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Calamity of Snakes

original title: Ren she da zhan


  • Cruelty Free Version
  • Theatrical Version
Release: May 18, 2023 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Muck47 - external link: IMDB

Comparison between the Cruelty Free Version and the Theatrical Version (HD main feature) - both available on the US Blu-ray by Unearthed Pictures.

- 7 differences
- Difference: 16.1 sec (without credits deviations)

Other master errors with a duration of less than 0.5 sec each were not listed in the cut report.

Many different versions of CALAMITY OF SNAKES

Calamity of Snakes was made in Taiwan in the early '80s, and as with many such productions, the viewer is often left rather speechless. On the one hand, there are muddled and crazy ideas like the attack of a huge rubber snake in the completely crazy finale. On the other hand, the film is known for its scenes with unnecessary animal snuff. Right at the beginning, lots of snakes are killed with a backhoe shovel and skinned or eaten in the further course. Of course some violence, sex scenes and silly comedy also found its way in the spectacle, of course. A typical exploitation snack for the video market.

Maybe partly because of the drastic scenes of violence against animals, the film has hardly been released outside Asia. In some countries, individual scenes are only known from the cut'n'paste flick The Serpent Warriors, where half the film was integrated into a stupid plot playing in the Nevada desert (!). The Koreans also got to see an alternate version of the film under the title War Between Men and Snakes, which also tells its own story around it and comes up with alternate material. But that's not the main reason for the following report.

In Japan, the original film was available on VHS and DVD in different versions. The DVD is said to be censored in a sex scene. Presumably, that is exactly the version that is now the centerpiece of Unearthed Films' US HD premiere, available since April 25, 2023, as the "theatrical version." It's a new HD scan with the expected signs of wear, but considering previously available alternatives, an absolute delight for such a title. There's also a newly produced feature-length documentary on the Blu-ray about the weird excesses of Chinese horror in the early '80s. A highly recommended release for those interested. Needless to say, the clearly preferred choice for the film in terms of quality. 

Three versions on the US Blu-ray - The Cruelty Free Version

After we have already documented the differences in a sex scene in the report of the Uncut Alternate Version, we dedicate this comparison to the "Cruelty Free Version", which is also offered in HD. As with the similar Asian shockers Centipede Horror and Red Spells Red, you still get an alternative here if you want to watch without the animal snuff. For this purpose, the film was specially cut by the label based on the HD master.
With almost 10 missing minutes and over 60 individual censorship cuts, the version is even more censored than that was the case with the aforementioned other titles. The questionable actions at really countless snakes unfortunately happen through the entire film. Often only the short, drastic close-ups were removed, so that in the Cruelty Free version a montage of people watching something in shock remains. In order to avoid rough jump cuts, some additional tricks were used, such as mirrored shots or zooms. Other scenes, such as the animal fight between snakes and mongooses, have been removed completely.
Since the movie itself actually has some qualities apart from the repulsive and unnecessary scenes of animal violence, critical viewers can give the Cruelty Free version a chance - although it is, as mentioned, particularly heavily censored.
Running time information is according to the scheme
Cruelty Free Version Blu-ray in 24fps / Theatrical Version Blu-ray in 24fps
05:47 / 05:47

From the first shot, when the excavator shovel crashes into the snakes, only the last frames with the "touch" are missing.

0.3 sec

05:49 / 05:49-05:50

The next short shot from the same perspective is completely missing.

0.8 sec

05:51 / 05:52-05:53

And another shot.

0.7 sec

05:56 / 05:58-05:59

When the men start hitting the animals one by one with shovels, the first close-up, in which an animal is chopped in two, is also missing.

1.2 sec

05:56 / 05:59-06:03

Three more animals are cut in half.

3.5 sec

05:57 / 06:03-06:04

Between the two shots of the guy with the yellow helmet, you can see another poor animal.

0.4 sec

05:58 / 06:04-06:05

Also before the next guy you see a snake again for a short time.

0.6 sec

05:58 / 06:05-06:06

There's a bit of a jump cut with him in the Cruelty Free Cut as well, because the two shots of his punches are actually interrupted by another look at the animal.

0.5 sec

05:59 / 06:07-06:08

Of course, another close-up follows before the shot of Ms. Cheng.

1.3 sec

05:59 / 06:08-06:10

Another shot, by now with some offal on the ground.

1.6 sec

06:00 / 06:11-06:13

Back to the snake pit, a lot of blood has accumulated here in the meantime as well.

1.6 sec

06:01 / 06:14-06:15

Once again, there is a jumpcut between two shots of the excavator operator, because it actually changes to the pit one more time.

1.6 sec

06:03 / 06:16-06:17

Another shot of the pit from a different perspective.

1.6 sec

06:05 / 06:19-06:21

After also in the original version a few quick shots of different, striking workers can be seen without showing the helpless animals between them, a close-up of a suffering snake is missing again at this point.

1.3 sec

06:06 / 06:22-06:24

No surprise, another close-up here as well.

2.7 sec

06:07 / 06:25-06:27


2.3 sec

06:08 / 06:28-06:30

Likewise between the two shots of the women.

1.8 sec

06:10 / 06:33-06:34

Another close-up.

1.4 sec

06:12 / 06:36-06:38

And we continue with two shots after the guy with yellow helmet was shown again.

2.6 sec

06:14 / 06:40-06:44

Two more.

4.2 sec

06:22 / 06:52-06:53

Between two shots of the shovel whizzing down, you can see the snake pit again.

1.1 sec

06:23 / 06:54-06:56


1.5 sec

06:26 / 06:59-07:00


0.8 sec

06:27 / 07:01-07:06

It's over soon.

5 sec

06:30 / 07:09-07:14

Again a jumpcut between two shots of the woman.

4.4 sec

06:31 / 07:15-07:21

Still Mrs. Cheng and in between lots of snake fights.

6.2 sec

09:31 / 10:20-12:21

A short scene at the market is completely missing. You see several hanging snakes and a man demonstrates something to the viewers. He takes a live snake out of the cage, lets it wriggle a bit and emphasizes several times that the animal is quite fresh (or still alive). Its blood would be especially fresh - its juice would bring quite some health benefits. He skins the animal in detail, presses the blood into glasses and presents another organ cut out. Several people drink from the jars.

Note: In the following scene, which is included again, Mr. Cheng is also given such a glass with red liquid.

120.6 sec (= 2:11 min)

11:07 / 13:57-14:00

After the picture has become blurred during a shot of Mr. Cheng, you can see the bleeding snakes in the pit again. At the bottom of the image, an animal is moving.

3.3 sec

25:36 / 28:29-32:10

In the Cruelty Free Cut you could still see how several snakes were captured, but the further fate of the animals is completely missing. Several mongooses are released in front of them and a fight ensues. Several very long shots, during which the mongooses kill several snakes.

221.4 sec (= 3:41 min)

27:57 / 34:31-34:37

The scene begins a moment earlier: the little boy (Ken) takes another snake, chops off part of its body and throws it into the cage with a mongoose. It pans over to the driveway with the car.

5.8 sec

In the middle part of the shot, the Cruelty Free version zooms in a bit so that you can't see the cages anymore.

Cruelty Free Cut (Blu-ray)Theatrical Version (Blu-ray)

28:02 / 34:42-35:38

The end of the shot is missing again, however, because Ken keeps chopping off snake parts and throws them into the cage. Chen knows Ken, speaks to him in a friendly manner and tries to persuade him to let him speak to Master Lin. Ping-Ou Wei joins them and immediately acts arrogant. He wouldn't let the "snake handler" tell him anything. He just goes on to the door.

It is interesting that in other places meticulously short shots (only a few frames) were removed, but this cut is so extensive, although there is hardly any animal cruelty visible here. Only once very briefly in the long shot this can be guessed. Only the previous moment at the beginning of the scene probably conditioned that the presence of the boy was cut out for continuity reasons.

56 sec

30:09 / 37:45-38:07

Mr. Lin still looks to the side at the end of the shot and is blinded. A snake approaches and he steps on it with his foot. More animals jump around his neck and legs, and he finishes them off as well. He bites one animal and tears one apart, then wipes his mouth.

21.3 sec

53:50 / 61:47-61:48

In close-up the car drives off and the squealing tire shreds a few snakes.

1.3 sec

The following shot has been zoomed in again, so you can't see the snakes on the lower right.

Cruelty Free Cut (Blu-ray)Theatrical Version (Blu-ray)

53:58 / 61:57-61:58

When the car moves back again, another close-up with snakes running over is missing.

0.9 sec

54:08 / 62:07-62:08

The actual two shots of the man are interrupted by a shot of the windshield. Something falls down from above onto the snakes.

By the way, this cut even happens without a visible jump cut.

1 sec

54:09 / 62:09-62:10

Another shot like this.

1.2 sec

It gets more creative: Right after that, they mirrored the next shot of the man so it wouldn't look so choppy around the cut in the Cruelty Free version.

Cruelty Free Cut (Blu-ray)Theatrical Version (Blu-ray)

54:10 / 62:11-62:13

Two more shots.

2 sec

The next shot is mirrored again.

54:10 / 62:14-62:15

More snakes crash through the ripped open car roof.

0.8 sec

54:11 / 62:15-62:17


1.2 sec

Once again, the following shot is mirrored so that there are no overly obvious jump cuts in the shots of the man that directly follow each other in the Cruelty Free Cut.

54:11 / 62:17-62:18

And the next cut

0.7 sec

54:12 / 62:19-62:20

We are approaching the end of the scene.

1.2 sec

54:13 / 62:20-62:22

But one shot still goes.

1.2 sec

65:43 / 73:51-74:00

You can still see Mr. Cheng strike with the sword in slow motion, but the shot actually goes on a bit longer. Thus, of course, it is also shown how the approaching snake is chopped into two parts. The body parts fall to the ground. This is repeated with a few more snakes.

8.9 sec

65:45 / 74:03-74:08

Again, a shot of Mr. Cheng is cut short earlier and he then continues to butcher around.

4.9 sec

65:48 / 74:10-74:12

Another shot.

1.4 sec

65:53 / 74:16-74:37

The remaining parts of the snake still twitch around a bit.

20.9 sec

67:22 / 76:07-76:08

In a short close-up, a couple of snakes on the ground are stepped on.

1.3 sec

68:38 / 77:24-77:28

Two men in protective suits shovel snakes aside.

4 sec

69:01 / 77:51-77:56

More animals receive some axe blows.

4.8 sec

71:26 / 80:21-80:22

After the camera has moved back a bit and the man has freed himself from the snake, he spins the animal around a bit at the end of the shot.

0.9 sec

71:49 / 80:45-81:03

In slow motion, the men in suits continue to hack away at animals and furniture.

18.2 sec

73:04 / 82:18-82:28

Quite a few snakes are grilled with the flamethrower in close-ups.

10.4 sec

Immediately following that, a strong zoom was used to cover up the snakes on the ground.

Cruelty Free Cut (Blu-ray)Theatrical Version (Blu-ray)

73:06 / 82:31-82:36

More close-ups of snakes on fire.

5.6 sec

73:19 / 82:49

When the giant snake grabs several people, there is a short close-up missing of a man being thrown by it onto a pile of small snakes.

0.6 sec

73:20 / 82:50-82:51

Another guy lands on snakes.

0.8 sec

73:54 / 83:26

And another one.

0.5 sec

74:18 / 83:50-83:53

How the snakes are flambéed on the counter was shown for a quick moment. Actually the camera holds longer on it. Curiously, one has built in a small additional cross-fade with flames for the follow-up shot with the men in protective suits.

Uncut 2.3 sec longer

Cruelty Free Cut (Blu-ray)Theatrical Version (Blu-ray)

74:36 / 84:10-84:12

On the way to the door, Mr. Cheng hits a few more snakes hanging there.

1.8 sec

From 75:50 / 85:26 until the end, the image is zoomed in a bit to hide the snakes on the ground, but still show the important scene. The end title card is interesting, because it comes into the picture in exactly the same way on the zoomed Cruelty Free version. Presumably, the credits were available individually as an overlay and could thus simply be superimposed on the altered footage.

Cruelty Free Cut (Blu-ray)Theatrical Version (Blu-ray)