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Shawscope Blu-ray box


To Live and Die in L.A



Scream 6

Needful Things

Mighty Peking Man

original title: Xing Xing Wang


  • Blu-ray (Arrow Video)
  • SD version (Arrow Bonus)
Release: Jan 22, 2022 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Muck47 - external link: IMDB

Comparison between the main HD version by Celestial and the SD bonus version, both included on the British Blu-ray by Arrow Video.

- 4 relevant deviations
- Cut duration: 1.9 sec

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

Available in the UK since 20th December 2021 and US since 28th December 2021 from aficionado label Arrow Video, the box set entitled "Shawscope Vol. 1" is a must-have for any fan of Asian action cinema. Included are 12 films from the legendary Shaw Brothers studio, plus lots of newly produced bonus material and a 60-page book. Version-wise, the original cut of Chinatown Kid, finally restored for the first time, is a special feature. This one's even a bit longer than previously available on VHS. There are also 6 other films (so including Chinatown Kid it's 7 titles) available for the first time in new restorations from Arrow Video. The other 5 films are the same as Celestial's versions, already released on other Blu-rays worldwide.

Those who are somewhat familiar with the Shaw films should know that the versions on DVD and Blu-ray, which have been in common use worldwide since the mid-2000s, often have "framecuts". The Asian rights holder Celestial messed this up during the restoration: frames around the splices between individual shots or fractions damaged for whatever reasons were rigorously cut instead of carefully reconstructing the moments or simply leaving them as they were. Depending on the length of the film, this resulted in a loss of up to 5 minutes of running time, which is hardly noticeable during normal viewing. Fights in particular, however, often seem a bit jerky due to the quick shots being cut further for a few frames each. Annoyingly, some shots were also completely lost from time to time. That's why it was so exciting to see what the 7 new Arrow restorations might finally reveal in comparison to previous versions.

Mighty Peking Man comes with an additional SD bonus version, similar to Shaolin Temple. Here's the runtime difference to the main feature:

  • Celestial master: 89:29 min (Arrow Video Blu-ray at 23.976 fps)
  • Old SD version: 90:33 min (bonus material of the Arrow Video Blu-ray at 23.976 fps)

Minus Celestial references and shorter credits, the old SD version is 01:02 min longer. As expected, this is almost entirely distributed among irrelevant "framecuts" at the beginning and end of shots that are barely noticeable during normal viewing.

A closer look reveals that the differences, which are actually somehow "relevant", are similarly small as in Five Venoms and Challenge of the Masters / Dirty Ho, which were also only about one minute shorter. Nevertheless: Curiously, there is a short alternative shot of an English newspaper to discover, which was obviously built in for export. We also mentioned a few moments where no shot was completely missing, but at least more than 0.5 sec at a time.

Runtimes are ordered as follows: Arrow main version / Arrow bonus version

The SD version in the bonus material of the Arrow disc has another distributor logo to start.

15 sec

Right after the Shawscope logo, there is a text overlay in the HD master in the first shot.

British Blu-ray - Main versionBritish Blu-ray - SD bonus version

04:10-04:12 / 04:27-04:29

A newspaper clipping was exchanged for English-language export.

No runtime difference

British Blu-ray - Main versionBritish Blu-ray - SD bonus version

Shortly thereafter, the opening credits. The German VHS was bare here, with the exception of the domestic title. The English SD master in the bonus material of Arrow shows basically the same, bilingual credits as Celestial. However, they are in yellow while they are white on the main HD version.

British Blu-ray - Main versionBritish Blu-ray - SD bonus version

09:22 / 09:41-09:42

The birds fly through the picture much earlier.

0.9 sec

10:05 / 10:25-10:26

When the native is buried by the elephant under some bamboo sticks, the shot of him starts earlier.

Note: There is a small jump cut here, immediately after which the Celestial master also kicks in. Obviously this was the reason why the shot was deprived of its beginning.

0.4 sec

67:34 / 68:26-68:27

A shot of the Peking man can be seen a bit longer.

0.7 sec

The final end screen differs.

British Blu-ray - Main versionBritish Blu-ray - SD bonus version

The Celestial version ends with a corresponding copyright notice of just under 15 sec.

Here is a look at the bonus material. Curiously, the theatrical trailer from Hong Kong at the time still offered two scenes in which Evelyne Kraft can be seen with bare breasts. The scenes are not included in any known final film version. It has long been rumored that this was the case in European releases and especially Germany, but so far no VHS or theatrical scan has surfaced to confirm this.

On the one hand, there's a moment at 01:44 in the HK trailer. Here Danny Lee is frolicking with Evelyine in the water and at one point pulls her out of the water in such a way that you can clearly see her breasts. The scene comes in the 37th minute of the film, but there her body always remains completely covered by the water. For comparison, here are two screenshots from 37:29 and 37:40 of the Blu-ray.

British Blu-ray - Main versionBritish Blu-ray - Hongkong- Theatrical trailer

Shortly after that, at 01:58, you see the scene where Evelyine is surprised naked in her cabin. In the finished film (timecode 46:03 of the British Blu-ray), an alternate take was used where you are closer to her face. The trailer shows a very similar shot, but by the position of her hair and shoulders you can tell it's a different take. Anyway, here her upper body is still seen in full glory.

British Blu-ray - Main versionBritish Blu-ray - Hongkong- Theatrical trailer