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The Lecter Variations


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******************FANEDIT.ORG proudly presents***************************
************************A fanedit by CBB*********************************
**********************THE LECTER VARIATIONS******************************

HANNIBAL RISING was a huge disappointment as a book and even more so as a movie. Huge Pacing problems, over the top cruelty and some really bad ideas made the movie an unworthy prequel to the successful franchise. Still the movie was not just cheaply produced as a B-movie. 50.000.000US$ were spent to make it as good as possible and still it failed on almost every level it so hard tried to achieve. The result was a movie that from the start was uninteresting, lame, disgusting and simply bothering its audience, who had difficulty finding any access to the story. This also lead to many thinking that the leading actor Gaspard Ulliel was a bad choice for young Hannibal, but I have to disagree here. He spent months studying the movie Hannibal Lecter, trying to copy his way to speak, to move, to look - and successfully. Unfortunately his presentation was not able to save the movie as such, but it was this what gave me the idea that something could be done to this movie to create a version more likely to enjoy an audience, maybe even something thrilling. Taking a closer look I realized that lots of scenes were filmed really well, show a lot of talent and power, meanwhile others take all that away by being just bad. The first time I watched HANNIBAL RISING I simply hated it, maybe because I am such a fan of the franchise and had to deal with the disappointment of it going downhill with each new movie. That was not my all time favorite villain Hannibal Lecter. That was a demystifaction of the worst kind. It became a superficial horror thriller.
Now I cannot answer, why on earth I watched this movie again, but maybe the answer is again that I am a huge fan of anything concerning Hannibal Lecter. And this time I realized the potential of a good movie inside this turd. Gaspard Ulliel's acting was the main reason for that, because he does give one really good performance. So I started thinking, creating a concept and finally fanediting. And with pride I can finally announce: I present you a worthy origin of Hannibal Lecter.
***************************THE EDIT**************************************
the title THE LECTER VARIATIONS was the working title for the movie. I used it because it resembles a lot about Hannibal: his style, the music, the playful kind. And since I made a Lecter variation of HANNIBAL RISING it just seemed so fitting.
Editing this movie was a huge undertaking. Lots and lots of scenes were removed, altered or moved to a different point to make it a well-paced complete plot.
The list of changes and why I made them. Listed in chronological order.

1. The entire beginning of the movie (the first 17 minutes) was reduced to a montage of what Hannibal sees and moved to the middle of the movie instead as a backflash.
Starting a movie in chronological order is nice, because the plot just continues with no interruptions. But in this case it is this very beginning that made the movie fail. Although filmed with huge efforts for historical correctness and a big budget, it is just wrong. Right from the beginning we learn what a monster the villain Grutas is and what happened to Hannibal's sister Mischa. The scenes with Grutas and his men are over the top brutal and embarrassing (sniffing jews anyone?). The effect these over-the-top scenes have is to take the audience out of the movie. What happened to Mischa and Hannibal is actually a good story, but starting a movie with the climax is as bad as it can get. At that time the audience is not connected to Hannibal at all, which leads to feeling nothing much, when the terrible events take place. What I did was to completely cut the story of Grutas from World War II, because it is not necessary to know how bad he is. We see that for ourselves later on. Subtlety instead of superficiality. I created new credits with a score to put you in the right mood and some little introduction text to get things going. I am very happy with the new beginning.

2.The truck ride (20 sec added)
On his escape from the orphanage Hannibal goes by a truck and takes out his binoculars. I added the scene, because of the binoculars. In the next scene we see him using them, but I wondered all the time, where he got these from. This is to show he has them already.

3. Kendo training with Lady Murasaki (50 sec). removed
One of the most annoying scenes of the entire movie. The intention was to show the growing relationship of Lady Murasaki and Hannibal Lecter as well as show Hannibal's advancing in his physical skills and teaching him an ancient fighting art, which is supposed to underline his interest in culture and tradition. Unfortunately the scene seemed like the training session of a Karate Kid movie, the mood was very happy and totally did not match to the rest of the movie. I removed it completely and this is already a huge improvement.

4. Hannibal putting on the Samurai mask (20 sec). removed
The first thing I wanted to remove. In this very scene Hannibal puts on a Samurai mask, when he plans his first killing. The scene is intended to show us the masked Hannibal that we know from its predecessors so well. BUT what it really does is to show us that Hannibal is associated with his mask, much like Michael Myers and Jason Vorhees. There is a deleted scene in which inspector Popil asks Hannibal if he ever wore that mask and his reply is "I do not deserve this honor yet". This is plain stupid. Hannibal Lecter has no interest in masks. He NEVER wire the biteshield mask of the predecessors out of his free will. The mask is only a symbol of him being captured and incarcerated. So in order to stay true to the originals (and these are in my opinion RED DRAGON and SILENCE OF THE LAMBS) this scene is not happening.

5. The butcher's death (2:52 min) removed and added a little backflash montage and a text message for timing reasons.
I was working a lot on that one until the final decision was made to completely drop the entire scene. Hannibal kills the butcher at a lakeside with a Katana. Beforehand he talks some Lecter-talk about pussies and plays the song "Ein M?nnlein steht im Walde" on the mandoline. This is one of the scenes which ruined the movie. It was gross, it was superficial and it was stupid. Besides the butcher acts rather badly int he scenes with dialogue. Now of course a Hannibal Lecter movie has to be gross, but not that early in the movie. A movie lives from a plot that raises the thrill continually. Hannibal Rising continually disrespects this rule. I had created a much shorter version of the butcher being killed, but even that did not work. It felt chopped up to much. So I removed it completely and the audience does not see the butcher's death at all, only the plans and the result in the police station. The dialogue between Hannibal and the butcher is copied from SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, but it does not work, it feels artificial. Removing the entire scene is the best I could do. Subtlety instead of instead of disgusting artificiality.

6. Sodium Penthanol (20 sec) added.
Hannibal joins an execution, in which the convict is interrogated by the use of a truth serum (Sodium Penthanol). The scene adds further information to this, which I found rather essential, especially because Hannibal gets the serum as a gift and does not steal it.

7. Dortlich's singing (20 sec) removed
Hannibal forces Dortlich to sing "Ein M?nnlein steht im Walde" when he already is about to be killed. The scene was so over-the-top. It is VERY unlikely Dortlich would have sung a children's song in this situation. It is one of the major changes I wanted to make to get rid of the importance of that children song, because it doesn't work and is actually a flaw, since the song is not about a mysterious man in the woods, but about a rosehip. I also deleted Hannibal commanding the horse by whistling, because only trained horses do that. These scenes were deleted for better pacing and more realism.

8. Lady Murasaki sniffing (10 sec) removed
She tells Hannibal he smells of blood and smoke, when he has returned to France. We all know that Hannibal is a VERY clean person. I am sure, he has washed himself in the many days it must have taken him to travel in the 50s from the Soviet Union back to France.

9. Inspector Popil questioning Lady Murasaki (2:31min) removed
Popil asks Lady Murasaki about Hannibal and presents a photo of the killed Dortlich to Lady Murasaki. The intention of the later scenes with Popil is to have Hannibal hunted by the police, to present Popil as the smart minded policeman, who finds out about him and chases him. Police work was an important matter in all the predecessors, but in this case it does not add to the suspense of the story. It rather feels like a lame copy, because Popil never seems to be really smart. It is highly unlikely that the Soviets shared any information about War Crimes or murders in their country with any other country. From history we know that the Soviets always lied about what happened inside their borders. They had no serial killers and no unsolved murder cases - or at least wanted everybody else to believe that to show their system was superior. Without the evidence, Popil knows nothing about Hannibal's murder, resulting in no chase taking place. Removing this scene was necessary and is really good for the pacing and realism of the movie.

10. Inspector Popil searching Hannibal's room (24sec) removed
I removed this scene for the same reason as the one above. There is no chase.

11. Inspector Popil visiting and questioning Hannibal (approximately 5 min) removed
Popil interrogates Hannibal again, knowing he ate Dortlich's cheeks, and lets him go. This highly unlikely scenario considering Popil is a policeman is one further reason for him to not be part of the second half of the movie. I needed a lot of editing to create a working scene for Milko's water tank scene as it is interrupted several times by the Inspector Popil scene.

12. Lady Murasaki tries to stop Hannibal by getting intimate (30 sec) removed
Murasaki and Hannibal kissing? No way. Hannibal is kind of asexual as we know from the predecessors. He does like women and he kind of falls in love with them, but he always kept it platonic. No reason to change this here. Also it did not fit to Murasaki's character to try to seduce him.

13. Grutas talks about Lady Murasaki's anus (20 sec) removed
This is a terrible scene: Grutas picks a prune and compares it to Lady Murasaki's anus after he will be finished with her. Then he eats the prune and enjoys it a lot. This is one of the over-the-top scenes that is just plain disgusting and does not add anything to the mood or the story. We knew before that he was a bad guy. Removing this scene is the best to happen to it.

14. Grutas is molesting Lady Murasaki (23 sec) removed
Grutas tells Lady Murasaki what Hannibal did to Dortlich. He touches her all the time, while he does that. The scene does not add anything to the story, even though it means that lady Murasaki still does not know Hannibal is a cannibal.

15. Popil talking to Lady Murasaki when the boat explodes (about 40 sec) removed
Popil somehow heard what happened on the boat and finds Lady Murasaki on the bridge. He tries to calm her down, when the boat explodes. Since Popil is not part of the 2nd half of the movie, he cannot be there. besides that the scene was meaningless anyway as it implied a personal contact between Popil and Murasaki, which was in the book, but not in the movie. I created an explosion montage therefore, which works kind of well.

16. The original ending and end credits (8 min) removed / new end credits added (4 min)
The original movie ends with the song "Ein M?nnlein steht im Walde", sung by a child's choir. This scene is supposed to be a funny mixture of shock and sweetness, of enjoying the horror. Unfortunately it does not work that way. It makes you smirk and leave the theater unsatisfied. I added a more dramatic final score, which directly mounts into the custom end credits.

***************************MOVIE DETAILS************************************
100 minutes NTSC 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen with AC3-5.1 audio
LANGUAGE : English
COVER&Disc ART : yes

***************************DVD DETAILS**************************************
corrected fanedited movie, 100 minutes NTSC 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen with AC3-5.1 audio
English audio, English subtitles (selectable)
animated menus with audio
scene selection
bonus features:
the lotion
the japanese shit
grutas in world war II
das Maennlein
info on all 23 CBB fanedits and future perspective
presented in NTSC 16:9 with AC-3 audio


available via bittorrent:
avi through piratebay

Maybe downloadable from Fanedit.info
hey boon is this an avi? how about a rapidshare avi?
damn you. you had to release this while I was at work.

I'll need to add this to my to watch list.
Wow, Boon. Talk about the all time tough assignments, trying to make anything out of this lame duck of a movie. 'Hannibal Rising' is about the most lifeless big budget film I've ever seen. I'd almost rather watch a Uwe Boll effort.

While I'm eager to go home tonight and download it and see if you achieved anything, I'm not hopeful. From my point of view, the story was screwed from conception. Frankly, the fixes you mention are worthwhile, but I never once got deep enough into the viewing (or reading) experience to wonder whether or not small plot events were plausible. The whole idea of giving Hannibal Lecter the origin of a Batman villain is downright cheap, not to mention psychiatrically gooney (at least the book took time to show us that, as a child, he was brilliant but already disassociative.) Then Harris threw in the idea of making his first half dozen killings almost forgiveable, at least sympathetic, not to mention a coming-of-age crush. It's all so very distasteful. Ironically, a straight forward depiction of what a serial killer childhood is really like would've been more moral and compelling.

Incidentally, two days ago I got a virus alert while browsing here (probably not from here, I might've picked it up anywhere--I don't know how those things work). Anyway, I work at the Department of National Defence (I'm Canadian; we have the DND, not the DOD) and it was their network watchdogs who alerted me. I had to explain the nature of the site I was at to a completely bemused major. That was interesting![/code]
does the DND care about fanedits?
While I'm eager to go home tonight and download it and see if you achieved anything, I'm not hopeful. From my point of view, the story was screwed from conception. Frankly, the fixes you mention are worthwhile, but I never once got deep enough into the viewing (or reading) experience to wonder whether or not small plot events were plausible. The whole idea of giving Hannibal Lecter the origin of a Batman villain is downright cheap, not to mention psychiatrically gooney (at least the book took time to show us that, as a child, he was brilliant but already disassociative.) Then Harris threw in the idea of making his first half dozen killings almost forgiveable, at least sympathetic, not to mention a coming-of-age crush. It's all so very distasteful. Ironically, a straight forward depiction of what a serial killer childhood is really like would've been more moral and compelling.
Maybe I should have posted some more about how the fanedit plays instead of just showing the differences to the original turd that it was.
None of the sequels to SILENCE OF THE LAMBS showed us the same interesting Hannibal Lecter that we knew from there. Instead Thomas Harris continually took away from him by inventing new ideas about why Hannibal does what he does and how he became the fictional person he is. I really hated the "route to killing the rude", which was introduced in HANNIBAL, so my fanedit of this movie took away most of all that.
Now is the story of Hannibal Rising interesting? In a way, yes. The explanation why and how he became the one he is, is interesting, yet painful to watch, because only incredible suffering could turn you into a psychopath like he is.
My fanedit takes out the antagonist part big time, so the focus of the movie stays on Hannibal and not so much on hating Grutas and his men and wishing them bad. This affects the entire mood of the movie, which is sinister, silent and rather unhappy. This is a huge change compared to both book and movie. Also there is no big police chase involved, which even more puts the focus on Hannibal and his deeds.
What made the second part (where Hannibal escapes) of Silence Of The Lambs so fascinating is to watch this man doing terrible things with calmness, yet smartness. It is the strange fascination of terror, not action.
The Hannibal I present you in my fanedit is not one to be loved, but he is an interesting person and we see the huge potential he got for getting extremely smart.
There is banality and triviality in his motives to kill these men. Revenge is so obvious. But yet this was necessary. Only if he was personally involved in his first murders, he could later on discover that the lambs did not stop screaming after the task he put on himself was complete.
My fanedit NEVER makes his killings appear as a good thing to sympathize with. But the calmness with which he takes revenge is for sure fascinating.
My fanedit tries to completely change the mood of the movie from a superficial psychopath hero tale to a more subtle revenge movie of a deeply traumatized, yet very intelligent person, who tries to solve the reason for his nightmares and his continually feeling bad (the screaming of the lambs).
Well, I can understand what happened with Harris and Lecter and the route things took. When you stumble upon an indellible character, it's hard to leave him alone, and it's not like Hannibal isn't the most enjoyable character in Lambs and Red Dragon/Manhunter, compared with the suffering cop protagonists.
added Rapidshare links and direct download links.
wow, DD links, you are getting this out to the masses ;)
haha, oh yes!!! :D 6 downlaoders via torrent so far... this is going to be huge! ;-)

nah, I knew from the very beginning this was to special to receive great interest. People were already tired of the Lecter franchise after RED DRAGON (the movie), but Dino De Laurentiis, the producer who owns the rights to the franchise since Hannibal, thought otherwise. 26 million $ gross compared to 50 million $ production costs does not sound like he was right. And they better not make another sequel...

But I for one love my Hannibal. I am a true fan since I watched Silence Of The Lambs and read Red Dragon. I will watch the next sequel as well, if there is one. My fanedit was created for those other geeks with a strange fascination for this guy.
And besides: my Lecter Variations is actually a good movie. :)
The greatest way to stop sequels is box office losses. -$24 million should do it.
I've just downloaded it. Extracting now.
This is the first fan-edit I have watched for quite some time.

I always avoid watching edits of films I would like to do myself, and this was a perfect candidate, because not only did I not want to edit it, I had zero intention of ever watching the film. :)

A micture of observations and constructive criticism, if I may Boon.

From reading what you removed, I can only say the edit is a more satisfying film than it probably was to begin with. All the removed stuff sounds dreadful.

I loved the opening title credit. Very nice looking.

I felt the opening explanatory text to be extremely unnecessary. Nothing is imparted that isn't learned from watching the film. I think it'd be more elegant to not explain anything, and just let your re-structured story unfold.

The first look at Lecter castle is terribly blurry...I assume this is a zoomed in shot?

There were no hard cuts, but I did notice one or two scenes which transitioned rather abruptly. I have no idea what they were like before though, so who knows? ;)

Interspersing the Mischa story throughout the narrative was definitely a good idea. I can't imagine the film starting with all that stuff. It works much better as a slow reveal.

I didn't care for the "Here's what I did" stuff at the end at all, no offense. It took me completely out of any mood created by the film. As an extra on a DVD, it'd be great, but not as a substitute for end credits.

Also, there were spelling errors throughout. I don't mean to sound condescending, but if you haven't finalised the DVD version (as opposed to this avi), I'd be happy to help fix the english up for you.

I hope it doesn't seem like I'm complaining more than praising. It's always easier to see the misses, whereas the hits are beautifully invisible, as they should be. All in all, I actually didn't mind the film, and from what I've heard of the original, that's quite a stupendous feat. :)
thanks a lot for the comment, UA.
Indeed, if you say you did not mind the film and were able to watch it through without being annoyed all the time, this means a HUGE improvement and I am quite happy with that. :)
Yes, the Lecter castle beginning is a zoomed view... and it shows. My test audience did not mention it, so I thought it wasn't that bad. I will do something about it for the final view.
The explanatory text at the beginning is rather important for the mood. My first version did not have it and my audience said, something was missing and that they felt like being put in the middle of the movie. What I like about it is the part: "The deeply traumatized boy was considered mentally handicapped." because it explains his muteness, his aggressive behavior and that he could have been helped maybe, if only someone would have treated him psychologically.
The transitions you mention are there. Among hard cuts, and fading to black I use them as a means for passing time or connecting what should be connected. If you could tell me, which ones were bothering you, then maybe I can still do something about them.
Now that you say it, I also find my babbling at the end really long... I will do something about it.
That's the benefit of a pre-release... :)
Thanks again for your comments.
boon23 said:
thanks a lot for the comment, UA.
Indeed, if you say you did not mind the film and were able to watch it through without being annoyed all the time, this means a HUGE improvement and I am quite happy with that. :)
Most certainly. I felt a good movie trying desperately to burst out of it. :)

Yes, the Lecter castle beginning is a zoomed view... and it shows.
What was in the shot that you were zooming out?

If you could tell me, which ones were bothering you, then maybe I can still do something about them.
No, there were none that stood out. I only noticed them as a fellow editor, and how hard it is to make new scene cuts flow sometimes. :)

It was really nothing more than the score disappearing quickly. (Always a bitch to fix, I find.) I guarantee it's nothing the general audience would ever notice, and indeed...it may have even been that way in the original film.

Thanks again for your comments.
You're welcome. I'm glad you took them in the way they were intended, and not as bitching.
ha! I want THESE comments. They were just great, UA, and I am already working on the more final version now. The original shot contained the writing: 8 years later, but since this actually was the beginning of my movie, I could hardly start with that. :) But now that I have the introduction, I actually can, so I will just switch back to using the original shot in its nice quality. I will also change the end credits, remove the butcher snippets and take out the "what did I do" part. It actually gives me the chance to make them way more quiet than the first ones, which had to be dramatically scored, to fit the butcher scenes better. This way I can peacefully end the movie. Personally I consider end credits an important part of the movie. It is with what you send the audience home. The last impression.
That all sounds great.

And definitely keep that "What I did" reel for an extra feature. That's exactly the kind of extras I'd love to see on fan-edit DVDs.
there will be lots of extras on the DVD. If one of them really works out, this is going to be fun.
I would like to know if I should hold off on watching this until the DVD? I grabbed it from Piratebay (and still seeding) and was really looking forward to seeing it, but now I'm thinking that I should wait. Cheers! :)
well, the changes are really minor. Just one shot of Lecter castle in the beginning (4 sec) is now sharp and the end credits were created anew.
There were no changes made to the movie. But of course the DVD will look so much better... :)
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