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Magic Cop

original title: Qu mo jing cha


  • Theatrical Version
  • Taiwanese Extended Version
Release: Feb 03, 2024 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Muck47 - external link: IMDB

Comparison between the uncut original version and the Taiwan extended version (both included on the 88 Films Blu-ray with playback under Region Code A)

  • 79 deviations
  • Duration: 418.2 seconds (= 6:58 min) [excluding credits]

Additional master errors with a duration of less than 0.5 seconds were not listed in the report.

Magic Cop, released in 1990, was essentially the 5th installment of the Mr. Vampire series, which began in 1986 and featured Lam Ching-Ying battling vampires in a historical setting. The films exhibit a healthy dose of the infamous and humorous Hong Kong style and were huge successes in Asia.

In the UK, the first part was released on Blu-ray, and in early 2023, a box set with all the sequels was made available. The internationally popular 5th installment received a separate Blu-ray release from 88 Films on July 24, 2023, with new bonus material. Following our report on British censorship regarding animal violence, the following report revolves around the nearly 7-minute longer Taiwan extended version in the bonus material. Unfortunately, it was only stored in a windowboxed format, likely 1:1 as provided by a fan to 88 Films, according to the forum. But better than nothing.

For the most part, it consists of unspectacular moments at the end/beginning of scenes, likely trimmed for a more concise flow in the familiar theatrical version. However, there are additional quarrels between our three protagonists. The odd scene at night with an improvised hammock stands out. Equally curious is a slight hint of "sex comedy" when two young guys try to peek between the legs of Lam Ching Ying's niece (Feng). Overall, it's primarily a peculiar bonus cut for dedicated fans.

It's worth noting that the Taiwanese version introduces yet a third musical score with its Mandarin soundtrack. Interestingly, the German version already had a different score, leaning towards a more rock style. The English and Cantonese soundtracks, on the other hand, have a different, more conventional soundtrack. The Mandarin soundtrack of the Taiwanese version, in turn, features a completely alternative soundtrack, typical of catchy 80s music (e.g., synthesizers). This is challenging to represent in the report, so we will only briefly touch on it at one specific point with audio samples.

Runtime details are arranged according to the following format:
Uncut theatrical version Blu-ray in 23.976fps / Taiwan extended version Blu-ray in NTSC

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Two additional references to Media Asia at the beginning of the HD master of the theatrical version.

+ 34.2 sec

First, two comparison images of how the Taiwan version actually looks on the disc: Windowboxed and somewhat distorted, so that the faces/bodies are wider than should actually be the case. For the rest of the report, we have cropped the Taiwan screenshots accordingly and corrected its aspect ratio.

Theatrical versionTaiwan long version

04:08-04:11 / 03:34-03:40

A shot of Aunt San at the prayer ceremony is a little longer at the beginning and end.

Original version 3.1 sec longer

04:12 / 03:41-03:44

The paper figure on the ground can be seen in an additional close-up + the alley again.

3.3 sec

04:50 / 04:22-04:23

A shot of the many bats begins a little earlier.

0.7 sec

04:55 / 04:28-04:29

Before Feng moves forward, he can be seen a moment earlier.

0.5 sec

04:57 / 04:31-04:32

Shortly after that, a shot simply begins a little earlier.

1 sec

05:06 / 04:40-04:41

Further insignificant frames when reaching for the torch.

0.7 sec

05:14 / 04:49-04:50

Feng is seen a little earlier in front of the wall.

1.2 sec

05:29 / 05:05-05:06

Feng turns the candle a little earlier.

1.1 sec

05:58 / 05:35-05:39

Feng prepares the mixture earlier.

3.7 sec

06:06 / 05:47-05:50

Feng reaches for the pot earlier.

3.2 sec

The English title is missing from the credit that follows shortly afterwards.

Theatrical versionTaiwan long version

06:41 / 06:25-06:29

"Waiter" Barry almost bumps into a man at the beginning of the shot and then carefully walks on.

4.4 sec

07:16 / 07:05-07:23

A cop in a lower position comes up to Barry and asks if they can retreat. Barry energetically rejects him, after all, he would also prefer a good night's sleep. He looks enviously over at Lam, who is sitting around in a rather relaxed way.

17.6 sec

07:38 / 07:45-07:48

When asked who he wants to blame for this, Barry ponders for a moment at the beginning of the shot.

3.8 sec

07:46 / 07:56-07:59

After Lam asks if Barry thinks the girl is pretty, you see him for an insignificant moment longer and then an additional cut to Barry.

3.1 sec

08:06 / 08:19-08:23

You can see the two of them much earlier.

3.2 sec

08:52 / 09:09-09:12

Lam looks down at the leg of the chair at the end of the shot, which he has placed on the woman's foot. He apologizes.

3.2 sec

08:54 / 09:13-09:15

Lam digs out his ID card a little earlier.

1.8 sec

09:04 / 09:25-09:27

Before Barry and Lam reach for their bags, the shot starts a little earlier.

1.6 sec

09:08 / 09:31-09:32

The subsequent shot of Barry also begins a moment earlier.

1 sec

09:13 / 09:37-09:38

The woman gets up a moment earlier...

0.8 sec

09:15 / 09:40-09:41

...and takes another step forward. The follow-up shot also begins a moment earlier.

1.8 sec

09:16 / 09:42-09:43

Lam a moment earlier.

0.7 sec

Shortly afterwards, another 0.6 sec is lost.

09:36 / 10:03-10:04

Lam limps for longer.

0.9 sec .

09:56 / 10:24-10:25

Barry holds the gun on the woman at the door for longer.

0.8 sec

09:57 / 10:26-10:27

It takes a moment longer for him to shoot.

0.8 sec

10:09 / 10:39-10:41

Another cut to Lam and then the first shot from above shows how the glass shatters.

1.7 sec

11:05 / 11:36-11:58

Barry ponders longer, crumples the paper and after several soft fades he starts to rewrite his report.

21.2 sec

12:00 / 12:53-12:54

Barry sits at his desk for longer.

1.3 sec

12:10 / 13:04-13:07

Lam grumbles a little longer before walking over to Barry.

2.8 sec

12:36 / 13:33-13:39

At the end of the scene, the two of them squabble a little longer and then a number is dialed in close-up.

6.1 sec

The following scene is a good example of the different soundtrack, because while the original version (+ English dub) plays a more sentimental, calm piece, the Taiwan version has typical 80s jingling - and in Germany you can hear a totally different soundtrack.

Image for classification

English soundtrack of the theatrical version (soundtrack identical in Cantonese)

Mandarin soundtrack of the Taiwan long version

German soundtrack

13:37 / 14:40-15:26

After Feng's niece Lin promises to only see boys in the presence of her uncle, Feng moves to the side, whereupon two horny boys immediately appear. They drop something on the floor and hope to get some special insights. On the floor, however, they bump into Feng, who is standing right behind them and immediately knocks them over with the bench. Finally, Feng admonishes Lin to sit down properly and immediately afterwards the theatrical version starts up again in the same shot.

46.5 sec

13:43 / 15:32-15:36

Before the door opens, the long version has an introductory shot from higher up.

3.2 sec

15:13 / 17:06

The headlight can be seen a moment earlier.

0.6 sec

15:20 / 17:13-17:16

Feng reaches for the ceiling in the long shot.

2.5 sec

16:19 / 18:15-18:18

The fax machine can be seen a little longer and the following shot also starts a little earlier.

3.2 sec

17:04 / 19:03-19:04

After Feng has been handed the glass of water, the fax machine spits out paper a little earlier.

1 sec

18:20 / 20:20-20:21

A shot of Lam starts a little earlier.

1.2 sec

19:21 / 21:22-21:24

Barry and Feng are seen a little earlier.

1.5 sec

19:35 / 21:38-21:39

After Feng emphasizes that the woman was already dead when they encountered her, the follow-up shot begins a little earlier with Lam's reaction.

1.2 sec

19:47 / 21:51-21:53

Lam shakes his head at the beginning of a shot.

1.7 sec

When Ma joins in shortly afterwards, the Taiwan version loses a few frames.

20:32 / 22:37-22:39

Ma offers his hand to Feng a little earlier.

1.7 sec
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