what happened:
The original issue of the DVD has rescued footage of an ending that would have followed the original film and the broadway show.
As originally filmed.
The plant kills Audrey. She does the reprise of “Somewhere that’s Green” there is a very spiritual scene with Seymour feeding Audry to the plant. He tries to commit suicide on the roof. Then makes a failed attempt to kill the plant and is eaten. “You ate the only thing I ever loved”
The DVD shows “Don’t feed the plants” with a load of rough scenes of the plants taking over the world. The smiling plant is seen in a toy store.
Test audiences (used to Hollywood endings) couldn’t deal with the B-Movie Horror ending. Despite the filming being finished, Geffen ordered Oz to rehire the cast and crew to reshoot the ending (under much vehement disagreement from Oz).
You can tell where the cut occurs if you watch the final release carefully. A munched Audrey is pulled to the back of the store. Seymour bends over her and worriedly calls to her, “Audrey, Audrey?” There is a strange edit between these “Audrey’s.” This is the case because several months elapsed between Moranis saying these two words.
Oz was never happy about this change. (As a director I can sympathise with the order, “Change the ending of your movie. I don’t like how the story ends”) He has running commentary throughout the ‘rescued’ footage. His tone and comments make it clear that he’s not happy.
It turned out that Geffen may have perceived the release of this footage was to challenge his decision. Geffen was reported to have the attitude that ‘This is the way the film was released, this is what the audiences should see.’ So the discs were yanked and destroyed within days of the 1998 issue.
Now, I haven’t seen the 2000 issue. I don’t know if the disc is the same disc that has simply been re-mastered. It could be that Geffen has acquiesced as the proof is public. The new disc may be missing the old footage and simply be a standard DVD release. If anyone has the 2000 issue of the DVD (check the ISBN number as per my previous post) I’d love to compare. (Granted, I could just plunk $10 on the disc…)
Regardless, there are differences between the 1998 issue and the 2000 issue. In 1999 (when I tracked down my copy) it was rare. It was a disc that had circulation only in the numbers purchased. This disc will be a long range collectable now.
Here I will talk about personal theories on how collectibles work. Please note, my numbers are illustrative estimates and not in any way related to hard data except where stated. The industry of collectibles is (like the stock market) a field that has so many variables that a crystal ball or monkey with a dart may be just as effective.