Compared are the US DVD by Video Asia and the Hong Kong VHS by Ocean Shores
- 5 cuts
- Length difference: 111.9 sec (+ German VHS another 18.5 sec longer)
Both versions suffer from little jump-cuts that will be mentioned in the following comparison if they are longer than 0.5 seconds.
Similar to other eastern, this entertainung kung fu flick with Jimmy Wang Yu in his usual role as one-armed avenger is rather hard to get and it is almost impossible to get an uncut version. The German VHS is cut because (compared to the HK VHS) it lacks a neck getting snapped and a short dialogue sequence. The German DVD is even more cut.
For several reasons, the VHS from Hong Kong is not exactly the cream of the crop either. For instance, parts of the shots during the opening credits are missing plus there are (admittedly rather trivial) jump-cuts at the beginning and ending of several shots. Moreover, the aspect ratio is far from perfect because a lot is happing off-screen during the credits and head are often cut off as well. At the bottom though, the HK VHS contains more information than the German VHS. There are not any decent alternatives either. For more information, please read the next paragraph. Bottom line, the slightly cut German VHS is not that bad.
The US DVD was available for this comparison as well. And curiously enough, the US DVD is based on the German VHS. Except for one thing: there are two additional cuts on the US DVD (German opening credits + some nature footage). Fun fact: an English audio track for the missing footage DOES excist resp. regarding earlier releases, this footage was not cut.
The Dutch DVD is also based on a German release. Only this time, it is the heavier cut German DVD the Dutch DVD (contrary to the US DVD which is based on the longer tape). In other words, the Dutch DVD is not recommendable at all.
Time index refers to
US DVD / Hongkong VHS
The first shots have been cut. Compared to the German VHS, the otherwise uncut HK tape lacks even more shots at the very beginning.
HK VHS 41.4 sec longer + German VHS another 18.5 sec longer
Subsequently, a rather crude title overlay during a shot which does not have any overlay on the German tape.
00:20 / 01:01-01:31
Here, the US DVD instantaneously continues with a shot of Liu (Wang Yu) in profile. Actually, there are several shots of water and mountains plus shots of Liu with further credits.
04:56-05:00 / 06:07
Longer jump-cut on the HK VHS: actually, the scene starts destinctily earlier.
+ 4.3 sec
12:34-12:35 / 13:40
Puning (?) earlier on the US DVD.
+ 1.1 sec
18:01 / 19:07-19:12
After the the blow with the elbow, there is a jump-cut on the US DVD. Yen immediately goes down.
Actually, Liu lunges out again and breaks his neck. Blood is leaking out of Yen's mouth and Liu moves backwards.
19:11 / 20:22-20:56
The stop at the phony doctor begins earlier actaully.
The doc looks at the wound and confirms the intoxication. Liu's friend desperatly asks for an antidote. And she is lucky because the doc says he was capable of neutralizing any kind of bone toxin.
57:59 / 59:42-59:43
Probably just a longer jump-cut but it is a rather distinctive scene which is why it is considered a regular cut: the shot of the little girl after the tablet has been tossed at her is a bit longer on the HK Tape.
71:01 / 72:44-72:51
Really weird: during a scene on the HK VHS, we have a freeze frame for a few seconds.
Apparently, this is not intentional nor considered a cut. But for the sake of completeness, it has been documented. This is also the reason that there is a bigger length difference because it lasts almost 7 seconds.
75:07 / 76:57-76:58
Jump-cut: beginning of a shot.
Only the HK VHS contains an overlay during the last frozen image. Nonsensically, the same "The End" overlay follows on black background - only this time, it is comepletely in English. As a result, the texts overlap on the HK VHS.