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TheKungFuRobber

Game of Death II 死亡塔 (1981) - Theatrical Version Reconstruction

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I need to find a good quality source of the Roy Chaio abbot scene from Enter the Dragon. It is for my fan reconstruction of the Cantonese HK version of Tower of Death (AKA Game of Death II) in 1080p, which uses the newly remastered International dubbed print from the HK Blu Ray and the SD HKL DVD as a source for the un-remixed Cantonese mono audio and subtitles. The scene is unfortunately truncated very slightly on the international version and I need to restore a few frames and all my editions of Enter the Dragon don't cut it.

If anyone has the clip and is willing to send me it, I would greatly appreciate it and will of course provide them with a copy of the finished custom to watch. It will have English and Cantonese mono audio and removable English subtitles along with the audio commentary track from the HKL disc. Most of the work is done apart from that one clip.

UPDATE: See post Below

Edited by TheKungFuRobber

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Update: So it turns out the whole abbot scene in Game of Death II was different footage from Enter the Dragon and none of it is used in the Special Edition of Enter the Dragon, it is an outtake if you will.

This means that I will have to upscale about 14 frames from the HKL edition of Tower of Death and do my best to incorporate it into the film. I might just use an upscale for the entire take in this case. No big deal, you won't notice it in the movie. It is normal procedure to sometimes use upscales of short clips of footage, even in mainstream film restorations. Look at any remastered print of a movie and notice how the colour and contrast dips in transitions, this is because it is impossible to colour correct footage during transitions consistently. When restorations are done from the original negative, this means that someone has to reconstruct the entire movie from the ground up and often times a 35mm print scan is used to help the person in charge of supervising the restorations to time the footage again properly. It is very daunting work and often times the restorationist can make mistakes in creating the remaster, in the case of the remaster Fortune Star did on Tower of Death, there are a few mastering differences and often times takes run longer than in the theatrical release print (as included with the HKL DVD). This could also becasue the film processing was done seperately for the International cut too though, which wouldn't surprise me. In later years of HK cinema this was common which is why we have different versions of the same movies (take the US version of Rumble in the Bronx for instance, it follows the same narrative as the HK version but was put together by a different editor and has different scenes entirely in places and the fight scenes are edited differently). This is often mistaken for re-editing, but it isn't really in a sense. The whole sountrack on the remaster is also remixed. Fortune Star did an alright job of doing so but we would rather watch the film in mono as it was shot.

I'm going to do everything I can to recreate the HK Theatrical version using the excellent work Fortune Star has already done. The film is just gleaming with colour and I feel that it would be even better if it was presented exactly as it was in cinemas. Only exception to what I am doing is that I'm leaving the opening titles alone because they aren't really too important. They're just titles, not as if they are innaccurate or something. I have changed only the film title card back to "Tower of Death" as this was the title used when the film was screened in Hong Kong.

Edited by TheKungFuRobber

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Going to include the end credits at the end of the film, because I think that they would be an important extra. I know they weren't in the Hong Kong theatrical version, but nobody is forcing you to watch them either way and it helps to know who worked on the film. They will play silent.

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I'm not sure whether or not I should replace the Golden Harvest logo with the Chinese version. I'm thinking about just leaving it alone though, because it is what it is and I would be inclined to go out and look for another scan of the logo in HD.

Given how badly Eastmancolour film can deteriorate, I can't help but say how impressed I am with the colours on the blu ray of the international version. It just blooms with colour and the skin tones just pop as 35mm film should and you can see the difference in quality between the film stock from old Bruce Lee movies and the stuff shot for the movie. Just gorgeous and a million times an improvement over the HKL DVD, to the point where I almost get emotional looking at how well Fortune Star have cleaned up the film in comparison to the old upscaled versions. Just unfortunate it isn't the version we want and I have to do this project. I'll post some screen caps later.

Edited by TheKungFuRobber

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Tower of Death Colour Corrected.00_40_32_01.Still004.png

Tower of Death Colour Corrected.00_43_46_19.Still003.png

Tower of Death Colour Corrected.00_43_49_01.Still002.png

Tower of Death Colour Corrected.00_43_49_05.Still001.png

The picture quality is stunning and absolutely sets the bar for film standards, true HD from the original negative and no upscale bullshit. Unfortunately as part of the process, likely by accident the compressionist used a kind of encoding format which added a reddish tint but I have got rid of that and now it looks just like it should. Don't blame the restorationist, he clearly knew what he was doing. It's like a photograph at this point and I am very happy with it. If you don't already own the original blu ray it is definitely worth having in your collection. If you genuinely think digital is better than film, then think again. Only thanks to modern technology can we actually capture 35mm film in it's fullest colour, and when watching in SD you are also missing 83% of the detail compared to 1080p HD, not to mention the detail lost with intra-frame MPEG2 compression. The sooner DVD becomes a thing of the past, the better.

 

Edited by TheKungFuRobber

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Did FS re release Tower Of Death in true HD? I have the japanese extreme edition and it's an upscale, like the original HK release was.

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On 10/15/2019 at 12:35 PM, TheKungFuRobber said:

Update: So it turns out the whole abbot scene in Game of Death II was different footage from Enter the Dragon and none of it is used in the Special Edition of Enter the Dragon, it is an outtake if you will.

 

Hi @TheKungFuRobber, good luck with this latest project.

 

Always looked exactly the same to me, with the exception of it being longer. Never heard anyone say it was an alternative take of the exact same scene before?.

Edited by DragonClaws

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2 hours ago, saltysam said:

Did FS re release Tower Of Death in true HD? I have the japanese extreme edition and it's an upscale, like the original HK release was.

Looks true HD to me, unless there is something up with my eyes...

Well, it is true HD as the screenshots should prove, although looking at the print closely and you can see that the film does dip in quality in scenes. This would be because the scenes which are indeed exclusive to the international version are almost certainly upscales. We don't give a fuck about this though because I'm removing all of those scenes.

Edited by TheKungFuRobber

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2 hours ago, DragonClaws said:

 

Hi @TheKungFuRobber, good luc with this latest project.

 

Always looked exactly the same to me, with the exception of it being longer. Never heard anyon say it was an alternative take of the exact same scene before?.

It is, at least partly. Well the abbott scene is constructed using parts of the take version and parts of NG versions of the scene. The last part of the clip in Game of Death II is an NG take. If you don't beleive me, I can share it.

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Tower of Death Colour Corrected.01_04_51_22.Still007.png

Yuen Biao about to get done in. I think he gets killed about 30 or more times in this whole movie, either by himself in disguise as Tong Lung (Hwang Jang Lee also doubled Tong Lung in a few kicking scenes too. Tong Lung later shapeshifts into Yuen Biao in the form of a double and kills Hwang Jang Lee at the end of the film (and probably doubles him a few times too). Good thing about having the film in HD is you get to freeze frame and see all the extras and doubles. Wonder if he also doubles as the crack whore.

The film is a bloody work of art, it's by far the best Bruceploitation flick and I would say it is more of a tribute to the genre, it combines elements of Hammer style horror, mystery, comedy, martial arts, sword fighting and is all a tribute to Bruce Lee himself. Kim Tai Chung wasn't a great martial artist, but with the right body doubles they made him look like a bloody acrobat. Yuen Woo Ping is a complete genius. Even being able to bring Bruce Lee to people just one last time, albeit in unused footage from Enter the Dragon was great.

Edited by TheKungFuRobber

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For all waiting to get the link to the movie who have paid a donation, I must apologise. I get the impression that the upload is cursed. It's been stuck at this very unlucky number for ages. Anyway so I'll redo the upload and hopefully everything will be fine. Sorry about the delays caused for everyone who just wanted to watch the movie.

image.png

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20 minutes ago, TheKungFuRobber said:

Have hope for the upload yet, it's at 50%. We play this song from that boxing movie to give the upload a confidence boost. Oh wait, wrong movie.

 

it doesn't matter, i love this song!!

 

 

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Game of Death II is a great movie, glad you were able to do it as a custom. I own the Fortune Star version, the Universe Tower of Death version, and the HK Legends one, so you know I'm a fan of it!😜

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