To avoid an X-rating in the USA, David Lynch added a smoky haze and spark impact to the shots where Bobby Peru (Willem Dafoe) shoots himself with a shotgun and blows his head off. The second shot has the same smoky haze on it to hide the chunk of his head flying though the air. The effect made the removal of his head from his body less clear and muted the blood and gore and got the movie an "R" rating. The uncut version was released outside the USA, but since the David Lynch-approved DVD came out in the U.S. (the shot was altered there), the censored transfer has been used on worldwide DVD releases as well, while most of the versions with the bloodier version of the scene have gone out of print. Oddly enough, the more graphic version is still shown in TV airings in the U.S. on the Sundance Channel.
The original Australian theatrical release of "Wild at Heart" started with a short scene in which Nicholas Cage is seen having sex with Laura Dern's mother in a toilet cubicle. This scene has been excised from the Region 4 DVD release and instead the film starts with an unsubstantiated accusation of this, just before the fight.