Comparison between the cut British Blu-ray from 88 Films and the uncut German Blu-ray from Koch Media.
- 7 cuts and one repeated scene
- Cut duration: 46.3 sec
We truly don't need to say much more here about Jackie Chan's breakthrough with Snake in the Eagle's Shadow. For years, viewers in Germany were treated to a heavily cut version until 2018, when Koch Media's Blu-ray premiere gave fans the chance to enjoy the original, uncensored version for the first time. The film was previously released with the same HD master in Japan and America, but there it was incorrectly missing a color filter, which was corrected by Koch Media.
On May 03, 2021, a Blu-ray was finally released in the UK as well. While fans recently got used to seeing quite a few Hong Kong classics for the first time as fancy new 2K/4K restorations in HD, this genre classic was far from a worldwide HD premiere. In addition, there is another annoying circumstance: Even the BBFC 18 version on VHS and DVD at the time was censored during the animal cruelty scene (fight between cat and snake). Interestingly, the film was then re-rated for 88 Films by the BBFC with the lower 12 rating, but the running time foreshadowed bad things.
The British HD premiere is again censored on the same scene. The cuts are almost completely identical, with one more shot removed and replaced at the end of the scene. Nevertheless, the release can be thoroughly recommended. Regardless of how you feel about the hot topic of animal cruelty, especially the British have probably already come to terms with the cut version. Above all, however, Asia fans worldwide can find new bonus material here, such as an interview with Roy Horan, who plays the Russian missionary and has some funny anecdotes in a short hour. Two new audio commentaries and top quality audio tracks/subtitles round off the package once again.
Runtimes are ordered as follows:
BBFC 12 Blu-ray / FSK 16 Blu-ray
79:49 / 79:51-79:54
Following a close-up of the paw we see the beginning of the fight between the cat and the snake.
79:49 / 79:54-79:59
Some further shots of the cat, the snake and Jackie from behind are missing after a very brief cut to Jackie.
79:51 / 80:01-80:12
The fight steps up a notch; Jackie is cheering.
79:52 / 80:13-80:19
More scenes of the fight.
79:53 / 80:20-80:28
Several attacks are missing again before the cat is shown in a close-up in the British version.
Alternate shot / New cut
79:53 / 80:28-80:29
Now the only deviation from the old DVD: The following close-up of the cat has been replaced. On the 88 Films Blu-ray, a shot that was already seen a first time shortly before, is now simply shown again. The important aspect of it is that you just see the cat. In the shot that actually occurs here, on the other hand, you can clearly see the snake coming into the picture on the left and it has to take a paw blow from the cat.
Uncut 0.4 sec longer
For comparison: Here again the same scene from the old UK DVD. The film was zoomed and otherwise cut identically. Only this one shot was included there as in the original version, with the snake coming into the picture briefly on the left.
79:53 / 80:29-80:31
Two quick shots + Jackie.
79:54 / 80:32-80:42
In the British version it looks as if the fight was over, because of the short shot in which the snake sinks down, but this is actually just a new attack: the snake is now wrapped around the cat and they are wildly rolling around on the ground. Finally, the cat manages to get loose and some further paw swipes end the life of the snake.
For the sake of completeness, it should be noted:
* The opening credits of the British Blu-ray contain the English credits, as known from the German/American/Japanese Blu-ray. This is something new for the Brits in that the old DVD had the Chinese credits.
* In the 34th/67th/94th minute, quite a few old releases had a pink color filter that marked the flashbacks. This was missing from the original HD master, which was released in Japan and the US. Interestingly, 88 Films in the UK adopted the corrected version from Koch Media in Germany. In addition, the color filter was also missing from the old DVD in the UK.