No Retreat, No Surrender: The Fan Cut

No Retreat, No Surrender: The Fan Cut
Faneditor Name:
Original Movie Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
Original Running Time:
79 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
82 minutes
Time Added:
3 minutes
Brief Synopsis:
In my youth 'No Retreat, No Surrender' was one of my favourite movies. I was very much looking forward to the DVD release back in 2004 but was very disappointed with what I saw. Although the picture was an improvement over my old VHS copy, there were so many differences that it felt like a completely different movie.
Resurrecting the original VHS version with the superior picture quality of the DVD. I added a few additional changes to touch up the plot and also fix some of the choppy editing.
Additional Notes:
All versions suffer from poor picture and sound quality. Since I made this a few years ago the Blu-Ray version was released, but unfortunately it doesn't feature the original aspect ratio and the picture has been stretched and cropped.
Other Sources:
No Retreat, No Surrender UK VHS
No Retreat, No Surrender UK DVD
No Retreat, No Surrender German DVD
No Retreat, No Surrender Soundtrack
Special Thanks:
Everyone at 'No Retreat No Surrender: The Fan Cut' Facebook fan page for all your
likes, comments, and enthusiasm. Dedicated to Kent Lipham 1961-2008
Release Information:
  • DVD
  • Digital
Cuts and Additions:
00:00 - the ‘Seasonal Films’ logo from the extended cut.
00:21 - the original opening, remixed with the original soundtrack audio.
02:29 - the video now switches to the DVD version. I would have cut it in earlier but extended version credits were still appearing on the screen.
02:48 - a short scene from the VHS version again, only because the last credit comes up here in the extended version.
03:11 - switches back to the DVD version.
10:20 - extended scene where Jason puts up his Bruce Lee poster. Just to point out, many of the close ups of the Bruce Lee poster were removed as he is holding a nunchuku. these were banned in several countries at the time and removed in all movies they featured.
10:39 - recut the audio where Jason shouts ‘again’ the original was slightly edited because some RJ dialogue was removed.
12:13 - in the original version, the next scene immediately cuts to the next day with RJ & Jason driving into the cemetery. I felt the extended cut flows better with this scene where Jason is training later that evening. Had to extend the audio slightly because the extended cut has an extra few seconds of footage at the beginning and also has music playing.
13:28 - WOAH! Ok now here’s a controversial choice. A lot of people including myself hated this whole scene and couldn’t wait to cut it out. But I have to defend it. Yes the whole first few minutes with Scott and his Dad are horrible. Maybe they were added to make it look like Scott is neglected which is why he acts the way he does, but either way I removed them. From then on it builds a bit of back story between Scott and RJ. Plus I do love the ‘I’m a lover’ tune which plays throughout the rest of the scene.
13:33 - small cut of Scott dialogue moaning about his Dad.
14:05 - removed some dialogue from Scott, and RJ biting his nose which I thought was ridiculous.
14:12 - removed dialogue after Scott shouts ‘you’d better run punk’ the audio from the extended cut is distorted and you can barely make out what he says.
14:18 - this rest of this scene is heavily cut from when Scott jumps over the ladder. In the extended cut there is dialogue from RJ and the workmen but it just slows down the pace of what’s meant to be a chase scene. It was tricky to switch and match the audio after cutting it down but think it turned out okay.
14:37 - I also liked this scene which follows on from the chase, good humour and interaction from Jason and RJ and obviously follows nicely to them driving to the cemetery.
15:17 - reshuffled a couple of shots in this scene. Removed a shot of the car turning the corner in the cemetery just so I could fit in the next shot which is from the extended version…
15:26 - small shot of RJ & Jason walking round to Bruce Lee’s grave which isn‘t in the original, just a slight improvement. Had to remove a scene the scene at 15:17 only to keep in time with the audio.
16:14 - the original version had the scene of Jason training here which now is the burger bar scene.
19:44 - removed dialogue of RJ saying ‘look at these trophies’. Didn’t like it.
20:56 - a extended version of Scott. Extra few seconds of him coming up with his plan to ambush Jason and exiting the scene. Had to re-loop the background audio to fit the scene.
25:19 - one of the only parts not available in any DVD version. This scene follows the dojo sequence and leads on to Kelly and Jason going out in Seattle. I can’t think of why this was ever removed from the other cuts. The only reason that I can come up with is that Jason say’s ‘shit!’ at 25:25. It’s the only swear word in the whole movie. The whole scene with Kelly is a vital part of the movie and explains a lot. In the extended cut the first time you see her is at the birthday party which makes no sense. Why would Jason be there as he’d only just moved to Seattle and she’d not been properly introduced.
27:26 - switches back to the extended version.
29:26 - the beginning of Kelly’s birthday. The original version starts with Scott jumping in the pool. I including a few shots from the extended cut, plus the audio is from the extended version too.
31:43 - the only part I switched from the German DVD. In the extended cut this segment is damaged slightly and cuts towards the end. I just switched them over.
39:54 - the whole scene after RJ leaves is from the extended version. There is extra footage of Jason putting up the torn Bruce Lee poster but mainly I loved the piano background music.
41:16 - close up of Bruce Lee poster not in the original. The audio from this point is back to the original version.
41:45 - the hugely better original dubbed voice of Sensai Lee.
47:59 - to fit in with the original audio I had to make some small changes to the disco scene. I removed a few short moments of dancing to include a few parts from the extended version which I felt improved the scene.
48:12 - shot of Kelly dancing, then catching RJ’s eye, smiling and waving. In the original she just waves as soon as RJ looks at here. Felt this improved the scene slightly.
55:43 - a small shot of Jason running past the camera which was in the original version, is no where to be found in the extended cut. Had to re-loop the footage from around 46:27-46:33 and switch it.
60:23 - another shot no where to be found in the extended cut is the airplane landing. The extended cut just shows an airport, but it didn’t fit with the audio and looked rubbish so I just kept the original.
71:06 - in the original version Frank gulps twice before it cuts to Ivan. I cut one of the gulps and removed a bit of referee dialogue.
76:04 - restored. a shot of Ivan elbowing Ian in the neck, removed from the original cut.
76:09 - restored. multiple punches removed from the original cut
76:15 - restored. more punches removed from the original cut.
76:17 - restored. Kelly shouts for Ivan to stop.
78:16 - I wanted to include the part where Jason dodges a multiple of Ivan’s kicks which is interweaved with flashbacks in the extended version but it looked horrible so I cut it completely.
79:00 - this short section was probably hardest to edit. It includes small extra footage of Jason’s attacks on Ivan which was badly edited in the original version. I had to re-loop the audio and avoiding repeated punch sound effects. Plus I added a few of my own to match the video plus keeping with the original audio.
79:06 - added punching sound effects.
79:08 - added sound effect of Jason missing punch.
79:10 - cut a small part where Ivan moves more central to the ring with Jason’s leg. It cuts horribly halfway through so thought it would flow and look better if I just removed it.
80:28 - the original end credits.
82:11 - the 'Seasonal Films' logo from the extended cut.

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Ahhh, 80s martial arts films....a world where crime bosses and dodgy business men actually think they can make money off running nationwide martial arts schools and competitions. A world where martial arts tournaments are broadcast on TV and attended by old people. And a brilliant world where any issue can be overcome by matter how many times the film tries to tell you otherwise.

I liked this edit a lot. Annoyingly, there are SO many versions out there. I am most familiar with the Australian VHS and TV broadcast versions from when I was a kid. As far as I know, those versions weren't messed around with too much (we were always lucky like that.), but there have been stupid amounts of official versions of this film from different countries with different content, for better or worse, varying picture and sound quality and across all formats.

Kult38 here has done very well in putting together a generally all encompassing version. The sources have been stated in the description here. From my own experiences I know it is a pain trying to bring together different sources and making them work. This, for the most part, is a seamless effort.

The only real issue is when old VHS footage is wedged in with DVD footage. It is a really obvious change. Now, I know that it was unavoidable, but I wonder how much it would matter using the DVD footage, maybe trying to scale out the titles. Maybe? I don't know....but it really is a minor issue and I feel almost petty for bringing it up. I really just wanted to explain my slightly lower visual editing score.

Seriously, the many official versions of this film are all of crap picture quality. Even the Blu-Ray has spots and flickers and scratches all over. And as Kult38 pointed out, the aspect ratio is all wrong. It was good to see a more full picture. Strange to see a 4:3 with MORE detail...but here we are! So yes, while the picture and sound quality aren't great, I have given high ratings based on what the source material could offer. I think the editor has done very well.

Same with the narrative and enjoyment. Nothing has really been taken away and what has been added only helps things along. If you enjoy the original then there is no reason that you wouldn't enjoy this version. Equally, if you don't care for the original then this probably won't change your mind.

Yeah, nice work. I really like the film. The original was hardly a classic, but who cares? You watch this kind of film for a laugh....a bit of fun....and for corny, old music, questionable eastern philosophy and guys with sweatbands randomly screaming, "YES SENSEI!! HAII!!". Awesome stuff.

So yes, I recommend this. I cannot think of any other version that crams as much of the original footage and feeling of what was (probably) intended when this was originally made and I salute the editor for working on an often forgotten film.

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