Alternate Versions (3)

  • As of 2006, the full 155-minute version of this film is officially available on DVD in the United States. BCI Eclipse released the full Japanese version in anamorphic widescreen as part of their Sonny Chiba Action Pack, which also includes the films Golgo 13 and Bullet Train (which are also featured in anamorphic widescreen transfers). This release keeps an original Japanese title card and the Kadokawa logo before the film begins, which is something that the deluxe Japanese DVD set deletes (albeit, it is an inconsequential deletion). The BCI Eclipse release is not the butchered 108-minute cut. It is labeled on the box as the "Uncut International Version".
  • Among the scenes missing from the U.S. version of the film (existing only within the unabridged Japanese cut): the film opens on board the submarine Nereid as Yoshizumi takes one last look at his devastated Tokyo homeland through the eye of a video probe while Captain McCloud usurps Major Carter for a thoughtlessly sarcastic comment about Tokyo, domestic scenes with Yoshizumi's girlfriend telling Yoshizumi that she is pregnant and her displeasure with his decision to go to Antarctica, Yoshizumi's girlfriend losing the child from overwork, Yoshizumi's girlfriend and his best friend Tatsuno's son committing suicide by sleeping pills while traveling on speed-boat after the rest of the Japanese population has been killed off by the virus, a 5-year-old boy killing himself over short-wave radio while the Japanese Antarctica base tries to get him to release the Transmit switch, Tatsuno's escape from the Antarctic base and intimated suicide as the crew searches for him in a snow storm, a Christmas party at the Antarctica base, the revelation that the majority of the eight remaining females have had children, more scenes between Yoshizumi and Marit, a young Navy-man who has an "appointment" with Marit, miscellaneous scenes explaining Yoshizumi's backstory, much more of the final "trek south" sequence (including Yoshizumi's passing through Machu Pichu and bomb craters). Various shots have been re-positioned in the American cut, including the signature shot of weather-beaten Yoshizumi up against the sunset while walking south, which appears as the opening shot in the American version in desaturated form. The Japanese cut also uses various title cards to explain the progression of the virus and the progress of the Antarctica community.
  • The original Japanese version ran a length of 155 minutes. The US version runs a length of about 108 minutes. The film has been even cut down as far as 101 minutes. Most of the footage in Japan (in Japanese with English subtitles) was eliminated from the American cut, leaving the American "disaster stalwarts" like George Kennedy, Chuck Connors and Robert Vaughn to take up most of this cut. Spoiler Alert: The 102-minute even totally deletes the film's notorious post-apocalyptic "trek south" sequences, rather ending when the world is destroyed by the nuclear weapons.