Import Corner: Battle Creek Brawl (88 Films) Blu-ray Review + 1080p Screenshots + Packaging Shots

Jackie Chan's first American outing is given the deluxe blu-ray treatment from 88 Films.
Studio: 88 Films
Release Date: August 29th, 1980 (theatrical) / October 23rd, 2023 (blu-ray)
Run Time: 1 hour 35 minutes 49 seconds
Region Code: B (locked)
Disc Count: 1
Picture: 1080p (2.39:1 aspect ratio)
Sound: English LPCM 2.0
Subtitles: English
Slipcover: Yes (hard box)
Digital Copy: No
Starring: Jackie Chan, Kristine DeBell, Mako, Ron Max, David Sheiner, Rosalind Chao, Lenny Montana, Peter Marc, José Ferrer
Written by Robert Clouse
Directed by Robert Clouse
Rating: BBFC: 15 (martial arts violence and racial slurs)




What's It About?

It's 1930s Chicago, and a young Chinese American martial arts expert Jerry Kwan (Jackie Chan) finds himself forced to compete in a no-holds-barred toughest man tournament. Only his cantankerous uncle (Mako, ‘CONAN THE DESTROYER’) can prepare Jerry to fight and win against the mountainous Billy Kiss (H.B. Heggarty, ‘PAINT YOUR WAGON’). 


Presented in the film's original aspect ratio of 2.39:1, and sourced from a brand new 2K restoration, BATTLE CREEK BRAWL looks the best it has ever looked. This is a very healthy transfer with bold colors, deep blacks, and well balanced whites. There is a thick layer of grain throughout the film and I personally loved this. I absolutely adore film grain and I am always happy to see it. This is one of the best transfers of 2023.

The English LPCM track provided here is good with clear dialogue and score.


Audio Commentary with Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw
Audio Commentary with Frank Djeng and FJ DeSanto
Archive Interview with Jackie Chan (3m 21s, SD, 1.33:1) This is taken from a much longer interview (probably a career overview) where Chan talks about the film not working despite him being fairly popular in grindhouses.
Interview with Producer Raymond Chow (21m 47s, SD, 1.90:1) He starts out by speaking about how he came to work at Shaw Brother Studios and what his role was in the company. He left Shaw Brothers because he wanted to make films the way he wanted to and the only way he could do that was by starting his own company. Of course, he signed Bruce Lee which brought legitimacy to Golden Harvest. He then speaks about Golden Harvest trying to break into the Hollywood scene with a slate films made over two years.
Rumble in the USA, Jackie Chan Takes on America (18m 48s, HD, 1.78:1) He starts off by talking about the climate of the late 70s and early 80s with Golden Harvest trying to find the next Bruce Lee while also trying to make films the "Hollywood way". He talks about Battle Creek Brawl and the problems Chan has with it. He moves on to the Cannonball Run films before talking about The Protector and the version that Chan would end up making.
Battle Hardened -  David West on Battle Creek Brawl (14m 15s, HD, 1.78:1) Talks about the onscreen romance Chan has with his co-star, who is a white woman. I always thought this was a bigger deal than many make it out to be. This was the first time we would see Chan in a more modern setting. He talks about the relationship between Chan and Mako which are some of the best scenes in the film. He then talks about Robert Clouse and how he is more director known for his association with Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan rather than a director known for his style. 
Stills Gallery (3m 50s) autoplays with zero sound.
Theatrical Trailer (2m 36s, HD, 2.39:1)
USA The Big Brawl Trailer (2m 33s, HD, 1.85:1, 4x3)

88 Films has given BATTLE CREEK BRAWL the royal treatment with a gorgeous Limited Edition. The outer box is the same hard box they have been using since THE YOUNG MASTER. The artwork is done by the great RP "Kung Fu Bob" O'Brien which captures the craziness of the climactic brawl. "Kung Fu Bob" has worked with 88 Films many times before doing artwork for their blu-ray releases for RIKI-OH: STORY OF RICKY, SNAKE IN THE EAGLE'S SHADOW, and THE FEARLESS HYENA, among so many others. The back of the box features artwork that is in the style of a theatrical poster. I can't tell you if this new artwork or not. I can't find this artwork anywhere on the internet so maybe it is new but I don't know. It's nice artwork nonetheless. 

The single disc blu-ray case inside gives us double-sided artwork with the "Kung Fu Bob" artwork on one side and the film's Chinese poster on the other side. Inside the blu-ray case are 6 double-sided postcards that recreate the film's lobby cards. We also get the blu-ray disc with the film and special features.

Also, included in the box is an 80-page booklet featuring essays by Paul Bramhal, Andrew Heskins, and Brian Burkart along with stills from the film, behind-the-scenes photos, and various posters.

A double-sided poster closes out this awesome package featuring the "Kung Fu Bob" artwork on one side and the film's US poster on the other.

The blu-ray disc is REGION B (locked)



I have never liked BATTLE CREEK BRAWL. I find it to be really boring and lifeless with some of the slowest fight scenes Jackie Chan has ever participated in. I feel really bad for Chan as he seems to be trying to make the film work. BATTLE CREEK BRAWL is one Chan's worst films.

I do, however, love this edition of the film. The picture and audio quality are top notch and there is a lot to learn from the special features. The packaging is also gorgeous. If you are a Jackie Chan fan, this collection belongs in your collection.






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