Wednesday, May 26, 2010
SOUL BROTHERS OF KUNG FU (DVD review)
Distributor: Bonzai Media
Region: ALL NTSC
I bought this disc because it was billed as being "UNCUT", but unfortunately that is completely false. The back of the case says that when the movie was originally released in 1978 it was rated X and parts had to be cut for a theatrical release. It then goes on to describe where the cuts were made and what was cut out. I don't why they did this because now we know exactly what we are missing as most of these cut scenes aren't even in the "uncut version." So why is it called "uncut" then? Just watching the fights the edits are pretty obvious which really sucks.
The video is wide-screen 2.35:1 and looks not to bad. Definitely better than VHS, but not up to grade with regular DVDs, but I don't think we are going to get much better than this. The picture is solid, so you won't have to worry about static or running picture like some old kung fu movie converted over from VHS.
Stereo, as in dual mono! I didn't notice any audio dropouts or fuzzy audio, it is clear and I didn't have any problems hearing the dialog.
Following the end of the movie there is the uncut version of the ending, but unfortunately it is full screen and the video is a bit faded. The uncut ending shows a gorier end to Ku Feng when Bruce Li literally uses his Iron Finger to perforate his heart. We actually get an internal view of the heart with the finger in it and when the finger is removed blood seeps from the wound. In the uncut ending Carl Scott's character Tommy lives, but in the edited theatrical version, he dies. Visit the Bruceploitation YouTube Channel to watch the uncut ending.
There is a also quite a long trailer for the Chinese Bruce Lee TV series, Legend of Bruce Lee. The trailer was obviously just taken from the internet as it has the Sina watermark embedded on it and even though it's only a few years old the video quality is worse than the feature film which is 30 years older, it suffers from lots of compression looks very blocky.
Menus are awful as there in only one main menu where you can either play the movie or play the Legend of Bruce Lee trailer. Not even having a menu for chapter selections is pretty lazy. Also, having the option to play the alternate uncut ending would be nice instead of having to go to the end of the movie.
The artwork is fairly uninspired with pictures of the three main heroes against a funky multi-colored background. The back is most text with some screen shots on the side. The movie is released under their "the fake bruce lee series...BRUCEPLOITATION" banner and for some reason I bet it's the only one.
I was pretty disappointed that I bought this "uncut" edition only to discover that it is indeed edited, in fact make that heavily edited, but what do you expect from a bootleg. I still enjoyed the movie though(read my review), but if you are looking for the definitive uncut version then keep looking. If I ever find it then I will immediately be disposing of this DVD.