MEDIA BLASTERS(TOKYO SHOCK) IS THE LEGIT RELEASE
Rudeboi Junglist | ATL | 10/04/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
Dont buy Panmedia/Red Sun/Banzai/Yin Yang. Those are bootlegs. Before Dragon Dynasty, Image, or Media Blasters(Tokyo Shock), they would rip off the video from the IVL versions and add in the English dubs. Celestial Pictures are the owners of the Shaw Brothers titles and license their titles out to various companies. Now that I got that out of the way, the movie itself is one of my favorite Venoms films. If you liked Masked Avengers, you will probably like this. It's not breaking any new ground but there are cool villains introduced and the use of a flag as a weapon is unique. As always, the fight choreography is top notch in any Venoms films. The plot is basically anchored by a "who killed my master" motif, peppered with betrayal and revenge. The Media Blasters version is the best version of this movie to date. The subtitles are better than the IVL ones, there is an inclusion of the original English Dub for you illiterates, and the picture is progressive. This DVD lacks relevant extras."
The Spearman is restored-finally
Michael W. Jaworski | Fairfield, NJ USA | 12/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is, finally, the remastered real deal from Tokyo Shock; man, what a difference! Previously only had a taped from TV version, minus nearly 30 minutes of footage; then the widescreen NS version, again missing nearly 30 minutes of footage (grrr!) Also, only in an English dub (snarl!). I know plenty of fans like the dubbed version, and that's fine, but the voices on this dub suck royally. Plus, the translation for the dub is incoherent in spots, but I digress. This Tokyo Shock version is restored, uncut at 113 minutes, widescreen, subtitled AND has the lame English dub. Aside from the usual Tokyo Shock extras, look for the "Easter Egg" (the opening credit sequence from the U.S. "The Spearman of Death" version.)
Despite missing Lo Mang & Sun Chien, this has the core Venoms; Kuo Chui, Lu Feng, Wang Li, Chiang Sheng (who I read may have been a co-director on this one) & the underrated Yu Tai-Ping, sharing the spotlight with the "White Robed Rambler" Lung Tien-Sheng in a Chinese chivalry knight film. As usual with the Shaws & the maestro Chang Cheh; opulent, ornate sets; colorful costumes; great performances/ characters (the Ten Assassins) & awesome hard-hitting fu. The succession of fights Kuo has with the Assasins in the middle of the film are great, but that's just a warm-up for some amazing fu during the finale. Unique and esoteric choice of weapon in the flag-draped spears (possibly been inspired by the end fight in Chang's own "Life Gamble".) A must-buy, period. Now, what's the deal with my favorite Venom picture, "The Kid With the Golden Arm"? DO NOT tease me with that December 29th release date!"
Excellent presentation of a Venoms classic
Andrew Strawn | ATX | 09/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of my favorite Venom Mob movies, it features the three opera trained Venoms Kuo Chui, Chaing Sheng and Lu Feng. Highlights include Kuo Chui battling his way through a string of asassins and the finale where he takes on Lu Feng. The Shawscope looks great especially in the long shots durring the flag battles where the action fills the screen.
The story does get a bit rediculous, and it runs on too long, but its on DVD so after you watch it once or twice you can jump to the best fights.
Tokyo Shock has done a great job on this disc. I noticed a cool feature I havent seen a dvd before there is a subtitle track plays durring the english versions that translates the signs on screen. Inclues trailers for Black Magic 2, Ichi the Killer, Ten Tigers from Kwantung (original), Lone Wolf and Cub (tv series), the Flag or Iron trailer from the region 3 release and an original US tv trailer. Anamorphic widescreen, English subs, English mono track, Engish 5.1 track and Mandrin mono track."