i guess as most of you know there are diff titles that movies can go by..but i noticed that diff versions of the same movies exist..well more like added scenes and deleted scenes i guess depending on what version u have.like i have kid with the golden arm on video and dvd ...and on the vhs version there is a scene where silver spear is askin golden arm wether or not he thinks anyone else is after the gold and he replies that maybe iron feet would..now in the dvd version that i have that whole scene is not there so when u get to the end where iron feet appears if u dont know the movie u might not understand who or what is goin on... and mortal combat(well my vhs version that is)..in the very beginning the credits show who stars in the movie and what character the will be playing ..yet my dvd version(return of the 5 deadly venoms)the whole credits scene is gone..these are just a couple of examples and i was wondering the new dvds that are coming out which versions will they be ?
As for different versions. Most of what is distributed is based on the source the distributor gets them from. Those who market, package and sell the film have no influence on the film's content (i.e. edited or cut out scenes).
Because of the age of these films, they are sourced from whatever source becomes readily available. Maybe from the UK (where censorship is King). Or perhaps from American TV stations (Saturday Morning Kung Fu days of the 1980s).
Now, Ground Zero is known to have sourced their materials from the US TV stations. Some of the avid kung fu collectors of the 1980s collected VHS films from the European market. So you see how this can lead to different versions?
Also, depending on the market, different films were edited to show/take away certain content. The famous example is Bruce Lee's "The Big Boss" where Bruce is in the brothel with a prostitute. The uncut Hong King version has a scene with him butt naked. The US/UK versions had this scene cut out. But it was only discovered after the best versions were searched for for the Hong Kong Legends Region 2 Bruce Lee DVDs.
You can still see censorship going on today. Audiences in the UK stil have today's new releases edited for violence (no head butts or weapons hitting heads etc.) It's just that with the growth of the internet these different "audiences" are able to share info, swap and trade films with one another.
As for your other question, the versions Celestial releases are dependent ONLY on what Shaw Brothers is able to recovers= from their vaults. Perhaps there was once an uncut version of Chinatown Kid in their vaults. But now, there is one version that is viewable and they pass on to Celestial for remastering. So if you're wondering what versions could Celestial be releasing - the answer is ANY!