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Slaughter in San Francisco

original title: Huang mian lao hu

Comparison:

  • BBFC 18 DVD
  • Export Version
Release: Nov 12, 2017 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: DaxRider123 - external link: IMDB
This is a comparison between the cut UK DVD released by Mediumrare and the export version included on the Dutch VHS released by Polygram.


- 6 cuts
- Difference in time (excluding logos): 403.6 sec (= 6:44 min)



The patchy action flick Slaughter in San Francisco was shot in 1974 in Hongkong and directed by Lo Wei (known for directing the first few Bruce Lee flicks). More well-known than the director is actor Chuck Norris - it is his second role in a Golden Harvest movie as the main bad guy after The Way of the Dragon. While the latter movie is mainly promoted with Bruce Lee, "Slaughter in San Francisco" is in general promoted with Chuck Norris on movie posters worldwide. Even though he again plays a rather minor role, he portrays his character as an over the top cocky gangster boss with the creative name Chuck Slaughter.

Regarding the releases, this is a rather complicated case that we will explain with the most important worldwide releases. Overall, there are two main versions, one for the Asian market and one for an international release. Especially digitally there are just very few releases. There are DVDs in Germany and the UK - yet those are based on the export version with additional cuts (see version 3 and 4).


1. Asian Original Version

Runtime: 101:41 min on the HK-VCD (PAL)

Just as usual for many Lo Wei movies, there are quite a few additional racist scenes. In general, the movie takes a closer look at the Chinese and their worries, the main character's partner gets more screentime. Several side characters and their motivation are developed a little clearer, however, this version demands a little more time and attention.

Also, this version is the hardest to get: There only exists a VCD from Hongkong (along with a low-def image) that was released as a part of the Legendary Collection from Fortune Star / Joy Sales.




2. Export Version

Runtime: 83:28 min on the Dutch VHS (PAL)

The export version is 17 minutes shorter, yet more dynamic since it mainly misses out on plot. Besides the aforementioned differences there are a lot of minor cuts, for example during tracking shots of landscape. Also, the producers re-cut the movie here and there. This was mainly done to introduce Chuck Norris earlier on.

There are several international VHS-releases available. For this report we used a Dutch VHS-tape which should be identical to releases from the US and the UK (on VHS). In Italy there is also a DVD (with VHS image quality).





3. German Version

Runtime: 80:32 min on the German DVD (PAL)

As credits and identical re-cuts tell, this version was based on the export version. However, toughly 1.5 additional minutes were taken out due tgo censorship, which makes for quite a few sloppy sequences during the finale. Additionally, at least the DVD released in 2006 that we have offers a few framecuts resulting from a faulty mastertape.

The German VHS is about one minute longer, yet according to the website www.ofdb.de it is still censored.





4. Britishe/Australian DVD

Runtime: 77:43 min on the UK-DVD (PAL)

As you can see, this DVD which was released in 2016 is the shortest of the bunch. This especially disappointing, since according to the BBFC rating, there exists VHS-tape that includes the uncut export version. This is an especially curious case: Apparently, Fortune Star provided the studio with a master tape and tried to reconstruct the export version on the basis of the original version (which is why the credits include Asian letters). Often, this version is in sync with the original version at times when the export version offered an alternative order of the plot; also, longer sequences are missing entirely. It is unknown why this happened and it is annoying, that quite a few cocky Chuck Norris sequences were taken out.

This version is available on the UK and Australian DVD. The upside of these releases is the original image section and the best image quality thus far, so it might still be one of the best alternatives.



The UK-DVD


As was mentioned before, this is a special case. It is unclear whether this patchwork-version was made especially for this DVD release or if it had already been released before. The main goal seemed to be the ability to offer the English soundtrack. At several points in the movie, the plot follows the original version. Only Slaughter's first meeting with Don follows earlier just as in the export versin.

Unfortunately, this first meeting had been cut: The conversation inside the car had been taken out for whatever reason - even though it is included in all other versions. The same goes for the training sequence which had been shown earlier in previous international releases. The UK DVD entirely misses out on it. Both scenes not only include more screentime for the alleged "main character" of the movie, yet are also highly entertaining due to their trashy portrayal of a cocky character.

Some more minor things were taken out as well. None of these cuts are necessary or logical, yet nothing of importance is missing in the end.



Runtimes are listed as follows:
UK DVD [PAL] / Export Version [PAL]




Note:
The Dutch VHS is close to fullscreen. In order to show the original image format, we took all screenshots from the Hongkong-VCD.
Additional logos at the beginning of the UK DVD.

+ 51.6 sec




The opening credits are different.
The UK DVD is similar to the HK-VCD, however, does not include the latter's song and lyrics. All other extensions of this sequence are missing, too. Additionally, the DVD uses the alternative title "Yellow Faced Tiger" (which is the title of the song we hear in the original version, even though the HK-VCD names the flick "Slaughter in San Francisco").

UK-DVDDutch VHS




Re-Cut
10:31-10:36 / 09:40-09:45

Parts of a shot of Diane were postponed. In this way, there is an interruption of the shot of the bad guys jumping out of the truck.
Accordingly, the Dutch-VHS tape appears to be more dynamic.

No difference in time.




17:08 / 16:17-16:25

After Don and Sumner gave each other signals (and before we see Chuck Slaughter for a first time in the export version to intimidate Don) there is a short scene of the two of them inside a bar. Sumner asks how the job as a waiter is holding up and Don answers that he gets quite a few tips.

8 sec




18:28 / 17:45-21:04

After Don said that Slaugher is "just a jerk", one of the sidekicks comes back and says that the boss wants to talk to him. Don refuses to do so at first, gets intimidated and his boss advises him to follow the order.

As a result, Don drives to an outdoor meeting. He gets in the car next to Slaughter who offers him 5000 dollars a month for supporting the gangster; also, he promises that Don would get his job at the police station back. Don does not want to agree immediately and asks a few critical questions. During the process Slaughter - among other things - says that there are two kinds of people: Some that follow orders and some that die. Don bursts out a one-liner, leaves the car and gets to know that he has time until friday morning (7 a.m.) to think about the offer.

199 sec (= 3:19 min)




30:18 / 32:54-34:55

After the corrupt cop threatened Chu, there is a missing scene with Don. Throughtfully, he picks his police hat up while Sumner's wife cries in the background. He smiles at their kid. In the original version, the scene goes on and Sumner's wife makes critical remarks. While this is not included in the export version anyway, the UK DVD also misses out on Don drinking a beer on the cemetary.

During the cemetary scene, there is another extension. Maybe the producers of the UK DVD thought that there was just too much to cut out so they decided to take the entire two minutes out, that previously had been included in the export version.

121.3 sec (= 2:01 min)




34:45 / 39:22-40:36

On the Dutch VHS (respectively the export version) now follows a training sequence. Chuck Slaughter is shown half an hour earlier than in the original ersion.
The UK-DVD, however, entirely misses out on the sequence. Thus, we do not see Slaughter doing a few tricks and kicking in wooden planks. His students watch him in awe. Then he sits down, lights a cigarette and one of Slaughter's bad guys tells the students to go and do their training. We never get to know, why he does not tell them that himself. Still, the students do as they told.

73.2 sec (= 1:13 min)




Alternative Scene
48:03-48:08 / 53:54-53:58

For this part, we again have to take a look at the general differences of exort and original version. The original at first shows a few more shots of the lawyer in the car, followed by another shot to the jail. Then we see the car in the parking lot.
The export version (and thus also the Dutch VHS) re-uses a driving sequence instead of the parking lot scene.

The UK-DVD instead includes the same cut as the export version, yet uses the parking lot sequence as the original version.

UK DVD 0.4 sec longer

UK DVDDutch VHS




49:19-49:21 / 55:09

Minor cut during two sequences on the Dutch VHS.

+ 1,9 sec




58:24 / 64:12-64:14

A shot that had been included in the original version 17 seconds ago was taken out in the export version and replaced by another shot of him in the same perspective. The UK DVD misses out on this jumpcut-edit and instead we just see two short shots of said perspective.

2.6 sec



The end credits on the UK DVD are taken exclusively from the export version (and are not a mix of English and Chinese as the opening credits).
Subsequently there are a few title cards.




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