The original US NC-17 VHS version that was available for rent is completely uncut. As it was produced before the Led Zeppelin legal action, it included all usage of the Schoolly D track "Signifying Rapper".
the out of print NTSC laserdisc (along with the out of print NTSC pre recorded videocassette) are the only complete, uncut versions of the film which feature the now deleted 'signifying rapper' by scholly d soundtrack which was later removed due to legal reasons. both are now valuable collector's items.
The theatrical version featured a rap song (Schoolly D's 'Signifying Rapper') based on a riff from Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" without permission. Subsequent video releases omit the song from the soundtrack.
The original theatrical version was released with an NC-17 rating. However, there is an R-rated video version which omits a great deal of critical plot structure.
The UK cinema release was uncut, but the 1995 Guild video version was shorn of 1 min 47 seconds of "instructional" heroin use, and the rape scene was slightly trimmed. The video version also omits the rap song.
This film was passed uncut in the UK in 2003. The previous releases suffered from the following cuts: Rape of the nun: cut: scene where nun's pants are removed revealing pubic hair. Injecting heroin: cut: close-up of Zoe Lund's arm as she injects herself. Injecting heroin: cut: Keitel drinking as he watches Zoe. Injecting heroin: cut: another shot of Zoe's arm with the needle in it. Injecting heroin: cut: close up of Zoe's face. Injecting heroin: cut: Zoe drawing liquid from spoon. (still present in the trailer!) Injecting heroin: 31s replaced by crude dissolve: Zoe injects Keitel. Led Zepplin threatened legal action against a track sounding slightly like "Kashmir". The offending song has been removed from 4 points in the video. Street drug dealing just before Keitel arrives to buy crack: now no music at all. Nun's rape originally to backing track "signifying rapper": now church organ music. Long tracking shot following Keitel into the hospital: now no music at all. End credits: now have Abel Ferrara himself singing.