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The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter

original title: Wu Lang ba gua gun


  • Celestial version (88 Films Blu-ray)
  • 2022 restoration (Arrow Video)
Release: Apr 30, 2022 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Muck47 - external link: IMDB

Comparison between the Celestial master (represented on the German DVD/Blu-ray from Koch Media, identical to the UK Blu-ray by the 88 Films) and the 2022 restoration (represented on the American Blu-ray from Arrow Films).

- 6 relevant missing bits
- Cut duration: 6.7 sec [in PAL]

Several other master errors/"framecuts" with a duration of less than 1 sec each were not listed in the cut report.

The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter is a late work of the famous Shaw Brothers production company and with its all-star cast it's clearly a fan favorite. Since April 05, 2022, a new Blu-ray is now available from Arrow Video, unfortunately only in the US. We recall: the aficionado label previously released the box set "Shawscope Vol. 1" in December 2021, which featured 7 films in new restorations without the infamous framecuts from Asian rights holder Celestial. See for example the report on Five Deadly Venoms.

The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter was already released on Blu-ray in Germany by Koch Media in 2014. This edition used the Celestial master, previously known from quite a few DVDs worldwide, with around 2 minutes of "framecuts". In the UK, 88 Films then released the same Celestial version on Blu-ray in 2020. The latter is probably the reason why the Arrow Blu-ray was only released in America, instead of in parallel in the UK as usual by the label. There, 88 Films apparently continues to have the rights and the previous Blu-ray remains the only option here. It's a shame, because this new restoration from Arrow Video not only looks better in terms of quality, but also undoes the troublesome "framecuts".

  • Previous Celestial master: 97:34 min (88 Films / Koch Media Blu-ray at 23.976 fps) or 93:43 min (various DVDs in PAL/25fps).
  • 2022 restoration from Arrow Video: 99:37 min (Arrow Video Blu-ray at 23.976 fps).

Minus logos and Celestial notes on the old version, the new Arrow version is 02:16 min longer. As expected, this is almost completely related to inconsequential "framecuts" at the beginning and end of shots that are hardly noticeable during normal viewing.

But even here you can find a few differences worth reporting in detail. As is often the case, a damaged shot in the middle has been covered up by a recycled reaction shot. At another point, just under 3 seconds are missing in one piece. At least this time, no single shot has been completely lost. Still, for Shaw fans, the import is worthwhile, especially since you will again find exclusive bonus material. Unfortunately, the Blu-ray is limited to Code A, probably due to the above-mentioned division of the license for the UK market.

Running time information is arranged according to the scheme
German DVD in PAL / American Blu-ray

Interestingly, the Arrow version starts with different, newer Shaw credits (early 80s). The Celestial version has the Celestial logo and the more familiar 'Shawscope' version.

Celestial master 11 sec longer

Celestial master (German DVD)New restoration (Arrow Video Blu-ray)

After just under 5 minutes, the director's credit diverges (after the other credits were identical).

Celestial master (German DVD)New restoration (Arrow Video Blu-ray)

09:26-09:27 / 09:47-09:48

The shot of Yang Ye's jump downwards is interrupted in the Celestial master by a recycled shot of the general - apparently to offer a replacement for a few damaged frames in the middle. In the new Arrow restoration, the shot now runs correctly through in one.

Kein Zeitunterschied

Celestial master (German DVD)New restoration (Arrow Video Blu-ray)

23:18 / 24:38-24:39

The attackers look up for a moment longer, then the follow-up shot starts earlier: the bloodied guy staggers forward a little earlier.

0.8 sec

43:08 / 45:51-45:52

After getting his head burned, Lau Kar Fei ducks down a little longer to finish the scene.

1.2 sec

46:54 / 49:53-49:56

A long shot is much longer, so you see more of the training. The follow-up shot of Lau Kar Fei also starts a bit earlier.

2.4 sec

55:24 / 58:57-58:58

While the Celestial master kicks in midway through Fu Sheng's somersault over the railing, in the Arrow restoration you can now see him still approaching in the first frames of the shot and preparing to jump.

0.8 sec

The really fast-paced finale has several super-quick shots, often less than a second. Accordingly, there are a lot of framecuts, which add up to about half a minute here alone. However, everything takes place in the range of clearly less than 0.5 seconds and thus, fortunately, nothing relevant was lost here in the Celestial version.

92:18 / 98:16-98:17

After the baddie has died in the wooden coffin, the follow-up shot of Lau Kar Fei and co, starts a few frames earlier.

0.6 sec

In the Arrow restoration, a copyright notice appears a bit earlier during the last shot. The end credit deviates somewhat afterwards. Afterwards, only the old version still has Celestial copyright notices.

Celestial master 11 sec longer

Celestial master (German DVD)New restoration (Arrow Video Blu-ray)

Cover (slipcase and reversible) of the American Blu-ray from Arrow Video:

Cover and reversible cover of the British Blu-ray from 88 Films (Celestial master):

Cover of the German Blu-ray box set from Koch Media (Celestial master):

Cover of the German DVD box set from Koch Media (Celestial master):