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Old 11-02-2002, 12:07   #1
gZa
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Thumbs up Chinese Super Ninjas - WOW!


Finally watched this DVD over the weekend...
...a little known, notoriously hard to get, gem from the Shaw Brothers cannon (1983)...

...and just thought I'd champion it on here (Yeah, yeah I know it's a bit too cult and I doubt more than 4 people have seen / heard of it! (...but if even one of you gets turned on to the Shaw Brothers movies following this post I'll die happy!)

The film has basically the standard revenge type plot but it has some quite simply ingenius uses of weapons, choreography and characters... It's alternate title is Five Element Ninjas so it has ninjas fighting with styles based on Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold & Water. (I wonder if this got remade post-The Fifth Element there be a Love Ninja!?

Anyway...

Sadly the DVD is P&S from it's original Shawscope ratio (2:35:1) tho' it surprisingly doesn't seem to suffer too badly, and dubbed (well it is a Shaw Brothers movie!) but if you even care about Kung Fu films or are a Shaw Brothers fan - particularly the Venoms flicks (Five Venoms, Invincible Shaolin, Crippled Avengers) then you really owe it to yourself to check it out...

One can only pray that this get an early release window when the Shaw Brother's catalogue gets a long over due restored/remastered release...

In the meantime here's what to do if you get attacked by a wood ninja...
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Old 11-02-2002, 12:32   #2
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Where'd you get yours from Garry?
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Old 11-02-2002, 12:52   #3
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HKFlix not necessarily the cheapest (It'll work out about Ł13)...as you have to order in US$ and the shipping tends to cost a bit so it's best to buy in bulk...

I had firstly tried MovieTyme (Ł9.99) but they couldn't get hold of it!

BTW There's a handful of cool reviews of these movies here
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Old 11-02-2002, 12:55   #4
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I'd hold off buying any Shaw Bros film right now because a DVD production company are going to start releasing the Shaw range this year! There's a good chance they'll be OAR as well!
Don't know any more details than that, but there are other members of the forums who do know the details, so it'll only be a matter of time before they post here.
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Old 11-02-2002, 14:29   #5
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Yeah I know that Shingster...

Someone emailed the company (who now owns the whole catalogue) and their response was;

Thank you very much for your enquiry and your interest in the Shaw Brothers movies.

Celestial Pictures will be releasing the classic SB movies on DVD in Hong Kong, America and the UK some time in Spring. The exact release dates have not yet been decided.

For your infomation, we are in the process of remastering the negatives and will re-package them in a high quality standard DVD format. The soundtrack and sub-titling will be greatly improved and it will have a widescreen format.

The titles to be released will include martial arts, action, adventures, period drama, comedy and musical, and they will be in their original language with English subtitles.

Celestial Pictures produces and distributes feature films and television programs primarily in Asian local languages for audiences to enjoy in theaters, on home video, on television, and on-line. Celestial Pictures owns the world's largest collection of Chinese feature films, including the Shaw Brothers library.

Once again, thank you for your patience and we look forward to your continued support!

Best regards,
Alice Leung
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However I'm hearing that the DVD won't contain the now legendary english dubs so it ain't a waste to buy the bootlegs...

...and also do you realise the amount of films that are in this catalogue! If you think waiting for 2 years to get A Bullet in the Head from HKL is long then imagine how long you could be waiting for your favourite Shaw movie?!
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Old 11-02-2002, 16:54   #6
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I second the recommendation – I’ve adored Five Element Ninjas ever since I saw it three times at the late lamented Scala Cinema in 1986 (correct aspect ratio, subtitles and wildly enthusiastic audience!). I might well go for this, so thanks for the info.
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Old 11-02-2002, 17:08   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Garry Cowell
also do you realise the amount of films that are in this catalogue! If you think waiting for 2 years to get A Bullet in the Head from HKL is long then imagine how long you could be waiting for your favourite Shaw movie?!
I get your point m8!, they did release new films at an alarming rate, Chang Cheh alone made over 70 films in 15years didn't he? I just meant that you never know, this might be one of the early/launch titles, so maybe it'd be worth waiting a little bit to see if there's a possibility of a better release in the near future! The term "Needle in haystack" does spring to mind though!

I've only seen a small few Shaw Bros films! , read up on them a bit, but not watched enough, so i'm looking foward to this Celestial pics deal.

Last edited by Shingster; 11-02-2002 at 17:10.
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Old 11-02-2002, 19:26   #8
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i remember reading somewhere that this film was cut to high heaven because the reviewer was not best pleased and complained about a lot of blood and gore being cut out.

It may not have been this dvd though i honestly can't think of another dvd version about.

I suppose if you want to see the film now then it's still the best version
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Old 11-02-2002, 20:39   #9
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invincible shaolin & dirty ho from the same company are in their proper aspect ratio-not good quality though,i reckon ground zero use vhs as their masters.i also recommend the five deadly venoms & return of the five deadly venoms from crash cinema -also widescreen.
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Old 12-02-2002, 10:05   #10
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I've now ordered Chinese Super Ninjas - sounds great
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Old 12-02-2002, 13:41   #11
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Post

Quote:
Originally posted by mr_woo
i remember reading somewhere that this film was cut to high heaven because the reviewer was not best pleased and complained about a lot of blood and gore being cut out.

It may not have been this dvd though i honestly can't think of another dvd version about.

I suppose if you want to see the film now then it's still the best version
Put it this way if Chinese Super Ninjas is cut then I'd love to see an uncut one! There's more gore in it than gawd!
Did you not see my Quicktime Mov above?! :rolleyes:

I agree with saltysam and also add Master Killer and The Kid with the Golden Arm
Note: There's two versions of 'Kid' DVD floating about; a really scabby bootleg of 4th generation VHS P&S copy; and a decent WS copy.
Don't order it unless you're sure of the WS one!
I've also got Flag of Iron and Five Fingers of Death to watch later this week so I'll keep you posted on them...

ALL OF THE ABOVE ARE WS with the exception of Chinese Super Ninjas.

More info on the Venoms here
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Old 12-02-2002, 14:59   #12
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five fingers of death is vhs quality, fist of the white lotus i have heard is 1:85:1 and there is also return of the chinese boxer with jimmy wang yu which is 2:35:1
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Old 12-02-2002, 18:57   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by saltysam
five fingers of death is vhs quality...
It pretty much goes without saying that ALL these DVD can only hope to amount to VHS/Broadcast quality at best. After all they are to all intents and purposes bootlegs.

I'll do some screen grabs for tomorrow...
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Old 13-02-2002, 17:41   #14
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Screen grabs as promised...

Note these are all 720x480, around 150K and direct from the DVD...

I picked the DVDs which best illustrated what you get on average. Some are better (Flag of Iron) some are worse (Master Killer)...

Firstly, three shots from Crippled Avengers (aka Return of the Five Deadly Venoms) which represents the non-anamorphic widescreen DVDs...

...ca1.jpg
...ca2.jpg
...ca3.jpg

Secondly, three shots from Chinese Super Ninjas which is sadly Pan & Scan...

...nin1.jpg
...nin2.jpg
...nin3.jpg

...and finally an identical shot from the 'decent' bootleg of Kid with the Golden Arm and the 'scabby' bootleg.
Note: If you look closely not ONLY is the scabby bootleg mastered from a 3rd/4th generation VHS tape but it's actually from a 1.33:1 P&S version that is then matted to around 1.66:1 to give the illusion of widescreen!

I really hope the people responsibly for this die a slow and painful death (ala the wood ninja!)
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Last edited by gZa; 14-02-2002 at 12:27.
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Old 13-02-2002, 19:48   #15
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Garry, you have your wish - I am well & truly 'turned on' to Shaw Brothers stuff having read this thread a few times. Now, onto a question -

Any idea where I can pick up a copy of 5 Deadly Venoms? HKFlix hav the Return of, but not the first. Is it available, or long gone?
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Old 13-02-2002, 21:55   #16
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cdnow.com have it in stock,but make sure you select the widescreen version-fantastic movie!
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Old 13-02-2002, 21:57   #17
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try here

You Can Try www.dvdclub.ukf.net
they seem to have most of the shaw u.s. releases.
A little more expensive but free shipping.........
Super Ninja's is only cut in the last scene, where the villain gets his commupance......i wont spoil it and tell you what happens to him....
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Old 14-02-2002, 09:11   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by saltysam
cdnow.com have it in stock,but make sure you select the widescreen version-fantastic movie!
Cheers matey!
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Old 14-02-2002, 12:25   #19
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Re: try here

Quote:
Originally posted by DaveR
Super Ninja's is only cut in the last scene, where the villain gets his commupance......i wont spoil it and tell you what happens to him....
Really!? Use Spoiler tags or email me! I wanna know!

BTW I since found out that the language has been censored as well!

Here's a clip - anyone familar with Shaw dubs should guess the missing word!
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Old 20-02-2002, 16:11   #20
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My copy of Chinese Super Ninjas turned up today Guess what I'll be watching tonight!

Garry, any updates on the other films you were going to watch- 5 Fingers of death etc?
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