Comparison between the theatrical version (on the DVD from the UK by Hongkong Legends) and the Taiwanese extended version (on the VHS from Taiwan by Vidi).
Of which 10 spots are exclusive to the theatrical version with a duration of 47 sec
A few additional master errors with a duration of less than 0.5 sec each were not listed in the report.
In The Iceman Cometh, Yuen Biao starred in 1989 without his usual companions Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung at his side. However, with Maggie Cheung and Yuen Wah, he is joined by two familiar faces that Hong Kong fans should know, and there are a few cameo appearances as well. Whether you can get involved with the time travel and culture shock theme is, of course, up to each viewer. There is room for a few nicely choreographed fight scenes, at the latest in the finale.
The film, which is relatively long even in the theatrical version, was originally a bit longer. As with so many Asian productions, a presumably early version made it to Taiwan, running about 11 minutes longer. There are quite a few short moments that were obviously only cut out in the theatrical version for tightening reasons. Maggie gets plenty more screentime and tries to take more money from clients a bit more often. In the finale, there is also some additional action to see. Conversely, however, the visual effects are missing in a few scenes.
All in all, once again a goodie for fans. An added value is definitely present, but most interested parties are also well served with the much easier to find theatrical version.
Surprisingly 88 Films also offers a complete HD scan of the longer Taiwanese cut on the British Blu-ray (street date: 14th November 2022). Vinegar Syndrome also has a longer version on their US Blu-ray but it's incomplete with a runtime of only 122 minutes, while this cut is actually 127min in NTSC/24fps.
Runtimes are ordered as follows: British DVD in PAL / Taiwanese VHS in NTSC
For starters, references to Fortune Star vs Vidi.
Just above the first shot of the film, the theatrical version has an insert indicating that the scene would be set in the Ming Dynasty, in the fifth year of Chongzhen's reign. The Taiwan VHS lacks such an insert. After that, the credits begin identically...
...but in the further course of the opening credits, the Taiwan VHS has a few additional inserts.
02:17-02:18 / 02:10
A short first shot of the approaching Feng San is only available in the theatrical version for now.
+ 0,6 sec
03:00 / 02:54-03:03
Once again Feng San appears on the water, laughs and jumps away. Lastly, the princess lying lifeless in the water again.
Note: The shot that was seen in the theatrical version about 40 sec earlier is also used here.
04:21 / 04:27-05:33
The prince says in more detail that he will give Fong seven days to arrest Feng San. Fong promises that he will be able to do so. The prince then takes another dramatic swing at the rape of the princess and that he must now justify himself to the king. Fong says to his comrades-in-arms that they should slowly sneak away before the prince changes his mind again. The attempt to retreat is immediately noticed by the prince and there is some more dialogue.
05:27 / 06:42-06:52
The uncle comments a bit earlier on the Buddha statue that Feng San wants to steal.
05:55 / 07:22-07:42
More backstory about the Buddha.
06:23 / 08:11-08:15
Fong walks away in another shot. Also another shot from a more distant perspective.
07:10-07:55 / 09:04-09:51
In the Taiwan version (= TW), various optical effects are missing here.
At 13:34 / 15:44 and 18:18 / 20:41 the HD master lacks texts in the picture.
21:02 / 23:31-23:54
Towards the end of Fong's de-icing (before he opens his eyes), there is a small interlude. Three men fool around a bit, then two women join in. The men are happy.
21:06 / 23:58-24:06
Another interlude of celebration in the office before Fong raises his hand.
21:09 / 24:09-24:12
An additional shot of Fong's face.
21:15 / 24:19-24:33
The men in the single shot are celebrating as they walk outside to the car.
22:31 / 25:52-25:53
When the feet land on the ground in close-up, this starts insignificantly earlier in the TW.
24:26 / 27:53-27:54
A shot of Fong starts slightly earlier. Here he nods in agreement with Santa's (Stanley Fung) statement.
24:31 / 27:59-28:02
Fong looks off to the side for a moment longer. Then another brief shot of the homeless man (Corey Yuen) lurking in a corner.
25:21 / 28:54-28:58
Fong flips through the history book that Corey Yuen put in his hand for a moment.
25:24 / 29:01-29:03
Polly discusses a little longer with the crooks at the beginning of the scene.
26:27-26:28 / 30:09-30:27
In the theatrical version, Polly is seen insignificantly longer (not illustrated).
In the Taiwan version, some more dialogue. The pimp (Tai Po) wants Polly to be quiet. She asks if it's an expensive car. If so, she would be quite willing to do it on the street.
Taiwan version 16.7 sec longer
37:50 / 42:17-42:44
Polly is looking at the TV. There's a segment on about someone with superpowers. Fong takes notice, she stands in front of the TV and distracts him a bit.
Theatrical version longer
38:05-38:08 / 43:00
Fong bends down to the TV a little longer in the Theatrical version.
+ 2,6 sec
38:10 / 43:02-43:12
In return, the following shot in TW is much longer. Fong recognizes the princess.
38:26 / 43:29-43:31
A short additional scene on the TV.
38:32 / 43:37-43:45
Fong longer processes what has become of the Ming dynasty.
Theatrical version longer
38:42-38:47 / 43:55-43:56
Before Fong closes the book, a close-up of the page is briefly shown in the theatrical version.
In the TW version, the shot runs from the top in one through and is thus insignificantly longer in the middle (not illustrated).
Theatrical version 3,4 sec longer
39:11 / 44:22-44:29
The scene on TV a little longer, then Fong whimpers for forgiveness earlier.
Theatrical version longer
40:46-41:02 / 46:08-
Slightly longer miss in the TW: Polly crosses her legs and takes out a cigarette. Fong hands her a lighter, but holds it upside down. Polly takes it from his hand, lights the cigarette and smokes with pleasure.
+ 16,4 sec
41:41 / 46:48-46:55
Polly talks to Cheong earlier.
41:56 / 47:10-47:11
Asked about yesterday's altercation, the pimp briefly reacts defensively at the end of the shot.
46:34 / 52:01-52:13
Fong again asks about the fact that men are always superior to women. The man in the background is then lectured in more detail by the woman.
47:55 / 53:37-53:38
Fong prepares the tea a little earlier, while Polly wears a face mask in the background.
48:51 / 54:37-54:40
From the foam, Fong justifies himself again. Polly also gets upset a little earlier in the follow up shot.
49:45 / 55:36-55:55
When Fong paints Polly, you can see her making her eyes here at the beginning. Fong paints this, as well as her mouth.
49:53-49:56 / 56:03-56:05
Another cut to Fong. In the Theatrical version, here is now the shot seen in the TW during the previous spot.
Theatrical version 0,6 sec longer
50:35 / 56:46-56:56
A first shot at night: before Polly takes care of Fong, she stands in the front of the frame and notices in the background how he wakes up.
53:39 / 60:08-60:19
Polly turns around again and says to her suitor that he could just take a bath. The guy is probably skeptical by now that she just wants to take more money from him and yells at her briefly. Polly walks away.
54:09 / 60:50-61:44
Again Polly with a suitor: He slips money to Polly and walks away briefly. She calls Fong, he comes in and beats the guy briefly. When Fong has left again, Polly says that the suitor should pay her $5,000 so that her pushy lover would leave her alone. The suitor looks annoyed.
Theatrical version longer
55:31-55:33 / 63:10
Before Feng San throws the can, the TW is missing a few insignificant frames.
+ 1,5 sec
58:16 / 66:00-67:07
Fong cooks something for Polly's guests, but also reads while doing so. When he's supposed to serve the dishes, Polly grumbles that he did it all wrong. The girls then have lots of exotic food requests for him.
66,4 sec (= 1:06 min)