Comparison between the cut R-rated VHS from CBS / Fox and the uncut Blu-ray from Arrow Video.
- 43 cuts
- Duration: 954 sec (= 15:54 min)
Several other master errors with a duration of less than 0.5 sec each were not listed in the report.
Regarding The Street Fighter and its two sequels, fellow author brainbug1602 has already written all the essentials in the detailed intro of the report for the US version of Part 3. Following the 2019 HD premiere by Shout! Factory in the US, a Blu-ray box set from Arrow Video has also been available in the UK since April 17, 2023. Arrow is using new HD scans here, which look slightly better than the Shout versions. Part 3 in particular benefits from this, as with Shout the cut scenes in the US version were only available in SD, while Arrow now offers the film uncut completely in HD (comparison screenshots).
The announcement for the Arrow box was a bit unclear regarding the included versions, as they explicitly mentioned the Japanese and US versions of the films in the specs. As with Shout, however, only Part 3 is actually available in a shorter alternate cut. You can choose between the US and JP versions for parts 1 and 2 in the menu, but they run identically to the second and as we could determine in a direct comparison, they only differ in the credits and various text overlays throughout the film. Previously known to have been X-rated in U.S. theaters, the film was released uncut in the U.S. on VHS as well as laserdisc and DVD.
But in 1975, a heavily censored R-rated version was created for a theatrical re-release and this ended up on the initial VHS release in 1980. It is that very same ancient VHS that we deal with in this report. Most cuts are rather long, so that here and there also dialogues are cut off. There are also many small master errors. But the majority of the 16 missing minutes are indeed censorship cuts. Compared to later MPA(A) censorship, which is mainly known for little interventions in the frame area, this enormous amount of cutting frenzy is rather reminiscent of German video store times. Fortunately, this R-rated version has been a thing of the past in America since the uncut VHS reissues.
Running times are arranged according to the scheme
US-VHS in NTSC / Arrow Video in 23.976fps
We start with a comparison of the US version and the Japanese version on the Arrow Blu-ray. In addition to the credits, several text overlays highlighting e.g. the current location across the film are in English on the US version. Up to the end credits, the versions are frame-exactly identical. The last shot, above which the credits begin, starts an insignificant ~2 sec earlier in the original version. In return, the black frame in the US version is exactly these ~ 2 sec longer.
For the following comparison to the R-rated VHS, the U.S. version of Arrow was taken as the basis, since the credits and location texts on the R-rated VHS match it as expected.
The US VHS starts (after the CBS Fox logo, which is not counted) with a mention of New Line Cinema. In exchange, the Blu-ray references Toei. The first shots are still nastily stretched up, probably so that the English subtitle for the newspaper article is completely legible. This first shot of the newspaper is then also 0.7 sec shorter at the end. After that, the picture is radically zoomed in on the US VHS (which is already catastrophic in terms of quality).
Blu-ray 7.7 sec longer
01:38 / 01:46-01:59
Jumpcut: The guy in a suit introduces Tateki Shikenbaru (aka Junjo) to Takuma Tsurugi (aka Terry Sugury) in even more detail. He would travel from prison to prison saying prayers. Shikenbaru might also accept this offer. How Shikenbaru refuses to talk to a priest can be seen again in the US VHS.
For the title card and the opening credits two minutes later, the picture is briefly distorted again on the VHS.
08:22 / 08:45-08:51
The policeman gets hit on the head with the stick. His colleague becomes aware of this, whereupon the hoodlum jumps over the car and hits him as well. The following shot of the policeman in the car also starts a moment earlier.
08:38 / 09:07-09:12
The policeman and the other guy land on the floor. They are still writhing there a bit in pain.
12:50 / 13:24-13:32
Tsurugi attacks the guy on the ground even further and drills his fingers into his eyes.
12:56 / 13:37-14:46
Tsurugi is attacked by Nachi at the end of the shot, whereupon he punches her in the stomach and face. Gijun then also tries his luck, but has no chance against Tsurugi. He gets a few basically harmless kicks, so the extent of this cut is a bit surprising. After a punch to the face, he bleeds from the nose and Nachi attacks again. Tsurugi throws her onto the bed.
68.3 sec (= 1:08 min)
13:09 / 14:59-15:03
Of course, the shot of Gijun lying on the ground in a pool of blood is missing at the end of the scene (after he has fallen out of the window).
16:26 / 18:21-19:17
Before Tsurugi reaches for the check, the scene is actually interrupted and we see Nachi forced into prostitution. She is pushed into another room where she is harassed by several men. The dark-skinned henchman (Bondo) is probably the leader here. They undress Nachi, fiddle with her a bit and give her a shot of drugs, whereupon she slowly calms down.
16:49 / 19:40-19:41
Master error during scene change.
21:27 / 24:20-24:43
Tsurugi gives another opponent a few punches at the end of the shot. A long shot follows, in which first one opponent receives a kick to the stomach. Tsurugi intercepts the kick of another and counters with a series of punches. Finally, a guy with a green shirt is attacked.
22:09 / 25:26-25:32
After Tsurugi has already held his hand threateningly in front of the guy's face, he also punches and some teeth crumble out of his mouth.
22:14 / 25:36-25:42
The guy can be seen again, wiping his bloody mouth.
23:13 / 26:41-27:00
More bullet holes and the man slumps to the ground. The boss shoots one more time and he dies.
26:16 / 30:04-30:06
Tsurugi kicks the guy on the ground again on the abdomen.
26:53 / 30:42-31:00
The student fighter staggers to the wall and receives more attacks. Blood runs from his mouth. The trainer thinks that time is up now. The student contorts his face again in pain. The follow-up shot also starts a little earlier.
30:37 / 34:45-34:47
In the B&W flashback, the scene is cut off with the execution immediately before the shots are fired.
33:46 / 37:57-37:59
Jumpcut: After the coach takes a bow, a small moment is missing.
34:46 / 38:59-39:04
At the end of the scene, a master error: Tsurugi chomps for a moment. The following shot with the ship and the text "Hong Kong" also begins a bit earlier.
36:08 / 40:26-40:49
The guy in a suit walks a little longer through the room and comes, probably unintentionally, against the sword of the blind man. The blind man angrily slashes him across the legs with his sword. The guy whimpers a bit on the floor, whereupon a bald man comes and takes him on his shoulders.
36:13 / 40:54-40:57
The middle part of the shot has been removed: you can see the knife in the man's upper body more clearly here. He slumps and when the camera zooms on the assassin in the background, the R-rated is there again.
45:24 / 50:08-51:06
The two gangsters still go to the car wreck and you can see blood-covered corpses inside. When they look closer, Tsurugi jumps out and attacks the two. The first one gets hit on the head and after a short X-Ray shot he spits lots of blood. The second is still writhing on the ground, whereupon Tsurugi gets on top of him. He turns his foot a bit, it cracks.
Weird: In the following shot, it looks as if blood has been retouched - or the quality of the VHS is probably just so bad that this is simply lost in the pale picture.
46:57 / 52:39-52:45
After Tsurugi strikes, there is a close-up where you can see his fingers in the bald guy's bloodshot eyes. The follow-up shot also starts a bit earlier and the R-rated only shows how Tsurugi pulls his hand away again.
49:18 / 55:06-55:11
In a wide shot, Tsurugi continues to attack his opponent, you can hear bones cracking. The closer follow-up shot also starts a little earlier.
49:27 / 55:20-55:22
Master error at the end of the scene.
51:33 / 57:29-58:00
You can still see the bloody stomach wound of the guy. Cut to the woman (Sarai) in the car. The guy tries to attack again, whereupon the baddie throws a knife into his eye. When he pulls it out again, a lot of blood runs out. Another guy grabs the legs of the baddie, whereupon the one-eyed guy attacks again. The second guy is then killed by a sword.