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  Locke The Superpower
 
1987 | Celebrity's Just For Kids.
Locke the superpower celebrity just for kids

Now, the final part of our triple bill; the U.S. version of Chojin Locke- Locke The Superpower from Celebrity's Just For Kids.

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As before; this video uses the Japanese movie Chojin Locke as it's basis but unlike the Star Warrior version cuts the running time down to a more manageable 92mins. From the start it became obvious that this U.S. release uses the exact same Shochiku commissioned dub as Star Warrior so the dialog and voice actors are the same. The main difference between the two versions is the large list of cuts to Locke The Superpower not only to decrease the running time but also to remove the violence and nudity to make a film more suitable for kids.

As this is the case I won't bother to recap the plot instead I'll list the differences between this and the UK version. Here we go!

Start: The opening is much different to Star Warrior, completely cutting Yamaki's reviewing of Locke's military files and instead jumps straight to the title card. This differs too as the title appears within a crater bypassing footage of the original Japanese name. Continues into the opening credits as usual.
12:22 When Locor shoots Yamaki in his hotel room we don't see the blood/wounds.
19:28 Jessica's nightmare: all the many and varied shots of Jessica's father being blasted and the fountains of blood that result are completely removed.
20:41 That integral plot point: Jessica in the shower, is removed in it's entirety with the action continuing directly to the scene following that; Lamsees' report to Lady Cahn. As a result we never get to see Anne place the, possibly erroneous, photo into Jessica's diary.
25:26 The second largest cut. The Esper battle between Kim, Tak and Jessica is extensively re-edited. It begins as normal until the point where Jessica uses her ESP to see her opponents. From here her flashback to her parent's murder is again shortened to remove all traces of violence. It then jumps to the girl's angry scream, only showing the adult Jessica once and stopping way short of showing her naughty bits. It then jumps straight to her realisation that Locke is their killer and her laying exhausted on the floor, again with all shots stopping before too much of her body is revealed. All instances of her opponents being thrown across the room, hitting the wall or being in anyway attacked are completely missing. The dialog at the end of the scene is curtailed too. Cornelia's lines referring to the girl as an "invincible esper killer" are gone meaning that the repeated footage of the UK version isn't needed either.
30:35 The attack on the Federation computer station. All the footage of the graphic dismembering (which I'm sure was re-coloured in the UK release) of the soldiers guarding the base has been taken out, skipping directly to the Esper ambush. Jessica's brain crushing attack on the leader of the Federation Espers is deleted- stopping at the point it reaches him and bypassing his bloody corpse after the event.
38:52 Locke goes to see Lamsees on Planet Denal. After he neutralises the illusion he is faced with the Professor's two bodyguards. The first cut is to Locke punching his first assailant in the face and the resulting blood-spit. The second cut is to the short clip of his second assailant spitting blood after being hit in the back of the neck. After this the shot of Lamsees' gun exploding in his hand is shortened to remove sight of the missing appendage. Finally when Locke interrogates the fallen thug it is trimmed right down to remove the sight of his bloody face taking with it some short dialog.
41:52 The next two scenes following the previous cut are removed. The scenes in question are the doctor's brain scan experiment on Jessica and the subsequent scene of Cornelia updating Lady Cahn on her plan's progress. The scenes total roughly 2:30 mins are were undoubtedly cut to reduce the running time.
44:05 The next scene to receive a trim is Yamaki aboard his spaceship. The UK version shows the Colonel day dreaming of Jessica while listening to a Japanese language pop song. When the ship's captain interrupts he blushes and turns the music off. In the US version most of this sequence is cut- jumping from the external shots of the spaceship to Yamaki having switched off the music.
45:10 Another running time reducing cut. It's that whole bit where Jessica confesses her love to Yamaki then becomes upset and runs away. Then he tries to break the solid steel door down with his head. The US version picks up 3 minutes later where Jessica is tending Ryu's bruise which doesn't make too much sense without the preceding events but the film as a whole is better off without it!
45:49 The scene of the Coup on planet Myere has all the shots of violence, blood and corpse strewn streets removed.
49:56 Locke lands the stricken shuttle. Yudo suggests fighting him in his weakened state but Cornelia forbids him.The 6 minute scene that should follow; Locke's fight with Yudo and the subsequent dialog between him and Cornelia, is cut completely jumping instead from the Combatants teleporting to the green ESP explosion which they had been using to hold Locke at bay. This cut is messy making the sequence confusing and illogical- night becoming day in in the space of a cut, Yudo's charred remains clearly visible in several subsequent shots and then seen being blown away in the foreground. It also creates a plot hole later on, in the Holy Mother Zone, where the Superman and Cornelia talk, already knowing each other and referring to things said in this missing dialog. Interestingly a picture of Yudo from this excised sequence appears on the back of the video box.
53:50 Sight of Locke being flung to the ground by Jessica, bleeding from his mouth is gone.
54:25 Later during this same sequence the sight of the shards of glass being buried into Yamaki's back is taken out along with Jessica's line "Don't blame me, you asked for it!" The US version cuts directly to the clip of Yamaki hitting the floor which has also been enlarged to hide much of his wound (see below).
57:53 During the revelation of Jessica's past that scene of her father being shot is taken out along with the line of dialog that played over it.
59:53 2 minutes of cuts removing that other all important shower scene along with the footage of Cornelia getting dressed and any dialog or spaceship scenes that were mixed in. This version cuts immediately to the point of the heroes arrival and Cornelia in her suit of armour.
1:04:45 In the UK version: after teleporting from the 'Holy Mother Zone' Locke fights his way through gangs of enemy Espers before being surrounded. In this one the action leaps ahead to his ambush missing out all the fisticuffs that preceded it.
1:07:43 The US version omits the brief sequence, at the end of Locke's fight with Cornelia, where he roughly slaps her across the face four times. His demands to know where Lady Cahn is also get removed as the action picks up at the point where he reads Cornelia's mind.
1:15:32 Lady Cahn's attack! Locke no longer mutters "Damn you!" plus all sight of the spikes stabbing him and his blood poring onto the floor and pooling at his feet has gone.
1:16:24 Cornelia turns Cahn's own laser blast against her. The first shot of Cahn disintegrating is gone cutting directly to the long shot of the resulting explosion. Following this the shots of her mummified remains burning up, exploding and her robotic eye being thrown across the floor are all skipped over, cutting instead to the outside of Asteroid Cahn as it begins to plummet.
1:16:48 Oddly the brief 20 second dialog scene where Locke tells Cornelia to assemble the espers in the engine room is cut. Here it skips ahead to them already assembled there with Cornelia who just a second ago was in the Ruler's Chamber with Locke.
1:31:48 New end credits follow the scene of Locke standing alone as the wind billows around him. Standard scrolling credits accompanied by previous background music replace the Japanese song and epilogue scenes of the UK release. This means that America never got to see Ryu Yamaki's pelvis! Their loss...
 
anime review verdict
 
Easier to follow
 
Less inconsistent script
  Shorter!
  More suitable for kids
 
The same bad dubbing and script
 
Less violent
  Plot holes created by the cuts
  Ordinary closing credits

So now that we have come to the end of our three tape extravaganza the burning question is which version was better: the UK Star Warrior or the USA Locke The Superpower?

First let's look at their individual merits... Star Warrior was a more faithful adaptation and was surprisingly grown up for it's intended audience while Locke was easier to digest in it's shorter, one video form. Both benefited from the original music, although the Japanese songs were missing from Locke, and suffered from the fairly awful dubbing. Locke was more suitable for kids but Star Warrior had that edgy, graphic PG air of danger! Locke's box made use of the original Japanese movie poster but Star Warrior had that great rip-off title and font and it too made use of anime artwork.

So having weighed up the pros and cons for each I have come to the final grand decision that.... Locke The Superpower takes it by a nose! The shorter running time, although making it a little confused in places, helped keep the action going and made it easier to follow thanks to the removal of some of the more contradictory dialog.

It was a hard choice to make, especially taking into account Star Warrior's funky video labels. Maybe if the trailers on the UK version had been better it could have swung it but while Star Warrior was a more faithful version, cutting only a little nudity and a sex scene, the movie's presentation let it down. The sudden halt of tape one plus the crappy title cards for both tapes lost it valuable points.

But in the end either version is more than worth a look.

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