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Enter the Ninja

Comparison:

  • Old BBFC 18 Version
  • German DVD
Release: Sep 27, 2012 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: DaxRider123 - external link: IMDB
This is a comparison between the UK VHS released by M.I.A and the uncut DVD released by Ascot Elite / Infopictures / Retrofilm.


- 26 cuts
- Difference in time: 276.9 sec (= 4:37 min)

NOTE: Minor differences (runtime: less than 0.5 seconds) that are a result of film tears won't be considered for reasons of simplicity.



This cult trash-actioner from the Cannon-Studios is probably not the reason for the boom of ninja movies in the 80's, however, it definitively was a reason for this subgenre's popularity. Sho Kosugi - a well known ninja movie actor - only has a minor role as the antagonist (unlike the sequels). Still, the movie is fun as hell. Movie legend Franco Nero of course rather makes a fool of himself when playing a martial artist but who in the 80's would have expected high quality fighting scenes in movies produced outside of Asia anyway... Nero's - wearing a white combat dress - grim facial expressions plus his moustache make his performance absolutely entertaining.

When looking at some of the scenes in this movie, it was clear to everyone that the BBFC would have a lot of complaints: animal cruelty (during the rooster fighting scenes) and - due to the topic of the movie - the usage of nunchakus and throwing stars seemed to make it impossible for the movie to come out uncut in the UK. Unlike the ninja weapons, however, animal cruelty is still a no-go for the UK censors.


The M.I.A. DVD was a direct transfer of the VHS to the DVD. Thus, it includes the same raunchy image quality (which you can see at the bottom of this comparison) as well as all the film tears.



Time designations are given as follows:
UK VHS / Uncut Version




We would like to Shamrock Media who provided us with the material for this comparison!
Logos

On the UK VHS/DVD we at the beginning see a Columbia Pictures logo, while the Uncut DVD shows the new MGM logo.
(This does not count for the overall difference in time!)

+ 9.5 sec

UK VHS/DVDUncut Version




00:29-00:41 / 00:20-00:30

At first sight, this might seem to be a rather uninteresting change of credits, however, this is already censorship:
The first two credits for actors were altered. In the Uncut Version you see Sho Kosugi doing his thing, while the UK VHS only shows the two names in front of a black screen. The rest of the credits are identical. The alteration happened because of the usage of a nunchaku - which the BBFC didn't like back then.

VHS 1.9 sec longer (Overall runtime: 9.8 sec)

UK VHSUncut Version




06:07 / 05:56-06:26

Hasegawa is shown with a throwing star in front of his face. Soon, he throws them at a tree. Then follows a short fight that involves nunchakus. Cole breaks them and then flees.

29.8 sec




06:47 / 07:06-07:15

Cole turns around and kills another opponent with his throwing stars.

9 sec




19:11 / 19:39

After Cole and Frank drank a toast to each other, the following shot begins slightly earlier.

0.5 sec





20:41 / 21:09-22:18

Cole and Frank walk a little longer. Then follows the first rooster fight.

Frank: "This is where I like to spend most of my time. With my workers. Pee-Wee! I want you to meet my old friend. He'll be staying with us for a while."
Pee-Wee: "Sir, you want me to set up a cockfight for your friend? We'll win today, boss!"
Frank: "I'll bet your ass, we will! Here, put 200 pesos on him."
Pee-Wee: "200 pesos... Come on!"
Frank: "Get those suckers down! Come on, you, fight! Kill him, kill him! Now we'll win again..."


Subsequently, there's another missing scene where they use nunchakus. Cole is doing some training in his garden while Mary Ann drives past him

Mary Ann: "Morning! I'm going to town. You want to come?"
Cole: "OK."


69.2 sec




23:17 / 24:54-24:57

Pee-Wee is beat up during those short shots.

2.4 sec




29:02 / 30:42-30:44

Cole lands on his feet and immediately runs to another opponent whom he defeats via a hit on the ear (which back then was called "Double Ear Clap").

1.8 sec




29:03 / 30:45-30:58

After a short cut to Mary Ann, we don't see the guy who was just hit on the ears being hit in the face. Cole lunges out and the bad guy falls to the ground in slow motion.

12.7 sec




37:07 / 39:02-39:09

Rooster fight number two: The workers throw the poor animals in the middle of the circle before some bad guys show up.

7.1 sec




37:12 / 39:14-39:15

A short shot of the fighting roosters.

1.1 sec




37:16 / 39:19-39:22

Ditto; we see the people that surround the fight.

3 sec




45:26 / 47:32-47:35

Cole sneaks up to a bad guy from behind and then chokes him in a close-up shot. The following shot from farther away, however, was included on the UK VHS/DVD.

2.7 sec




46:24 / 48:33-48:57

Cole fights two guards off with a karate chop. The following conversation of Frank and the neatly dressed gangsters starts a little earlier
Mr. Parker: "You see, you have no time."
Frank: "No time? How much time are you willing to give me?"
Mr. Parker: "My employer insists on an immediate answer."

24.3 sec




55:28 / 58:01-58:11

If you don't know the uncut version, you won't really recognize that now follows a cut: In the middle of the scene, Hasegawa uses nunchakus. Since the scenes that surround the nunchaku-segment have the exact same perspective, you don't recognize the cut in the uncut version.
10.1 sec




64:20 / 67:03-67:12

Hasegawa has a weapon with nails on his hand which he uses to kill the first guard. Blood splashes after he hits him on the forehead.

9.4 sec




68:24 / 71:16-71:31

Hasegawa pulls Frank towards him, puts him in a strangehold and breaks his arm. Frank screams but is able to break free.

15.1 sec




68:36 / 71:43-71:54

Hasegawa throws a ninja star at Frank and is angry because he missed. The second star, however, hits Frank's leg.

10.9 sec




68:52 / 72:10-72:12

The beginning of the shot - hence the bloody cut in the neck - was cut out.

1.9 sec




72:50 / 76:10-76:12

A shot of a throwing star.

1.9 sec




74:37 / 77:59-78:06

Cole is shown a little longer in the hallway: He reaches for a throwing star and uses it to kill a guard.
The UK VHS/DVD continues, when the guard falls to the ground.

7.2 sec




79:07 / 82:36-82:58

Cole stops in a hallway, since he recognises an attacker behind him. Quickly, he throws a couple of ninja stars at him.
Another bad guy is killed via nails from a blowpipe.

22.1 sec




80:07 / 83:58-84:12

Cole reaches for a huge ninja star and throws it at the head of a bad guy.
Venarius: "Ninja! I told you I was ready to talk!"

13.8 sec




80:09 / 84:14-84:15

After we saw Cole using the blowpipe, the UK VHS/DVD doesn't show the effect: A bad guy falls to the ground with a nail in his neck.

0.6 sec




82:19 / 86:25-86:30

This shot is slightly longer: Cole throws a ninja star. We see it hitting Venarius' chest while the latter drops his gun.

4.6 sec




82:21 / 86:32-86:34

The following shot of Venarius begins a little earlier, hence we get a better look at the throwing star before he falls to the ground.

2.6 sec




86:50 / 91:03-91:06

Hasegawa throws ninja stars at Cole twice. He misses.

3.3 sec




After the end credits, the uncut DVD shows the MGM logo again.






In the end, here's a short comparison of the image quality. The UK VHS/DVD is Open Matte and thus shows some more picture information at the top and the bottom of the image. In the widescreen version you don't really miss out on too many details and the better image quality alone should be the reason to stick with the uncut DVD.


UK VHS/DVDUncut Version

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