When director Paul Verhoeven submitted his initial cut of Basic Instinct to the Motion Picture Association of America in January, he wasn’t at all surprised that it was rated NC-17. Contractually bound to deliver an R-rated film, he cut 42 seconds out of eight different edits. ”The task was to get as close to the impossible as possible,” says Verhoeven. ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY has seen the original of this Carolco/Le Studio Canal + film distributed by TriStar, and here’s what theatergoers will miss:
* As the film opens, a nude blond, her face hidden, stabs her lover to death with an ice pick at their climactic moment in bed. The R-rated version settles for one shot of the man getting it in the neck, then cuts away to the blond stabbing with abandon. The more explicit original holds on both killer and victim as the stab wounds multiply.
* Several seconds were trimmed from the violent lovemaking scene between the detective (played by Michael Douglas) and the police department therapist (Jeanne Tripplehorn). The final version suggests no more than rough sex; the director’s cut edges into date-rape territory, as Douglas drops his pants and forces himself on Tripplehorn, who can be heard protesting, ”No, please, no, ow!”
* The complete version of Sharon Stone and Douglas’ central sex scene includes three fairly graphic moments of oral sex. In the theater, we’re asked to imagine what Douglas is doing as he slides to the foot of the bed; the more explicit version shows just what he’s doing — twice — and also shows Stone reciprocating.
As with 9 1/2 Weeks and Angel Heart, the director’s cut of Basic Instinct is likely to turn up on video some six to eight months from now. Meanwhile, those 42 seconds will soon be on view in Europe; the untrimmed film will be released there in May.