Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Kung Fu Time Capsule: Brucesploitation & One-Sheets

Ahhh.... Brucesploitation.

"Bruceploitation" came about after the death of Bruce Lee in 1973. Bruce Lee was the first martial arts film star to make a huge impact internationally. After he died, and "Enter the Dragon" became a worldwide smash hit, many of the Hong Kong film studios were afraid their productions would make less money without an internationally known star spreading the popularity of kung-fu films. So what did they do? Well, to ca$h in on the death of Bruce Lee, they hired a bunch of look-a-likes to star in cheap kung-fu films to make audiences think they were seeing an actual Bruce Lee film! These actors even changed their stage names to sound much more like Bruce Lee. Probably the three most prolific of these imitators were Bruce Li, Bruce Le, and Dragon Lee.

Bruce Li, Bruce Le, and Dragon Lee
(click to enlarge)

What we have next is a one-sheet poster that takes Bruceploitation to the EXTREME. It's a poster for a film titled "Bruce Is Loose" starring "Lee Bruce" which is actually another name that Bruce Le went by! What makes it even more confusing is the fact that NO Bruce Lee, Lee Bruce, Bruce Le, or any other Bruce imitator ever actually appears in the film at all! The film is actually "Green Dragon Inn" from 1977, starring Polly Kuan, Lo Lieh, and Yueh Hua.

(click to enlarge)

The movie "Green Dragon Inn" is good... but this poster is AWESOME. "Deadlier than Chiba, Quicker than "The Juice," Look out baby, Cause BRUCE IS LOOSE!" "Starring LEE BRUCE, the only star who could play the part written for BRUCE LEE!" "The most VIOLENT, SPECTACULAR fighting we've ever seen! - Kung Fu Express" (isn't that a chinese restaurant?) "NEVER SHOWN BEFORE!" "An Official Chinese Black Belt Society Film," whatever the hell that is! And then look at the artwork! That dude is a killing MACHINE! He's crushing one guy's sternum with a back kick, annihilating another guy's ballsack with a front kick, and SEVERING a THIRD dude's head with a chop... ALL AT THE SAME TIME! The poor fourth chap completely passed out just from sheer TERROR! I mean really, what on this poster would make somebody NOT want to see it? I guarantee this poster put quite a few asses in seats, but I wonder how disappointed the people were when they finally found out there was no Bruce(s)? Only those people know.... Anyway, thanks again for dropping by and look out for more one-sheets in the near FU-ture!

PS - I wonder if they would update the tagline to "Deadlier than Chiba, DEADLIER than "The Juice," Look out baby, Cause..." if they ever re-ran this film??

"Amitabha Buddha..."


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