Goodbye Bruce Lee – Bruceploitation (and a misleading advertisement) hits The D 2/13-20/76
Bruce Li was one of the better stars of the Bruceploitation genre, but sadly the way the business went cornered him into a genre for his career despite having some true acting talent and good skills (although of course you will never top the real Bruce). Here was his starring turn although wrapped up in a very misleading campaign ran by the one and only Aquarius Releasing, led by Terry Levine. Produced by Robert Chow and Chang Lung, and made with the legendary German company Atlas International, this is about finishing up the last film of Bruce Lee’s life. While the real Game of Death Directed by Robert Clouse was out and about, I can see some wanting to stand up to this film as being closer to the spirit of the Martial Arts genre as Clouse’s flick was a little over-produced.
Good action, but then there’s a little something that will kill the interest in the serious movie fan besides the deception in the ads.
You have to admit that the song seriously leaves a LOT to be desired if heard with a sane mind, but of course you’re here so there has to be a little insanity going on, right?
In Bruceploitation history, this gained a little controversy with it’s claim that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was in the film with a fight with Bruce Lee. According to a Boxoffice Magazine report in it’s 2/23/76 issue, Philadelphia’s Milgram Fox theater play was mentioned to the Consumer Protection Agency and was replaced with Black Dragon Vs. Yellow Tiger.
In Detroit, however, it played three weeks despite the first week’s ad’s lies as it had the Kung Fu that kept people in the seats and waiting for the second feature. Still, this was the Bruceplo that actually had a real respectable DVD release from Anchor Bay bought by those who knew what they were getting (now OOP, from what I understand).
For it’s first two weeks, the nearby competition, the legendary Fox theater, announced that “Bruce Lee is Back At the Fox!” with Return of the Dragon, the film that was Distributed through Bryanston, the infamous Distribution company that was about to stop later that year. At least there was some truth to that line even if the return was on the screen.
At the Palms Downtown, the B was Bamboo Gods and Iron Men while at the Studio 8, it played with From China With Death.