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Old 08-23-2021, 11:44 PM   #1
jee jee is offline
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Hong Kong Men Behind the Sun (Trilogy) 1988-1994

Man Behind the Sun Trilogy released by Panorama.



As it would seem I am the first person to add this to my owned film collection (a couple of you have it on wishlist) I would like to offer my experience with it so far. I have only watched the first film as It only arrived from Hong Kong today. Took some time to arrive, nearly a month on shipping.

This is absolutely the best I have ever seen the film look, and I doubt it is possible to do any better than this. This film was never meant to look high budget or try to appeal to a large demographic. This is a film that displays the horrors that took place at the Japanese Unit 731 in occupied China (Manchuria I believe).

I have not seen the 2 sequels that come in this package, though I have heard they are of a similar nature as the first. These films are not for those who are easily disturbed. I would recommend that if you are easily troubled by this kind of content but are curious about what happened in Unit 731 during the second world war, read about it online. That may make it easier to digest or perhaps not, the imagination is unpredictable.

Anyhow, if you are like myself and are a film aficionado and are able to watch extreme films often found in some genres of art house cinema, mondo, and the exploitation arenas I would strongly recommend picking this one up. If you are only interested in the first title it is available as an individual but for the price I would recommend grabbing the trilogy.

I purchased my copy from yesasia.com, but it is also available from Panorama directly. You won't be able to find it on Amazon, though I am sure there are resellers marking up and selling on ebay.

https://www.yesasia.com/us/110234488...0-en/info.html
https://shop.panorama.com.hk/en/warm...3-blu-ray.html

For only the first film:
https://www.yesasia.com/us/man-behin...0-en/info.html
https://shop.panorama.com.hk/en/war/...021-01-15.html

Cheers,

Last edited by jee; 08-24-2021 at 05:27 AM.
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Old 08-24-2021, 12:17 PM   #2
jee jee is offline
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Just a quick update as I forgot to mention this in the first post:

The entire release is Region A, though I have heard that it is not region locked (I'll confirm this later today, will try it on my region B and C units).

All 3 films have English friendly menus and English subtitles.
None of the films include English dubbing audio track, I'm sure some fans of the first will be dissapointed by this as it was the english dub that was most widely circulated outside of East Asia, therefore being what english speaking fans are likely most familiar with. Aside from that I can assure that the subtitles are well implemented and aside from a couple very minor spelling mistakes they are sufficient.

The first film is a 100% Mandarin dub, the following 2 are a mix of Mandarin, Cantonese & Japenese.

In regards to the first film, many of the actors did not speak the preferred language of the film makers, this was chosen in order to have ethnically correct people in all speaking roles. Therefore fluency in Mandarin and/or Cantonese (the film was primarily made for Chinese viewership) was a secondary consideration if any consideration at all. Because of this choice there exists no "ideal" audio track that accounts for all the on screen dialogue and there will be times when dubbing is evident and is unavoidable regardless of audio track.

The only other caveat is the lack of any extra/bonus features on disc. Each film comes with unique cover art and interior art viewable from case interiors. Also provided is a single display/art card on high quality card stock for each film.

I very much recommend this release for fans of the original film and/or film series. (It includes films 1-3)
Men Behind the Sun / hēi ti yng 731 (1992)
Men Behind the Sun 2 - Laboratory of the Devil / Hei tai yang 731 xu ji zhi sha ren gong chang (1994)
Men Behind the Sun 3 - Narrow Escape (Destroy all Evidence) / Hei tai yang 731 si wang lie che (1995)

Unfortunately the fourth as of yet the final film is not included and thus far it seems unreleased on blu ray. Hopefully it will be released at some point, I have not seen the film and therefore I cannot speak to its quality, but it's subject matter is certainly worthy of a film, the more who see it the better in my opinion. Those we forget history are doomed to repeat it, so even when it is unpleasant to do so. I firmly believe we need to ensure the generations that follow ours know what atrocity looks like.

Men Behind the Sun 4 (Black Sun) - The Nanking Massacre / Hei tai yang: Nan Jing da tu sha (1995)

Hopefully someone finds these details helpful.
Narrow Escape
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Old 08-24-2021, 02:10 PM   #3
witheygull witheygull is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jee View Post
I have not seen the 2 sequels that come in this package, though I have heard they are of a similar nature as the first.
I didn't know (or had forgotten) there were sequels for this one. When you get around to watching the later ones, I'd be curious to hear how you think they compare to the original.

The first movie definitely left an impression on me--I would hate to meet someone who wasn't affected by watching it.

For those interested in the subject matter of the fourth film, you may also want to check out Nanking; it doesn't feature staged gruesome imagery, but is still harrowing.
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Old 08-24-2021, 05:17 PM   #4
Surge92 Surge92 is offline
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Geez. Shipping from Panorama costs almost twice as much as the trilogy set itself. I'll go the DDD House route instead.
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Old 09-05-2021, 01:16 AM   #5
rip63 rip63 is offline
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There is a US blu-ray release of the original film coming soon.
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Old 10-10-2021, 08:20 PM   #6
LeviCalebTitus LeviCalebTitus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rip63 View Post
There is a US blu-ray release of the original film coming soon.
I have 1-3 on Blu-ray released by Panorama. Each one comes in a bottom loading slipcase. I'm wondering if this re-release as a trilogy boxset contains anything different....
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Old 11-28-2021, 05:48 PM   #7
whity whity is offline
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Can anyone who owns this box set share their thoughts on the picture quality? I've heard that they're all uncut; however, the previously censored sequences of the sequel, laboratory, are in SD. And most importantly, are these three films in their correct aspect ratios? Since the first film's original aspect ratio is 1.85:1 while blu-ray.com states that the aspect ratio of the Panorama disc is 1.78:1. Thanks.
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Old 12-04-2021, 12:41 PM   #8
pqraz pqraz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whity View Post
Can anyone who owns this box set share their thoughts on the picture quality? I've heard that they're all uncut; however, the previously censored sequences of the sequel, laboratory, are in SD. And most importantly, are these three films in their correct aspect ratios? Since the first film's original aspect ratio is 1.85:1 while blu-ray.com states that the aspect ratio of the Panorama disc is 1.78:1. Thanks.
I would be interested in a proper comparison as from comparing youtube videos, and a not so legally acquired file of the first movie, it appears the new bluray is slightly stretched vertically, giving the appearance that people on screen are unusually tall, compared to the DVD release which looks more natural. It also appears that the top of the frame is signifcantly cut off, with the bottom being cut off to a lesser extent. To unstretch the frame, I think you could change the aspect ratio to 1.85:1 in your player, but this of course won't bring back the information lost.

The actual bluray itself may not have this problem however.

Unstretched DVD

Stretched Blu-ray


Unstretched DVD

Stretched Blu-ray
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Old 12-11-2021, 06:40 PM   #9
ThatDeviantGuy ThatDeviantGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whity View Post
Can anyone who owns this box set share their thoughts on the picture quality? I've heard that they're all uncut; however, the previously censored sequences of the sequel, laboratory, are in SD. And most importantly, are these three films in their correct aspect ratios? Since the first film's original aspect ratio is 1.85:1 while blu-ray.com states that the aspect ratio of the Panorama disc is 1.78:1. Thanks.
Sequels have lots and lots of SD inserts, some of the same footage is in HD in one sequel and SD in the other. I never bought the original as I was waiting on Massacre Video but that will probably take a bunch more months
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Old 12-13-2021, 10:51 PM   #10
spannick spannick is online now
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part 2 is slightly cut on the Blu, and yes, it has lots of SD inserts in really terrible quality for other scenes.

https://ssl.ofdb.de/view.php?page=fa...581&vid=454456
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Thanks given by:
Dankk (01-13-2022)
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