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The Clones of Bruce Lee

original title: Shen wei san meng long

Comparison:

  • US Blu-ray (Game of Clones)
  • German DVD (Asia Line)
Release: Jun 15, 2024 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Muck47 - external link: IMDB

Comparison between the American Blu-ray from Severin Films (The Game of Clones box set) and the German DVD from Schröder Media (bonus film on Asia Line Vol. 4 - THE BIG BOSS 2)


- 3 missing bits
- Duration: 12.3 sec

In addition, 15 documented missing parts with a duration of 17.5 sec on the German DVD (as well as many other master errors with a duration of < 0.5 sec each, which add up to ~ one minute).


Attack of the Clones! Since the beginning of June 2024, The Game of Clones: Bruceploitation Collection Vol. 1 has been available in the USA from the label Severin Films. As expected, fans of the trashy Eastern subgenre will get their money's worth, because a lavish package has been put together here with lots of new HD scans of rare theatrical prints, exclusive interviews as well as several audio commentaries and other goodies such as a full 100-page book. Some of the titles were not so easy to work on and Severin also communicated in advance that not every film is available here in the longest possible version due to original materials not being available anymore - although some films do run longer than earlier releases in e.g. German or the US/UK/France.

First up on Disc 2 is the film that obviously also served as the inspiration for the title of the new documentary Enter the Clones of Bruce on Disc 1 in the set. With Bruce Le, Dragon Lee, Bruce Lai and Bruce Thai, The Clones of Bruce Lee features four clone actors. In 2017, this quirky work was released for the first time as a bonus on the German DVD of The Big Boss 2 in a presumably uncut version. Here, a Spanish theatrical print was supplemented with additional image sources, resulting in a PAL 85:38min version. This was 5 minutes longer than the German theatrical version and around 40 seconds longer than the previous German DVD edition.

But since this reconstructed version from Germany contained many small master errors, it was to be expected that the new HD version from Severin with 90min in ~24fps would no longer contain those small errors. And that's how it is for the most part: the new scan certainly still has some damage, but is much smoother to watch and no longer has the many unsightly jumps of the German DVD. According to Severin's note, two new 4K scans from Italy and Germany were combined here. However, only "release prints" were discovered and it is stated that "all pre-print elements are lost".

In fact, a few brief moments around three reel changes are also missing from the US Blu-ray. In all these places, the Spanish theatrical scan that served as the basis for the German DVD was even way more incomplete, so that the material there had already been supplemented by a cropped and clearly poorer image source. Severin probably didn't want to put viewers through that. In any case, nothing essential is missed and the new US Blu-ray can only be warmly recommended.

Two more comments:

1) The German DVD, which includes this version as a bonus film, contains The Big Boss 2 - Revenge in Shanghai (own translation of the German title Rache in Shanghai) with Dragon Lee, which was made in 1981. This title was also marketed internationally as a sequel to Lee's The Big Boss. Of course, this is not The Big Boss II with Lo Lieh from 1976, which was released for the first time ever on a digital medium worldwide on the bonus Blu-ray in the Severin set.

2) Disc 2 also contains the film Enter the Three Dragons aka The Dragon on Fire. According to a separate comparison, the version corresponds to the German VHS, which runs 2 minutes shorter than the British DVD and is mainly missing some irrelevant nature shots in the beinngin.


Running times are arranged according to the scheme
US Blu-ray in 23.976fps / German DVD in 25fps

The German DVD has an additional logo at the start.

+ 9.5 sec



The opening credits directly afterwards differ.

US Blu-rayGerman DVD (Schröder Media)



Here are a few more comparison images from the movie. The heavily worn scan of theatrical reels on the old German DVD often deviates in the color scheme and has significantly more signs of damage in the image. At least there is a little more picture information on all sides on the DVD.

US Blu-rayGerman DVD (Schröder Media)




18:00 / 17:04-17:09

Probably the first reel change and therefore a mistake on the American Blu-ray: At the end of the shot, the camera pans up to the sign. The subsequent shot of the car also begins a moment earlier. The German DVD's scan was also incomplete here, so a whole sequence (longer than the missing part on the US Blu-ray!) was spliced in in windowboxed format here from a poorer image source.

5.4 sec




Note: At 40:51-43:25 / 38:31-40:58 you can see the naked girls uncensored on the US Blu-ray, while other releases earlier (e.g. the older German DVD) had blur effects over the intimate area here. The German Schröder DVD was uncensored too.

US Blu-rayGerman DVD (Schröder Media)



Here's how it looked like on the blurred releases:




In the 55th / 52nd minute, when Bruce is torturing the guy to find out where Dr. Nai is hiding, you can see a round edge of the camera on the left and sometimes a little on the right on the Schröder DVD - probably a little more than was actually intended. The US Blu-ray is not affected by this due to the zoom.

US Blu-rayGerman DVD (Schröder Media)




Also on a side note: The longer scene, which was only available as a windowboxed insert in the 59th / 56th minute on the German DVD, is of course also in HD throughout on the Blu-ray.

US Blu-rayGerman DVD (Schröder Media)




57:25 / 54:19-54:24

The second US cut is another spot that was already "patched" (extensively) with an alternate image source on the German Schröder DVD: The baddie laughs a little earlier and outside Bruce Le comes around the corner a little earlier afterwards. The US Blu-ray only starts when two more Bruces have joined him.

4.2 sec




78:27 / 74:28-74:31

Same story: As part of a longer insert on the Schröder DVD, Bruce Le is seen posing a little longer and the subsequent shot also begins a moment earlier.

2.8 sec




The end fade-in differs.

US Blu-rayGerman DVD (Schröder Media)







Here are the missing parts > 0.5 sec of the German DVD from Schröder Media. It contained several framecuts and these moments could therefore already be discovered in earlier German versions (cut in other places). The new US Blu-ray doesn't offer any totally exclusive material - but at least all of it is included here too and there are no frame cuts to complain about.

11:31-11:32 / 10:58

Small jump cut during the training fight with Bolo.

+ 0.9 sec




18:19-18:21 / 17:26

Jumpcut during the shot of the light before the director shouts "Action!".

+ 1.8 sec




38:06-38:07 / 35:58

A few more detailed jump cuts when Dragon starts his series of punches. The HD scan of the US Blu-ray is also quite damaged at this moment.

+ 0.8 sec




38:12-38:13 / 36:03

There was obviously a reel change here in both versions and in the Schröder DVD there was also a brief change to an insert from another source or it was already compensated for where there was actually more missing in the original. Nevertheless, a few frames are still lost during the transition, which can be seen on the Blu-ray.

+ 0.7 sec




47:14 / 44:35

Jump cut in the Schröder version during a striking passage (when Bruce Le evades his opponent).

+ 0.5 sec




67:11-67:16 / 63:45-63:47

Several jump cuts towards the end of the scene: Shaking hands and the professor (Jon T. Benn) talks to the nurse.

Blu-ray 2.2 sec longer




67:41-67:43 / 64:12

The professor can be seen a little longer after his megalomaniac words.

+ 1.6 sec




82:18-82:19 / 78:12

Bruce Thai initially looks to the left and turns his head.
In the Schröder version, a shot from a different source was inserted here immediately beforehand or a part was apparently damaged.

+ 0.5 sec




84:38-84:40 / 80:26

Jumpcut when Bolo has just gone down.

+ 1.7 sec




86:25-86:26 / 82:06

Slightly longer jump cut during Bruce Les' angry words to the professor.

+ 0.6 sec




88:52 / 84:24

Several small mistakes immediately before and then more arm flailing with a jump cut at the end of the shot.

0.7 sec




89:06-89:07 / 84:37

Jump cut in a prominent position: directly before the punch to the stomach.

+ 1.1 sec




89:16-89:18 / 84:45

More shots at the beginning of the shot.

+ 2.2 sec




89:28-89:29 / 84:55

And once again, unfortunately, an attack by a jump cut fell by the wayside on the Schröder DVD.

1.4 sec




89:41-89:42 / 85:06

One last striking jumpcut on the Schröder DVD as the baddie falls to the floor.

0.8 sec