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Uncut German Blu-ray with two versions



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The Killer

original title: Dip huet seung hung

Comparison:

  • Taiwanese version (DE Blu-ray)
  • Taiwanese VHS / French DVD
Release: Dec 08, 2023 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Muck47 - external link: IMDB

Comparison between the Taiwan version on the German Blu-ray and the Taiwan version on the French DVD, as well as the Taiwanese VHS by Vidi

  • One extended segment on the German Blu-ray compared to the French DVD, lasting 54.1 seconds [in PAL].
  • 9 missing segments, totaling a duration of 6:06 minutes, on the German Blu-ray compared to the Taiwanese VHS.

Runtimes:

  • German Blu-ray Theatrical Cut: 110:59 min (23.976 fps)
  • German Blu-ray Taiwan Version: 130:28 min (23.976 fps)
  • French DVD Taiwan Version: 124:11 min (25 fps)
  • Taiwanese VHS: 136:21 min (NTSC)

John Woo's 1989 film The Killer basically exists in three versions: The theatrical version, a Taiwanese VHS (~ 25 minutes longer) and the bonus version on the French DVD (containing most bits of the Taiwanese VHS but missing ~ 7 minutes). The German Blu-ray premiere is available since December 8, 2023 and we'll dive right into the facts about the two versions included on that release.

A minor editing flaw in the theatrical cut on the German DVD by e-m-s is no longer an issue, as listed below. This version contains optional English subtitles for international viewers and the audio is the original mono track. We've provided some uncompressed screenshots for an assessment of the picture quality. The image does not match the VOD version that was previously available on Amazon Prime Video, nor did it utilize the quite subpar source from the American Blu-ray. This US release was also used for the frequently praised HKR bootleg which was post-processed more poorly than commendable. Consequently, we've compiled specific comparison images with the HKR version as well.

The Taiwan version included as a bonus (in the original language with subtitles embedded into the picture) was sourced from the French DVD. As documented in the report mentioned above, this version matches the cut from the Taiwanese VHS, characterized by numerous minor deviations, and even included several scenes missing in the film from the Taiwanese VHS, as the VHS itself was not complete. Conversely, the French DVD lacked 9 segments lasting 7 minutes. One of these scenes has now made its way back into the film version. Sidney's escape and the subsequent conversation between the two protagonists were largely included in the theatrical cut as well. To avoid the obvious continuity error in the version of the French DVD, this was incorporated from the better-looking theatrical cut master.

There's also a 7-minute bonus featurette with "Deleted Scenes". The biggest omission from the French DVD (a meeting between Danny and Sally, similar to their previous encounter with Chow Yun-Fat) looks slightly better in this featurette but still notably inferior to the film version. Consequently, it seems the German label opted not to include it in the film. Following that, there are several clips from the Taiwanese VHS with the Vidi logo burned into the image. This source quality is even worse but at least appears to be in a marginally better condition than the VHS we previously used for both the comparison between the theatrical cut and the Taiwan extended version, as well as the comparison to the French DVD at that time.

Runtime references are arranged according to the format:
French DVD in PAL / Taiwan version on German Blu-ray in 23.976 fps

Initially, a comment on the theatrical cut (main film in HD). At 05:50-05:51, the Blu-ray runs correctly, similar to most other releases worldwide. The ems-DVD (timestamp there: 05:55-05:56) had a minor error here: a shot of Jeff was frozen for 0.7 seconds, resulting in the beginning of the subsequent shot being missing, where it pans from Jennie to the side.

Incorrect sequence on German ems-DVDCorrect sequence on German BBA Blu-ray




Now for the one extension inserted on the German Blu-ray for the extended version compared to the (otherwise serving as a source) French DVD:

103:00 / 107:23-108:20

When Sidney was just fleeing from Weng's estate, there was a longer segment missing from the French DVD, which is actually present in the regular version. Initially, more shots of Sidney's escape, more baddies following him, and the injured Weng getting into a car. Following that, a conversation between Jeff and Lee occurs. Jeff wants, in case of his potential demise, to take care of the surgery for Jennie or serve as a donor to have done at least something good. The French version resumed when Sidney arrived in the courtyard.

Note: On the Taiwanese VHS, this scene runs approximately 20 seconds longer, with additional material in both Sidney's escape and the conversation. However, for the German Blu-ray, the good quality master of the theatrical cut was used as a basis for this insert because at least most of the scene was also included there. Although Chinese subtitles are missing here, English ones styled similarly to the subtitles were burned into the picture.

54.1 sec




Here's a quick look at additional scenes from the Taiwanese VHS, present on the French DVD and thus included in the bonus version on the German Blu-ray. The quality differences speak for themselves.

Taiwan version on German Blu-ray & French DVDTaiwanese VHS




Now, onto the segments still missing from the film in the Taiwan version of the German Blu-ray compared to the Taiwanese VHS, but which are at least selectable as "Deleted Scenes" in the bonus material. For detailed information, refer back to the French DVD report. Here, we only provide a quick overview, focusing specifically on the presentation in this bonus segment of the Blu-ray.

It also includes optional German subtitles, covering the burnt-in original source subtitles with black bars. Taking, for example, the first and simultaneously longest extension of the version, which would actually occur in the 46th minute of the Blu-ray Taiwan version: Lee rescues Jennie from a few rowdies and takes her home, being observed by Jeff. This well-known, long scene indeed existed in 1.66:1 and wasn't zoomed to fullscreen like the previously depicted VHS from Taiwan with the logo in the top left corner.

Deleted Scenes in the OriginalDeleted Scenes with Optional German Subtitles




Next is the composite sketch scene (having multiple cuts) that would appear actually in the 40th minute of the Blu-ray Taiwan version.




And finally, the aforementioned scene of Sidney's escape, present in the 107th minute of the Blu-ray extended version, which was a few moments longer on the VHS.