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Shawscope Vol. 2 Blu-ray Box (US edition)

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Mercenaries from Hong Kong

original title: Lie mo zhe


  • Celestial version (HK DVD)
  • Arrow Video Blu-ray
Release: Dec 13, 2022 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Muck47 - external link: IMDB

Comparison between the Celestial version (represented here by the Hongkong DVD by IVL / Celestial) and the original version (included on the UK/US Blu-ray from Arrow Video).


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

In late 2021, Arrow Video released the "Shawscope Vol. 1" box set in the UK/USA, which included 12 films from the legendary Hong Kong film studios. In addition to 5 legacy HD masters from licensor Celestial, there were 7 new HD restorations here that did not have the infamous framecuts that can be found in most of Celestial's catalog. In several reports, exemplified by the comparison to The Five Venoms, where other reports for titles in the box are also linked. Since November 21, 2022 (UK) and December 06, 2022 (USA) respectively, the "Shawscope Vol. 2" box is now available. This time there are even 14 films on board, with 9 of them in new HD restorations without framecuts.

Having already discussed Mad Monkey Kung Fu we looked at The Boxer's Omen on Disc 7. Mercenaries from Hong Kong is the second title on this disc. The running time difference looks like this:

  • Previous Celestial master: 90:23 min (Hongkong DVD in PAL speed) - equivalent to 94:26 min in correct NTSC speed
  • 2022 restoration from Arrow Video: 95:25 min (Arrow Video Blu-ray at 23.976 fps).

The new Arrow version is quite exactly 01:10 min longer and you can basically say: Nothing worth mentioning in any way was really lost here earlier. That is the main finding in this report. Only one dissolve was shortened halfway noticeably and in two other places there are small conspicuities in the picture itself.

Running time details are arranged according to the scheme
Hongkong DVD in PAL speed / Arrow Blu-ray in 23.976fps

19:15 / 20:16

In the old Celestial master, another text insert is missing: Wang Lung-Wei is mentioned here.

Hongkong DVDArrow Video Blu-ray

55:45 / 58:35

When the headlights come on brightly, the image in the old version turns completely white. In the new restoration, the background can still be seen.

Hongkong DVDArrow Video Blu-ray

73:22 / 77:25-77:27

The soft dissolve from the screaming Ti Lung to the golf course was set a bit earlier in Celestial. In a frame-by-frame comparison, this can be seen clearly in the white-clad woman who did not even enter the frame during and even after the dissolve in Arrow Video on the left.

Arrow version 1.5 sec longer

Hongkong DVDArrow Video Blu-ray