The Hong Kong-Theatrical Cut, represented by the US DVD (not rated) by Tai Seng, has been compared to the Taiwan Long version by Scholar.
Like with so many movies that were shot in Taiwan with HK-actors, "The Beheaded 1000" was also released completely uncut in the land of origin Taiwan, whereas the runtime was heavily cut down to a "theater-friendly" length for the Hong Kong-release. This version was released in the rest of the world. The Taiwanese version seems to be the director's favored version, actually the movie's "Director's Cut". Numerous scenes were slightly cut in the Hong Kong-version, whereas complete story elements were removes sometimes. This is definetly a minus, because, as halfway attentive audiences will more than once ask themselves why characters do this or that or why people just show up here and there. The Taiwanese version appears to be much calmer and more logical, which confirms the fact that this is the version originally intended by the director.
This aside, the HK-theatrical cut also shows two effect scenes differently, which is likely to be traced back to a later editing, and finally the Taiwanese version also includes a few scenes of violence which were probably cut in favor of the Category II-rating from the HK-version - in the following report, they are marked red.
Runtime designations of the cut scenes relate to the HK-theatrical cut. The rest of the runtime difference originates from the age rating of the US DVD, slightly extended shots with a length of 1 second or less, which were not considered due to their missing relevance and the respective rounding of the runtimes of several scenes to whole resp. half seconds. Runtime of the Not Rated DVD: 1:41:51 Min. (1:40:50 Min. without credits)
Runtime of the Taiwan DVD: 2:04:30 Min. (2:02:50 Min. without credits)
71 Extended scenes = 21 min. 48 sec.
2 Alternative zakes = No time difference
The age rating of the Hong Kong-version is contained on the US DVD, the Taiwan DVD misses it.
Execution of the Blood Brothers Gang members:
The prisoners, who are sentenced to death are forced on their knees a little longer.
Ren De Tien is longer being carried towards the area.
The Constable also throws away the third symbol (symbolising the third prisoner's execution).
Blood Lotus already steps in an earlier shot towards the court.
The shot of Blood Lotus starts a little earlier.
Blood Lotus responds to Chow Ying's explanation, she was such a warm-hearted daughter with such a cold-blooded father. Subsequently, Ren De Tien is shown earlier in the process, ascending the pedestal.
There are some more dancing renditions shown by the dressed people.
Ren De Tien throws the sword to Quick Kid.
The mounted law-enforcer is shown earlier on his way to the court.
Blood Lotus is flying longer through the air.
Lotus hits a second guard with blow of the axe and kicks it off the carriage's roof. Another guard pulls his sword.
Lotus finishes another guard with her axe, requests her brother to come with her and dodges another guard's sword blow.
Lotus does not want to leave without her brother Cripple; he enjoins her to get away quickly. Chief Chao shouts over to Lotus, she would never be able to leave with her brother. Lotus looks at him.
Chao and his men are looking for Lotus.
Blood Lotus disappears a little longer behind the trees.
First ghostly appearances:
Ren De Tien sharpens his sword a little longer.
Tien notices noise on the street, quickly washes his hands and goes to the door.
The troup of ghosts, who came to a halt is quickly shown.
The woman compliments Tien about his talent, whereas he reacts a little ashamedly and says he just made a living.
Tien's wife says it was just the statue from her dream and that he should return it, which he affirms. His wife wants to accompany him.
The talk between Tien, his wife and his daughter is longer: Tien says, at Cripple's execution there could be members of his gang and follow them, if he didn't perform the decapitation properly. His wife replies he already executed all the other members of Cripple's gang, whereas Tien says he left Blood Lotus out – the most dangerous of them all.
Quick Kid's training:
Tien does some more ''dumbbell-training'' with his pupil, whil he asks him whether he was not brave. Quick Kid is indecisive, because, after all, it was Cripple's execution and he didn't know whether he was up to this challenge. His mentor replies that, if he didn't feel prepared, he should go home. Tereupon Quick Kid reflects and wants to take the challenge. Tien demands him to recite the text he will also say later during the execution. Therefore his pupil performs several artistic Kung Fu-moves and speaks said text (something about drums, and their sounds having some meaning during the decapitation). Finally, he beheads a wooden puppet which was put there for training in slow-motion.
Exekution von Cripple:
In the Taiwan-version the shot of Chief Chao comes after the first archers were shown.
The theatrical cut features it only after all the other archers were shown and Blood Lots retracts a little doggedly
no time difference
Chief Chao spots Blood Lotus, but loses her shortly after and looks for her.
The talk between Chief Chao & Blood Lotus is much longer. While he tries to persuade her to turn herself in and assures her he would support her cause so she would get a mild punishment, Lotus replies she'd rather take her life than rotting in a cell; he only purpose in life was now to avenge her brother's death. Chao asks, whether a gang of killers was all worth this whereas Lotus says the seven men raised her, it was destiny. After he offered her his help, she replies she wouldn't just decline that out of principle – he would also have to face punishments himself from his boss for his devotion towards her.
Blood Lotus closes her umbrella and does a backflip over an entire house (!).
Some archers shoot at Lotus but miss her. The law-enforcers run up the steps earlier.
After the execution:
Quick Kid returns home massively drunk; Chow Ying opens the door. He babbles something about he will some day become the best swordfighter of all times, while his mentor is standing there, smily snarkily. As Quick Kid notices him, he goes towards Tien; he kicks his student so Quick Kid lands in some stoneware jugs. Then, Tien leaves the entry hall. Chow Ying laughs and says he deserved that.
Quick Kid hits himself in the face earlier as Chow Ying "gives him the count".
The talk between Quick Kid and Ren De Tien is longer: Kid is wondering about heads being there in so many variations. Tien counts numerates several of them and says you should be able to react individually to each head form, to save the convict any unneccessary pain during the decapitation. Quick Kid asks himself how he should tell the different variations apart.
Quick Kid teaches himself:
Quick Kid measures the length of the necks of some voluntary helpers, to determine the technique neccessary to decapitate them in case. Whereas that worked pretty well with the first test subjects, the third one already shows some problems: A huge growth is located on the woman's neck. Kid sends her away without measuring. The next testperson has very long hair, so the neck is not visible. Quick Kid asks the woman to move away her hair, but she turns her head and – there is only long hair on the front, too! Kid is startled and asks himself what kind of head this might be; then the woman grabs her hair, and voila: It's Chow Ying, who simply put on a wig. She then beats Kid with it and rants he should not even think about having the permission to touch her head, and that he should look for different types of heads at the cemetary, there were enough of them there, after all. Kid crawls under a table in the meantime.
At the cemetary:
Quick Kid notices a sound and looks for it. He finally finds pretty damaged Chao behind a stone. Kid wants to know where Chao was injured, which he doesn't really want to say. Kid says, that this business worked like this; sometimes you lose criminals, sometimes you catch them. Chao ashamedly explains he was deceived by a woman and that it even was his own fault. Quick Kid wants to bring home Chao because he'd die of his injuries otherwise, but he pushes him away and says he'd be ashamed of retreating, and that he could walk by himself. Then, he clumsily walks away; Kid says it was hard to keep up the law.
Cripple takes possession of Quick Kid:
Posessed Quick Kid moves longer to his mentor's bed.
Ren De Tien walks into the next room, where Quick Kid landed after having been kicked by him.
Ren De Tien seeks advice from the monk:
A monk explains to Tien, who is seeking for advice, that prayers would help if his family was haunted by demons. Tien replies he must have released some evil spirits and feels responsible for Quick Kid being possessed by Cripple. The monk says, Tien should retire after faithfully having served the state for so long, und do good in the time he has left, to clean the blood off his hands.
Tien agrees and explains he would directly go to the Constable and announce his retirement.
After the fight:
The scene starts a little earlier: Tien's wife complains about him still fighting in his age. He replies that aging was just natural.
The restaurant's opening:
The arrived guests ask loudmouthedly, who might have killed the lamb, whereas Quick Kid resopnds he did it. One of the men says he should to go into the kitchen to check whether she sword is still stuck in the lamb's head, whereas general laughter takes place (a clear reference to Cripple's failed decapitation), but Quick Kid answers slightly ashamed, not this time.
Chow Ying brings the first Meat Buns to the guests.
The later poison-victim gives his wife one of the Buns and then digs in properly himself before first stomachaches start to come up. The wife tells him not to eat so fast, other guests do not take the situation very seriously, too, and say he shouldn't make such a fuss – after all, he was eating the Buns for the first time and they were delicious.
The Buns fall onto the ground together with the basket; the men run towards the doctor with the poisoned man in an earlier shot.
One of the men who want to bring the poisoned one to the doctor keeps standing still at a corner and holds his stomach. Another one joins him and asks what was wrong, whereas he answers he also ate two of the Buns and now his stomach started to ache, he needed a short rest. The other one then says, his stomach also ached.
The day after the opening:
While Quick Kid cleans the restaurant, Chow Ying joins him and asks why there was not a single guest there. Kid answers nobody would want to eat there with all the blood; then he jumps through the restaurant a little and performs a small poem, talking about free beer, good food etc. and that the people shouldn't wander around on the streets, but take a seat at their place.
Subsequently, Rose/Blood Lotus is shown, preparating meat.
Search for Tien's wife:
Chow Ying leaves the house and notices Rose/Lotus standing at the wall. During a short talk, Lotus tries to persuade her to eat one of the Buns, but Chow Ying answers she wasn't hungry. Lotus asks, whether she was not afraid of going into the woods by herself, whereas Chow replies she was fine as long as she had her lantern. Finally, Lotus tells her she would light a candle for her soul if she didn't return; just like Chow always did for others. She then leaves, obviously slightly insecure.
In the following scene, Ren De Tien is shown, walking through the woods with his lamp.
Ren De Tien walks past two ghostly presences without actually noticing them. He turns a round shortly, but then proceeds; the ghostly creatures goose-step behind him.
The mysterious stranger says he was an old friend of Chow's father. Then, Rose/Blood Lotus is shown, eating one of her Buns until she hears a horse whickering outside.
Beat Lotus walks through the forest a little longer.
Quick Kid does a reference to the cemetary as he talks to Chief Chao and asks, whether Lotus was the woman he talked about the other day.
The scenes in which Chief Chao resp. Blood Lotus are shown looking at each other are swapped.
no time difference
Quick Kid in another, short shot.
After killing Blood Lotus:
The talk between Ren De Tien and the hell's guard is longer: The guard says, he couldn't have imagined Blood Lotus would sneak into Tien's family to create such a great amount of damage, and that he came just in time before Tien's daughter could have fallen civtim to Lotus, too.
Tien replies that even if he killed many people, they all had been criminals – but now, evil still reached his own home.
Tien asks the guard whether his daughter had found a fitting husband, whereas he replies it didn't matter whether he fit or not; it was most important she could now move out and wouldn't get on his nerves any more.
The guard also says Tien's family should quickly get lost and not wait for Blood Lotus' ghost to knock on their door.
Tien explains to the man who just appeared in the restaurant that it was not longer opened due to domestic reasons, whereas he replies that the restaurant's sign was still there and that he travelled countless miles.
A shot of Quick Kid, then, Ren De Tien and the man sealing the deal are shown again. The mysterious guest then leaves the restaurant.
Chow Ying tells her father she wanted to stay with him; but her departure was a done deal for him. Quick Kid asks whether he would be able to deal with everyone by himself and whether he should stay and fight with him.
The travel over the river:
Chow Ying asks Quick Kid whether they had to travel over the mountains. He replies they could travel over the river. Chow asks herself whether there were any boats for them – Quick Kid immediately finds one on the river. The rest of the shot showing the turning boat is also contained in the theatrical cut.
Chow Ying & Quick Kid climb over the boulders a little longer.
The boat's skipper pulls the boat's helm moving mechanically. The following shot of the boat is longer in the Taiwan-version.
The entire rest of the scene is missing: After the skipper explained to the two they were travelling directly into hell, night falls very suddenly, lightning strikes. The boat's colour has changed and monetary gifts for the – latently not provided – dead are lying before Chow Ying's & Quick Kid's feet. Chow asks herself whether they were supposed to be the dead while the skipper already explains gleefully they already were as good as dead. Water starts flooding the boat, obviously it is only made out of paper. Very witty, Quick Kid says he wanted to set the gifts on fire to see what happens, which he then does. Therefore, the entire boat ablazes and while the skipper can laugh about this very happily, the other two are very panicky, of course.
All at once it gets bright again, and the two travellers are lying at the shore on dry land, terrifiedly doing swimming-gestures; Quick Kid spits out a lot of water. Then the two slowly realize they fell victim to black magic – after all, both of them are absolutely dry – and they come back to their senses again. Only for a short time, though, because then, Chow Ying finds a rather big fish in her dress; Quick Kid ''counters'' with a big frog he pulls out of his upper. Chow Ying pulls another fish out of her dress and screams accordingly while Quick Kid throws the frog towards the camera and remarks there were more swimming animals in his trousers.
The night of the banquet:
Ren De Tien goes earlier to the statue and starts his prayers.
"King Pin's" stomach-area is shown longer before the "Imp" comes out of there.
Ren De Tien & Blood Lotus talk more about the handcuffs as Lotus finally makes it clear they were neccessary for him. Subsequently, the Blood Brothers Gang's member's unstrung faces are shown, plus subsequently another shot of Tien.
Another shot shot of Tien after having killed the "Imp".
More items which are moved as if by an invisible hand are shown. Ren De Tien orders the demon to show itself; it is quickly shown in the following shot just to disappear shortly after.
After the demon has spit blood, it falls back. Ren De Tien kicks the demon a few more times with the help of the now pretty badly blood-stained shredder, while a.o. Blood splatters on the latter one's feet resp. flows out of the pool's drain. Tien kicks one final time and looks rather satisfied at first.
Showdown at the central court:
The demon asks who that was; Ren De Tien laughs loudly and says Quick Kid was the one supposed to kill it.
Quick Kid just wants to lunge out as something important comes into Ren De Tien's mind. He dodges the blow so his student falls off the pedestal. After having come to, Kid asks what was wrong. Tien asks him to take care of his daughter Chow Ying. Quick Kid replies he will take care of her, Tien could go to the afterlife with a clear concience. But then, he realizes that the newly gained strength he got from self-encouragement is gone because of the master's interruption.
The parade is shown earlier as Chow Ying is heard crying for help from the background.
The demon summons more hell demons; a seal, which he threw on the ground triples itself, they line up and shoot flames towards Quick Kid. He is looking for cover behind a statue, clasps his hands to pray and illuminates the statue that way; the hell-seals lose their power. Quick Kid shouts "Sword as thy enforcer!" one more time.
The three, now skeletonized, members of the Blood Brothers gang who were hit by the sword earlier now comment on the events and rattle reasonably with their teeth. A little bit of interspersed typical HK-humour; the subtitles speak volumes.
In between edits to Quick Kid with the blood-stained sword in his hands.
The theatrical cut features an additional special effect with some sort of giant net manifesting itself behind the monks Blood Lotus approaches. The Taiwan-version misses this.
no time difference
The demon spiders who were set free by cripple move towards Quick Kid in another shot.
In the theatrical cut, the statue now has the face of Ren De Tien; this does not occur in the Taiwan-version, the statue flashes a little brighter here instead.
no time difference
After Cripple's destruction, some gaping companions of the hell's guard are shown.
From here on, the ending credits are a little different in the respective version. Thereby, the shot of Chow Ying is ordered a little differently from the Taiwan-version's; also, the theatircal cut misses another shot of Quick Kid as well as the scene in which Ren De Tien proudly walks with the same in his hand along the city walls and then turns to the others. In addition to that, the scene in which Tien forms the symbol with his hands and then picks the sword up in the air with his foot just to catch it afterwards is shown slower in the beginning in the Taiwan-version.
All in all, the ending credits roll much longer in the Taiwan-version, namely