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Sword and the Claw, The (aka Lion Man)

original title: Kilic aslan

Comparison:

  • US Blu-ray
  • Uncut
Release: Apr 03, 2018 - Author: brainbug1602 - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB
Compared are the US Blu-ray by AGFA and the Uncut Version (German VHS by Miracle Video).

King Solomon conquers the Byzantine empire but the actual emperor Antoan is out for revenge. In an ambush, he kills the king and his followers, only the pregnant queen manages to get away and on the run, she gives birth to King Salomon's son before she gets killed as well. Mother lion takes care of the child and raises him. Over the years, a group of rebels has formed with the intention to take down Antoan but they need a leader and the "Lion Man" is supposed to be that leader because he has the birth mark of King Salomon. Together, they are facing King Antoan.

Long story short: Lion Man is pure gold. One should probably think of it as some kind of Turkish version of a peplum, supplemented with bloody effects and over the top fights including the excessive use of a trampoline. CŁneyt Arkin's combat style is dynamical, offensive and it is quite impressive how he fights his way through the hordes of assailants. By the way, there is also a sequel called Lionman II: The Witchqueen - a much more obscure movie but without CŁneyt Arkin.

As The Sword and the Claw, the movie was released on Blu-ray by AGFA in the US. The transfer is based on a US theatrical print in surprisingly good condition. And so is the actual transfer even though there is a slight tendency to blue. But at least, the picture has not been improved for the worse - there is a natural grain. Unfortunately, the Blu-ray is slightly cut. Right at the beginning, when King Salomon fights the Byzantine army, a small part of the fight is missing. On the other hand, the US Blu-ray contains an additional shot of a sunrise subsequent to the night King Solomon spends with the Byzantine queen. Said shot is also later on in the movie. It appears as if the US distributor insisted on illustrating how much time has gone by by adding that shot there.

The US Blu-ray also contains the movie Brawl Busters based on a pretty worn and torn theatrical print - numerous jump cuts included. As opposed to the alleged Uncut Version, one scene is longer on the Blu-ray (please see comparison for details).

Despite the few cuts, I highly recommend the US Blu-ray. The Sword and the Claw is complete and utter nonsense but it is highly entertaining and it looks really good in HD. With Brawl Busters, there is another amusing actioner that causes some good, old grindhouse feeling. And those who still are not sick of it can watch further kung fu trailers with a total length of more than 10 minutes.

Duration:

US Blu-ray: 87:38 min
Uncut Version (German VHS): 84:15 min (in PAL)
[00:00:15][00:00:35]

The US Version contains the English title on a black background.



In the Uncut Version (German VHS), the title "Lion Man" pops up on the screen while the soldiers are riding off.



US Version: 5 sec
Uncut Version: 6 sec


[00:02:09][00:02:26]

A few fight scenes are missing.



Uncut Version: 17 sec


[00:04:55][00:05:23]

Shot of the sunrise in the US Version, subsequent to the pillow talk regarding the mole.



At the end of the movie, there is the very same scene so it appears likely the distributor added the scene in order to illuastrate that a few hours have passed.

US Version: 3 sec




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