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Iron Angels 2

original title: Tian shi xing dong II zhi huo feng jiao long

Comparison:

  • Czech Version
  • International Version
Release: Aug 16, 2013 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB
Compared are the Czech DVD by Vapet and the International Version / German DVD by Laser Paradise (plus UK-LD by M.I.A.)


12 cuts with a total length of 749.3 sec (= 12:29 min):
- Czech DVD: 10 cuts with a total length of 234 sec (= 3:54 min)
- UK_LD: 2 additional scenes with a total length of 515.3 sec (= 8:35 min)
- Czech DVD: 4 longer scenes with a total length of 65 sec (= 1:05 min)

(Different logos not considered)




As trashy and ridiculous the movies may be - the Iron Angels series is still the creme of the crop for fans of HK-Action from the 80s. While the first one is only available as slightly cut HK-DVD or the Czech DVD, based on the same master and equally cut, and while the availability of the decent release of the third one has improved a few years ago, thanks to the Czech DVD and its German clone released in February 2012, the second one is still the problem child of the series. Although an uncensored hasn't been released yet, one can get pretty close to it with the different international releases. Apart from the releases in Germany and the UK, which are easy to get, the HK-VHS and the Czech DVD offer further characteristics (besides cuts for the particular versions) and that's what the following comparison is all about.


All in all, the following versions excist:

1. German VHS/DVD (International Version):

Length: 82:58 min (PAL)

There are 3 missing plot scenes and a further cut of a relatively harmless action scene. The cuts are acceptable and the quality of the Widescreen DVD is okay as well (given the circumstances). But a difference of more than 10 minutes is still something.



2. UK-VHS/LD:

Length: 92:14 min (PAL)

This version is apparently based on the uncut and uncensored original Asian version. But due to BBFC regulations, 4 scenes with a length of 17 seconds needed to be censored (click here to get to the comparison). Even though on paper, this is still the longest version availabe, it's not really recommendable. Cutting action scenes is always the worst thing in the genre.

Please note: There's a second edition available on VHS, released by the same label. The cuts are equal but contrary to the first edition, the tape is based on the shorter International Version which makes it thw worst possible release.


3. Hongkong VHS/LD:

Length: 90:35 min (PAL)

Based on the original Asian version, this release contains two longer cuts. The first one when Marco gets busted (a short fight but nothing worth being censored) and the second one regards the attempted rape of Elaine. This adds up to almost 2.5 minutes. Measured by its number of cuts, this version lacks the least footage which makes it recommendable, it's not actually recommendable of course. Another reason is the aspect ratio: it has been zoomed in to Fullscreen - there is a bit more information here and there but a lot of information gets lost because of that.


4. Czech DVD:

Length: 83:28 min (NTSC) = 80:03 min (PAL)

As already mentioned, the Czech were some kind of pioneers for the first uncut releases of part 1 + 3 worldwide. And thanks to the new Mei Ah masters directly from Hong Kong, the quality is astonishing.
As to part 2, the Czech remain on the top of the food chain (so to speak) but this time with a few cut backs. The aspect ratio of 2.35:1 makes the movie look better than it ever has before. BUT another versions comes into play here. Similar to the International Version, the basic cuts only regard the plot - sometimes the scenes are different though. The scene with Elaine in captivity is missing here as well, just like it does on the HK-VHS/LD. With a total difference of more than 12 minutes, this release contains the shortest version which makes it anything but recommendable - despite its superior quality.


Bottom line: it would possible to edit an uncut version with the German DVD and the UK-VHS/LD. Judging by the quality, the Czech DVD would be the best option for most parts of the movie. On the one hand, the HK-VHS/LD is interesting because of its aspect ratio (open matte but still zoomed in). But then again, despite the fact that there are only two cuts (very long scenes with relevant information though), this version isn't really an option either because of all its mentioned flaws.


Czech DVD - Iron Angels Part 2


The master used for the Czech DVD is from the Hongkong label "Mei Ah". At a first glance, it looks incredible. A few flaws now and then, but the colors are bright and it looks very natural. BUT the aspect ratio is officially weird. Anarmorph and almost 2.80:1 (it has been checked verified), but it makes the people look fat. Blowing it up to fullscreen (which would be approx. would cause pointy-heads. That means version in anarmorph is the right one and the extreme widescreen can be explained quickly if one takes a closer look at the different availabe versions. Obviously, the image section on the bottom has been cut off for some reason. It's very likely that the orginal aspect ratio actually was 2.35:1. And it's even more likely that the original "Mei Ah" master contained hardcoded subtitles and the bottom was removed in order to get rid off them. Too bad because this would have been the best version available. No doubt!

But there's a second, for our site more important reason why this version isn't the cream of the crop: compared to the German DVD, approx. 4 additional minutes are missing plus 2 of these cuts (including the long dinner scene at Peter's) contain alternate footage. The other cuts on the German DVD are equally made in this version. As already mentioned, the attempted rape of Elains is part of it (the other missing scene on the HK-VHS is not an issue here). The further additional cuts only concern plot scenes and are not really worth mentioning. Moreover, there are little jump cuts. Among them a fight scene.



Time index refers to
Czech DVD in NTSC / German DVD (International Version) in PAL
Logos / Credits

The Czech DVD starts with a logo. The following credits are Asian while the credits in the International Version are in English. The actual footage remains the same.

Czech DVD 8.5 sec longer

Czech DVDGerman DVD




16:55-17:20 / 16:06-16:16

As with the German DVD, the Czech DVD lacks the entire dinner at Peter's plus about a minute at the beginning at the bar.
All in all, 433 sec (= 7:13 min) are missing here. A few screenshots taken from the UK-LD:


Contrary to the here compared International Version, the scene at the night club begins approx. 1 minute earlier... for a couple of seconds at least because another 47 seconds are missing after the shot of the cheering crowd. Screen taken from the UK-LD again.


The remaining part of her performance is equal.
Still noticable though that there are additional 10 seconds at the beginning on the German DVD (our three main characters enter) which is completely missing on the Czech DVD because that scene is part of the 7-minute-block mentioned at the beginning of this comparison and the "recut-effort" was obviously not made.

CZ 13.5 sec longer than the German DVD
Compared to the Asian Original Version, there's a difference of 480 sec (= 8:00 min).



22:31 / 21:15-21:16

As often on the Czech, a little jump cut (obviously not censored because much more violent scenes are still in the movie). A little longer on the one hand and yet cut: the beginning of the shot of the kick in the crotch is missing here.

0.8 sec




24:41 / 23:21-24:02

Peter keeps staggering and the others sing along. In a quite moment, Billy goes into it again and Marco repeats he was supposed to keep an eye on Peter. The keep walking and start with the next song.

40.8 sec




28:46 / 27:57-28:48

Mr. King keeps talking. This time about oil he's purchasing worldwide. At least, he donates 20% of his earnings to kindergartens and similar institutions.
They keep going to the recycling facility and he tells about producing methan gas out of water remains. That's how he build his own electric utility.

With his suggestion to grab a bite, the Czech Version is back in the game.

50.8 sec




35:04-35:07 / 34:50

Just like the International Version, the Asian Original Version lacks more talking, dancing and singing at the table.
But then again, the Czech DVD starts a little earlier when the guy approaches the table from behind.

Screenshots from the UK-LD:



Czech DVD 3.6 sec longer than the German DVD
Compared to the Asian Original Version, there's a difference of 35.3 sec .




36:03 / 35:44-35:47

A second clothes pin is being attached to Marco's chest.

2.7 sec




36:07-36:39 / 35:50

The German DVD lacks Marco getting juiced, the Czech DVD doesn't.

Czech DVD 30 sec longer than the German DVD


38:18-38:36 / 37:25

Cut on the German (the scene is on the Czech DVD though): Peter is watching Hitler on TV.

Czech DVD 17.9 sec longer than the German DVD




47:04 / 45:33-45:49

Elaine earlier grieving.

16.6 sec




54:54 / 53:21-54:51

An entire scene of Elaine being held captive. A General comes in. Refering to her superiority complex, he explains it would be gone soon. He winks at two soldiers. That's their cue so they approach her and try to rip off her top. Elaine screams. Before it gets worse, Peter appears from behind. He shoots one of the soldiers and reprimands the General for his actions. Since he has the authority, the General obeys his order and returns to post. Now, Elaine and Peter are looking at each other.

90.1 sec




62:34 / 62:12-62:36

Peter comes up with more "catchphrases" ("Freedom!", "We will destroy the reactionists for good!" etc.) and his people agree.

24.5 sec




68:39 / 68:27-68:32

At first, Billy and Elaine are sceptical when it comes to Peter. Billy gives him a look of reproach.

5.3 sec




68:41 / 68:34-68:37

Different angle of them running off. Subsequently, Peter trivially earlier.

2.7 sec




Logos / Credits

Only the HK-VHS contains end credits during the final block of action scenes from the movie.
The German DVD only contains an additional Astro logo at the end and the Czech DVD contains an "End" logo on black background for 2 seconds.

German DVD 11.9 sec longer

HK-VHSGerman DVD






Last but not least, a little comparion of different scenes from the movie resp. without credits etc.
Admittedly, the screenshots are a little small but it should illustrate which version is the better one anyway. As one can see, there are more image details on top and on the right and the left on the Czech DVD but it lacks a lot of imgae details on the bottom.


Czech DVD DVDGerman DVD

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