Comparison between the cut 16mm alternative version and the uncut original version (both included on the US Blu-ray of MVD / VCI Entertainment)
- 5 cuts
- Duration: 946.5 sec (= 15:47 min)
A few additional master errors with a duration of less than 0.5 sec each, for the original version in particular, were not listed in this report.
Bruceploitation once again and Dynamo is quite blunt in this regards: The death of the real Bruce Lee marks the beginning of the film and Bruce Li plays a taxi driver with similar talents, who is recruited by an unscrupulous studio boss. To do so Li is schooled Shaw Brothers veteran Ku Feng, who mimes an alcoholic teacher. This leads to many occasions for fights, which are also somehow based on Lee's real life and his movies. Especially because of the diversified sets, up to a ski slope, the whole thing is a thoroughly entertaining snack for Eastern fans.
The film is available in Germany on DVD from February 7, 2019. A 35mm scan, reconstructed with other image material when changing the reels, was used for this purpose. It was released on Blu-ray in Spain as well. Probably exactly this image source was the basis for the US Blu-ray released on 12 May 2020. However, some more work was done for it: Scratches were retouched, the colours were corrected and also some damaged frames were removed. The latter explains the slightly shorter running time compared to the Spanish Blu-ray and the German DVD. Filtering was also done, so that the image quality, admittedly not outstanding even in its original form, is rather soft. Thus, you shouldn't expect a spectacular HD-feeling, but overall it's a respectful treatment of an Eastern rarity.
Besides further exclusive bonus content, the US Blu-ray also features an alternative 16mm scan. In the booklet as well as the audio commentary there is talk of use for TV. Considering several untouched sex scenes with full frontal nudity this sounds a bit questionable - at least for the US. In any case, this additional version is shortened by about 16 minutes. The cuts were set independently to the old German version which was also cut 11 minutes. In both cases the introductory plot around an unscrupulous lady overtaking the company was reduced strongly. It sets the tracks for how she exploits Bruce Li's character later on, but admittedly it's rather superfluous ballast for the action scenes that everybody expects from such a movie.
Running times are arranged according to the scheme
16mm Bonus cut on US Blu-ray / Original version on US Blu-ray
The US TV version starts 10 frames earler.
00:28 / 00:28-01:35
After the title card, the US alternative version is missing a large part of the credits sequence.
66.8 sec (= 1:07 min)
Afterwards some more credits, only for the original version.
00:52 / 01:59-07:07
Exactly after the last shot in red, which has just been illustrated, the first scenes are missing. Marry lands at Hong Kong airport and is driven through the city. There, Bruce Lee's funeral is taking place, which the co-driver (Mr. Lung) briefly explains. The radio is turned on and we hear more about it, while Lung ironically explains how this is already being exploited by the media. She hires him as an assistant. As this scene was completely reinserted shortly after in the 16mm alternative version, it is only exemplarily illustrated with screenshots of the first and last shot.
After arriving at the office, another conversation of the bosses is missing. The gwailo mentions that there's nothing to worry about as they're already working on replacements for Bruce. Marry joins in and gives a critical speech. She would now bring a breath of fresh air into the company. This is also accompanied by a few slides of stars and the others start to get a little nervous. She puts a file on Mr. Jones' desk, which probably means he's fired. Marry introduces Mr Lung as an assistant and says that from now on all decisions will be made through her.
307.9 sec (= 5:08 min), of which 166.4 sec (= 2:46 min) are exclusive material
04:03-06:25 / 10:17
After Bruce received parking ticket, the whole first part from the previous cut (Marry's arrival until Mr. Lung is promoted to assistant) is inserted again.
06:25 / 10:17-20:16
At this point there is a long block of scenes that continue the side plot with Marry concerning the company and its local business.
First, Marry arrives at the office and learns from Mr. Lung that the agency is run by Kung. She wants to meet with him. Furthermore, she mentions the gambler Mr. Ma and there is a small analogy to horse racing, in which she hints at a manipulation of the opponents. Afterwards, Kung talks to Mr. George, so the competition is trying to make a deal as well.
The meeting between Marry and Kung takes place at a disco. With a dance she first wins his sympathy and is photographed by a paparazzi. She also spends the night at his place, during which the melody of the well-known title song Nobody does it better from The Spy Who Loved Me is played quite brazenly. The next morning he offers her a job at his company, whereupon she mentions her high position at Pacific. Immediately she confronts him with a prepared contract and the proof photo from the previous evening, which could destroy his marriage. Marry now offers him a job at her company, so Kung is calmed down and signs the contract.
Mr. George is then stopped in an elevator by two two-faced guys and is also urged to sign. Afterwards Marry comes into the office and Kung complains that he has only been given a lower position. She acts condescending and threatens she might as well fire him again. In the taxi, Mr. Lung is now also a little sceptical about so much unscrupulousness, but she calms him down a bit.
Mr Lung then talks to Mr Shaw and says Pacific is a better option than Cosmo. The horse would have a better chance of winning - whereupon you can see in the stables how the horse is further trimmed for high performance with questionable acupuncture methods.
599.1 sec (= 9:59 min)
08:03 / 21:54-22:54
The horse race (only available in windowboxed format at the beginning, due to damaged source material in the original film reel) is completely missing. Subsequently, Marry concludes a contract with another business partner. When she goes inside with Mr. Lung, the beginning of the shot is still missing. Here she says that they have won the first round, after that the 16mm alternative version starts. The following sentence "Now we have keep winning", which is actually based on it, has been deleted from the soundtrack.
60.3 sec (= 1:00 min)
09:23 / 24:14-25:08
After Bruce has signed the contract, Marry plans the next steps of how to present it to the press. He should learn a few languages and generally appear "bigger than life". She distributes the tasks to her subordinates accordingly.
10:59-11:01 / 26:43
A flaw in the long main version of the Blu-ray: Teacher Mark looks to the side a little longer and there Buck lights his cigarette a little earlier.
Note: This moment is included in the German DVD (25:45-25:47). In many other places for the US Blu-ray, some damaged frames have been removed from the master, which explains the overall about 20 sec shorter running time compared to the Spanish Blu-ray and the German DVD. This is the only instance where a little more has been removed in one go.
+ 1.7 sec
Finally, comparison pictures to the Asia Line DVD, which contains the master of the original version in its original form. The colors were brightened and adjusted a bit more naturally for the Blu-ray, but this is also visible by the black bars not being completely black. In addition to completely removed frames, scratches have also been retouched. Another curious thing was a shot towards the end, where the location credit was not quite readable on the German DVD. Here the US Blu-ray shows more of the picture.
In addition, comparative pictures between the two versions on the US Blu-ray. The 16mm alternative version is slightly zoomed and also distorted. But all in all it's also a nice presentation, which additionally has a nice Grindhouse flair because of the scratches and generally more theater-like feeling. Furthermore, the material there also explains where the completely readable "Chicago" lettering was rescued from. The end credit, which was completely missing on the German DVD, also deviates. Probably it was redone for the original version on the US Blu-ray.