Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The original BULLET IN THE HEAD ending

If you're not familiar with video-cd's you're bound to get confused by the double audio: Most HK VCDs have two audio tracks, Cantonese and Mandarin. You'll need to switch off the right loudspeaker so you only hear the sound from the left one (which contains the Cantonese dialect, i.e. the HK dialect).

I was talking to Brian of Wildside Cinema about the original ending of John Woo's BULLET IN THE HEAD today. As I'm sure you know the original ending isn't the one that you'll find on the 100s of DVD, VHS and laserdisc releases. The only version that contains the original ending and the original music is the old Mai Ah video-cd from Hong Kong.

To cut a long story short, when John Woo first screened the film at festivals before the ordinary cinema release the film used the ending used on the VCD. It's a shorter, more abrupt and cynical ending. I have no idea as to why John Woo changed the ending before the film was release to a wider audience. I've heard all the speculations, sure, but you can't use fanboy speculations for shit if you ask me.

Maybe Woo got criticised for the ending being too cynical, maybe he wanted a more action movie style ending, or maybe he just wasn't happy with the original ending. Who knows. And why did he (or someone) change the music? Who knows. If you want a 1000 speculative reasons go ask some fanboys.

For the longest time I tried to track down the VCD and I succeed in doing so a while back. It's pretty rare but I'm sure the print is available on YouTube or elsewhere in Cyberspace. For more info on the VCD check this Mark's post here.