Inspired by a post from Jack on enlejemordersertilbage.blogspot.com, I whipped out my VCD of Bullet in the Head and scanned the crap out of it.
For many fans, this OOP (Out Of Print) VCD from Mei Ah Laser Disc Co., Ltd. is the preferred version of Bullet.
Most importantly, it is the only version available legitimately that contains all the original music cues.
Even the Hong Kong Legends DVD, which has a great picture, does not have the music cues that this version has. The absence of important music cues on the HKL version is the reason why I never screen it to anybody.
I don't know what happened to the original cues between this release and the HKL one, but they've never surfaced on any edition since (not even the Japanese or the French).
I was a complete Bullet nut after I caught the very first Melbourne theatrical screening at the Hoyts Cinema Center on Bourke St.
It was an experience that my brother and I will never forget.
I headed straight for a Chinese CD score to search for the album that contained the beautiful, heart-wrenching song that Yolinda Lam (Sally) sings in the Bolero Club in Saigon.
I didn't even know if it existed.
After pointing, nodding, scratching my head in abject frustration, and scanning through dozens of CD's with a Chinese man who did not speak a word of English, I hit paydirt.
In the years to follow, I would spend close to a thousand dollars on Bullet VCD's, laserdiscs, DVD's, DVD-R's, VHS's, gray market sorry excuses, and half a dozen posters in various languages.
The film became a ridiculous obsession.
It is a shocking irony that one of the first VCD's of the film is the best and most coherent version of the film.
I keep hearing that the Weinstein Brothers now own the US rights.
That's all well and good, but I'm not at all excited by the prospect of them releasing it because you can be pretty sure that their materials are incomplete and unacceptable.
Perhaps the original music cues, the piss drinking scene, and sundry other pieces of the film's magic will turn up one day just as Ben (Tony Leung) turned up in Paul's (Waise Lee) office with Frank's (Jackie Cheung) skull in a cloth bag.
And proceeded to put a well-deserved bullet in the fucker's head.