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A total hack job, but still quite entertaining
mjscarface13 July 2007
'Game of Death' is the equivalent of having your dog swallow a gold ring - you've got to sift through the cr*p to find the polished stuff.

Completely different to Bruce's original vision, the 1978 version is hugely controversial. To some, it's a shameless cash-in and insult, to others it's a curiosity. To me personally, it's a guilty pleasure. Obviously, with such limited footage of Bruce Lee to use, the film was always going to suffer. Not only that, but how do you incorporate the footage into a film and give it context? The stand-in's that are used to fill the time leading up to the Lee footage are never going to fool anyone. Even as a kid, I could tell it someone else. The techniques used to have Bruce Lee on screen range from awful (superimposed heads) to tasteless (his real funeral) to fairly good (quick cuts from old footage). The disguises that Billy Lo and Bruce's doubles wear throughout the film are hokey but nothing that we haven't seen in Lee's films before (Fist of Fury), so that didn't bother me too much.

Despite some awful dubbing and a poor script, 'Game of Death' is still watchable for it's action. Fight choreographer Sammo Hung makes the non-Lee fight scenes entertaining even if the doubles don't match Bruce Lee's speed or technique. However, they do capture some traits of Lee's fights including the slow motion finishing move. Also, the film's budget allows for a number of locations ensuring that Billy's quest for revenge keeps moving. In this regard, the Hollywood frills that are added give the film a degree of watchability, especially the classy score which appears throughout and heightens the final scenes.

But of course, the main point of watching 'Game of Death' is to see Bruce in action. Although criticised for cutting down the "pagoda sequence", I think it still contains enough to satisfy. You have to remember that this original footage included two companions of Lee's who don't feature in the 1978 film, meaning a lot had to be left out. The nunchuk duel is unique while the fight with Kareem Abdul Jabbar is bizarre but thrilling.

There are some moments of bad taste, but on the whole the film is a cheesy and quite fun attempt to build up to the final 20 minutes. Whether you think this was a cash-in or a tribute, you still need to see it in order to understand the 'Game of Death' phenomenon.
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dubious but entertaining
molotov855 August 2000
lee didn't manage to finish this film but director robert clouse (of e.t.dragon fame) manages to pick up the pieces left behind and make a film out of it which is where the film falls down. you see they had to bring in stunt doubles to replace Lee so everytime he's wearing shades or has his back to you you just know that it's not really lee. for the scene in which lee is shot they reused scenes from the superb fist of fury(it is sooooo obvious because the colour quality is different)!!! apart from the fun of spotting which scenes lee failed to complete, the changing room scene is fantasticly good fun to watch, your jaw will drop open at lee's two final finishing moves the penultimate kick is compareable to lee's complete bicycle kick in e.t.dragon. overall this film is well worth the mere £5.99 of which it costs in england
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A tale of two movies
jc1305us6 May 2003
"Game of Death", a frankenstein concoction of bits and peices of Bruce Lee's final performance in a movie originally shot in 1972-73 and a later filmshot in 1978 after Lee's death is really two movies in one.

The first, a crime/revenge caper helmed by Robert Clouse is not as bad as you may have heard. The scenes are intercut badly and Lee's many doubles do look bad, but as a movie on it's own merit it isnt that bad.

The film concerns a young movie star, Billy Lo (played by several uncredited doubles) and a crime syndicate headed by evil Dr. Land (Dean Jagger who is good) His henchman (Hugh O'Brian, Mel Novak, and Bob Wall) won't let our hero rest until he signs an exclusive contract with them, which will put Billy under their control. Colleen Camp and Gig Young Co-star. Camp is benign as Billy's voluptuous girlfriend and Young looks like he wants to be anywhere else. The score is excellent courtesy of John Barry's music which sets a mood for the picture. The second part of the movie is the final fight scenes in a pagoda which include Bruce Lee himself in some magnificent fight scenes with several worthy advesaries including Kareem Abdul Jabbar(!) and Danny Inosanto. The last 15-20 minutes are the only to feature the real Bruce Lee, but watch the locker room fight, it is very good on it's own merit. In summary, a cheesy 70's Kung Fu movie that wraps around some spectacular footage of Bruce Lee in his "final performance", but which also has some charm of it's own.
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Bruce Lee's Back (Courtesy of stock footage).
Joseph P. Ulibas9 February 2005
Game of Death (1978) was another film project that was a Warner Brothers and Golden Harvest joint production. Movie goers all around the world were still in shock from the sudden death of Bruce Lee. His last film Enter the Dragon was a worldwide success. After his death a plethora of knock-offs and wannabe Bruce Lees flooded the market place. Raymond Chow and company saw an untapped market for another film "starring" Bruce Lee. He heard of an unfinished film that Bruce was working on before he was dead. So he hired Robert Clouse to direct new footage so it could be worked into the existing one. Sammo Hung was hired to become the action director (he also appears as a prize fighter).

Robert Clouse used two doubles for Bruce Lee (one of them was Yuen Biao) and a lot of stock footage was used whenever it could. The use of the footage was a very, very bad idea. Many of the seems were obviously cut-and-paste and made the film look very cheap and exploitive fare. This was going to be another movie with Hong Kong actors and American ones thrown into the mix. Gig Young, Dean Jagger and Collen Camp (when she was extremely hot) co-star as well as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and several of Bruce Lee's friends. Instead of fleshing out the movie that Bruce was working on before he died, the film makers noticed that there were already several different films that were already made that bore a similarity to the original Game of Death. The new movie centered around a murder mystery and a lot of fighting peppered with a lot of action direction work from Sammo Hung.

The finished results were a mixed bag. The American cut of the film was not that great and is pretty mediocre. The Hong Kong version is a whole lot better with extra footage (It's also edited differently, has all the trademarks of a Sammo Hung film project instead of one by Robert Clouse). and more Hong Kong actors and plot. It must have been a success in Hong Kong because a sequel was made from even more unused footage and outtakes of Bruce Lee. This movie is actually better than this one because it doesn't take itself seriously, not as much recycled footage and the fight scenes are even better.

If I were to watch this movie I would recommend finding the Hong Kong version. It's a lot better than the boring American release.

Followed by the Tower of Death a.k.a. Game of Death 2.
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funny, sad, and enjoyable
bajbij26 December 2000
The sad:

Bruce's premature death, the disposal of the original script, the inclusion of the current one, the cop-out ending, "Bruce's" punking out...

The Funny:

The double used through mist if the film meant to be passed off as Bruce Lee, the blatant use of stock footage from other Bruce films, the acting...

The enjoyable:

The score is very underrated, one of John Barry's finest (I have the soundtrack to this movie, along with another Barry film, Night Games.) Some real good martial arts sequences make the wait for the real Bruce footage towards the end, especially the locker room fight between "Bruce" and Bob Wall (choreaographed by Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao, who reportedly portrayed Bruce in that scene.) Sammo himself appears as a fighter in the film. I give this movie a modest recommendation.
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As Brandon Lee once said: "Game of Death has 40 minutes of footage and the rest is junk"
modius16 March 2002
Before Bruce Lee died he worked on scripts for Game of Death (also known under some titles as "song of the knife")...and shot some 40 odd minutes of footage including test screenings and actual fight sequences.

The idea of the film was to make a multi-layer, philosophical film made for the chinese and eastern audience to ask the question over martial arts style - the advantages and disadvantages of each style, as well as questioning the need for style anyway.

The film's main plot was to be based in Korea. Bruce Lee would be forced into storming a 4 or 5 storey Pagoda which is said to hold a infinite treasure with each level guarded by a different style.

The bottom floor would be held by hundreds of Karate students (much like the ending of Enter the Dragon), the first layer would be a style under the handle of "Gate of Enlightment".

The Second layer would be the Preying Mantis with elements of Wing Chun.

The Third layer would be a Philophino style whilst the Fourth, the Temple of Gold would be held by a Hapikdo expert (though I'm not sure about this).

The Fourth layer would be the Temple of the Unknown, guarded by one Kareem Abdul Jabbar - doing an unknown style.

Whilst shooting, most of the footage was lost to the ravages of time. And when Bruce Lee died, his fans cried out for any footage to be shown as a mark of respect.

The end footage of Bruce Lee fighting Jabbar and previous footage would be cut to bits by Robert Clouse and put into a new film under the same name. The end film is offensive and shatters the whole idea of the original GOD plot and story - but then again there wasn't enough info on the film to start with.

Bruce Lee fans were in uproar...the film was a shambles, yet was commerically succesful. Most of the film had no Bruce Lee in it, or had lookalikes or even worse used Stock Footage of old Bruce Lee films and interspliced it into the film.

The DVD, whilst is good, doesn't do much to help the film - there isn't enough info on the script notes...why is there so much text, why didn't they try to recreate the scenes, the floors or even re-do the film as new?

You'd be better off not to buy either the DVD or video version unless you want to waste money or actually are a die-hard bruce lee fan.

The DVD doesn't give you much - but then again there was never much to start with. You'd be better off looking on the Internet for the original GOD scripts and info or even multimedia - as even now on the web you can see the footage that Bruce Lee shot and never got into the original DVD or movie.

Overall this is a very, very weak film with a good score and bad camera angles and discredits Bruce Lee's image so much it becomes deeply offensive and patronising to the viewer.

In fact you could argue that this film singly-handly started the Bruce Lee imitators phenomnen.

Whether the film's patronising and offensive viewpoint is the fault of Robert Clouse, Sammo Hung who directed the fight sequences and drafted in the services of two look-a-likes or even the producer Raymond Chow is unknown, but what is clear is the fact they tried. and failed.

As Brandon Lee once said: "Game of Death has 40 minutes of footage, and the rest is junk". I couldn't agree with him more.

Overall: 2/10
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Bruce Lee's last film {well,sort of} is a total mess and somewhat tasteless,but kind of fun
DrLenera9 May 2005
Game Of Death is a mess of a film,and that's putting it lightly. Nothing to do with Bruce Lee's original conception for the film in 1973,the filmmakers here took the fight footage {somewhat edited down} that he shot for that proposed film,placed it at the end of the film,and than decided to pretend that the rest of the film also features Bruce Lee. Badly. In fact the sheer ineptitude of this aspect of the film is extraordinary,as well as several doubles,none of whom look like Lee and usually wear sunglasses to try to hide the fact,there are also shots and brief bits from previous Lee films edited in and even a scene with a guy wearing a Lee mask!

Nonetheless,there is a certain fascination to the film. The plot is kind of interesting and even has a scene in which Lee's character,a movie star, fakes his own death by being shot whilst filming a scene,this being disturbingly similar to the way Lee's son Brandon died many years ago. There is loads of fighting,not all of it great,but it's pretty constant and contains at least two good sequences {a fight in a changing room and a battle with some motorcyclists}en route to the 'real' Lee stuff at the end,which is certainly worth the wait. The duel with Kareem Abdul Jabbar is almost as good as the famous one with Chuck Norris. Dean Jagger is a great slimy main villain,and John Barry {an odd film for him} provides great musical backing,even if the main female star Coleen Camp is not really good enough to sing his lovely theme song.

Game Of Death is undeniably a piece of exploitation and sometimes leaves a bad taste in the mouth,as when a funeral scene is interspersed with shots of Lee's real funeral. It's really a bad movie and for the most part a badly made movie too, but it's certainly not dull and is kind of fun, as many bad movies are.
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Barely watchable. Bruce Lee would be turning in his grave.
The-Gent9 April 2003
I wish this wasn't credited to Bruce Lee's name, it's an embarrassment to all involved, and I honestly can't see why this film is praised by some people.

Lee filmed a few fight scenes for a movie before putting the project on hold to do Enter The Dragon, and of course his death. This is the finished product (without his input). His scenes were poorly edited into a full length piece of crap.

I tried to look past the fact that shots switched from old, grainy film to cleaner, sharper film continuously throughout any scene with the real Lee. I tried to look past the appalling effects; such as sticking a picture of Lee's face on a mirror, and filming it as if attached to someone's reflection. I even managed to look past the fact that the guy playing Lee's character for the rest of the film barely looked like him at all. But I still ended up with a bad taste in my mouth at the end of the film.

There is still a point of interest for Bruce Lee fans, the last 15 minutes are great, (the real) Lee's fight with Abdul-Jabar is amazing...But it didn't do the overall product very much help (for the full unedited version of what Bruce Lee filmed for this, check out the documentary on the man called 'Bruce Lee: A Warriors Journey'). This is my second bad experience with unfinished/unreleased films being edited into others, (see also, or more appropriately -- don't see also: Sam's Song starring Robert De Niro), so I have learnt my lesson. 2.5/10.
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This was the very first Bruce Lee film I ever saw!
Carycomic6 June 2003
Warning: Spoilers
It was part of a double bill at my hometown theater (a "monoplex," you'd probably call it, today). As this occurred in 1978, I guess it was done to honor the fifth anniversary of Bruce's death. And, I was ABSOLUTELY FLOORED by all the fight sequences!

*Borderline spoilers ahead.*

Especially, the ones with Kareem and Inosanto. Being a seventh-grader, at the time, I didn't know what bad editing looked like, so (from my p.o.v.) the revised product was flawless. And, the story idea? Not too bad!

*Hey! Even on _today's_ cop shows, you still have episodes about mobbed-up boxers, jockeys, and other sports figures. So, why not martial artists?*

If I rented it on VHS, today, I'd probably find it unworthy. But, I don't want to taint my nostalgia. So, I'll just give it the same four-star rating I gave it then. And, to heck with all the nay-sayers!
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Definately falls between two stools - non-fans of the genre will hate it whilst true fans of Bruce Lee will loathe it.
Wilbur-106 February 2001
A film that can only disappoint, in that it was cobbled together some years after Lee's death and the joins are all too obvious. For Bruce Lee fans this must deal the film numerous death blows - the knowledge that for most of the film a stand-in is used and the storyline is contrived around old footage.

The film is still reasonable entertainment for Kung-Fu fans, and non-purists won't find the stitched on elements that distracting. Story has Lee playing an actor who fakes his own death after being shot on set by a member of an extortion racket which he is refusing to bow to. This is slightly unsettling knowing that Lee had died years earlier whilst the future fate of Brandon Lee lends the film an even stronger aura of doom.

Great fight sequence with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - his menace was slightly diluted as I kept visualising him in 'Airplane'. The fights at the films climax probably look familiar to any Video Game fan with Bruce Lee in a yellow jumpsuit a spitting image for Law from the Tekken series.

The version I saw was dubbed into Chinese and then subtitled back to English which seemed slightly strange - maybe there are different versions around.
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Sure its his worst movie but its still entertaining
gangstahippie18 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Rated R for Violence Quebec Rating:13+ Canadian Home Video Rating:14A

Game Of Death was Bruce Lee's final film.He originally had a different vision for it however Bruce died in 1973.A few years later, they decided to finish it for Bruce but they didn't use much of Bruce Lee's original ideas.It has been a while since I have seen this movie so I cant remember much of it.All I really remember is Bruce Lee is an actor who is in trouble with the mafia.So he fakes his own death and gets revenge on them basically.The fight scenes are pretty good especially the end with basketball player Kareem Abadul Jabar.Game Of Death is an entertaining movie but it could have been much better if Bruce was still alive.Funny thing is only some of the film is really Bruce Lee.The rest of the film has a Bruce Lee look-a-like named Bruce Li who made cheap Bruce Lee rip-off films in Hong Kong during the 1970's.A disturbing thing about this movie was that during one of the scenes where Bruce is filming a movie, somebody puts real bullets in the gun and actually shoots Bruce.This is how he fakes his death.Bruce Lee's son Brandon Lee got shot and killed on the set of the 1994 film The Crow the exact same way.
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Quick Reviews!!
malkane3163 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers

Structurally and historically a mess, Lee's final film had the potential to be the greatest ever martial arts movie. Unfortunately, Lee died well before filming was completed, and his vision was never finished. However, the producers managed to finish the film by taking what had already been filmed, mostly fight scenes, and make a story round it, one based roughly on the many pages of scripts and ideas that Lee had left behind. As Lee's original story was so complex though, and probably only he could have made it the way it should have been, the finished product is a mere shadow of the what was in Lee's head.

The story sees Lee's character, a famous martial artist and actor faking his own death so that he can uncover the corruption of those who had previously tried to kill him. Not even his girlfriend is aware that his death was a fake. As the film progresses, Lee stalks the bad guys, his girlfriend gets suspicious, and Lee reaches a pagoda where he must overcome the trials of each floor in order to reach the top, and fulfill his revenge. Lee's original script focused much more on the Pagoda scenes, with each floor showcasing a different martial arts style that Lee must overcome, using his own 'way of no way' style. With each floor completed, he would achieve a higher level of spiritual and fighting skill.

The fight scenes are easily some of the best ever filmed, skillfully thought out, and beautifully directed, and no-one since has been able to capture the technique, skill, or intensity of Lee. The other fight scenes are also good, including the motorcycle scene, and Shower room fight. If anyone has any of the Hong Kong Legends DVDs they feature many deleted scenes, the Game of Death one being particularly good- The glass house fight is a classic.

The actors brought in to finish shooting are unsure of themselves, which comes across on camera, but this is understandable considering they were finishing a film starring a man who had died years before. The music is excellent, the story messy, but the fights stand out. The overall tone of the film is dark and ominous, as Lee's character is almost killed mysteriously, then fakes his own death, and the ending is not conclusive. Footage of Lee's own funeral is used, adding to the tone. However, it is a vital piece of work for any fan of Lee and should be remembered for its ideas, if not for how it eventually turned out to be. 7 out of 10
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A Bruce Lee movie that appears to have been edited by Ed Wood, Jr.!!
MartinHafer14 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Let me explain the above comment. In the horrible movie PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, writer/director Ed Wood, Jr. incorporated some footage he'd shot of Bela Lugosi just before Bela's death. While the footage had nothing to do with the script for PLAN 9, Wood decided to "cleverly" use this film and hash out Lugosi's role by having a much taller guy (a dentist by the way) hold a cape over his face in all the Lugosi scenes not available in the original reel of footage! The result, not surprisingly, is horrid. Now all of the reason for PLAN 9 being named the worst movie ever made wasn't all due to the Lugosi footage, but it was one of the main factors contributing to the pure crappiness of the film.

In the case of GAME OF DEATH, some initial footage had been shot back in 1972 but was temporarily shelved in order to finish another Lee film. But, Lee's untimely death left about 30 or 40 minutes of unusable footage. So, the studio big-shots decided to "pull an Ed Wood" and use the old footage and write an entire movie around it--using extras and irrelevant footage to make a "coherent" film. Well, the result wasn't great but at least it was a good bit better than PLAN 9! As far as integrating a dead guy into a movie, the results were often pretty pathetic. Now I am NOT saying they shouldn't have made the movie. Instead, they should have just admitted that they were using a double and not even bothered trying to fool the audience--it just wasn't possible! Having an extra wearing sunglasses inside and out just looked stupid and playing the part straight, without stupid tricks, would have been better. A couple other stupid "tricks" they tried to make a coherent film included cutting closeup shots of Lee into scenes where he obviously wasn't acting! His clothes and the backgrounds just didn't match the double! The worst case was near the beginning when Lee was supposedly almost killed by a falling light. The close up was of the Real Lee--standing outside against a brick wall. But, the scene was filmed INSIDE and there was no brick wall! This was true Ed Wood editing!!! Even worse was one scene where they literally pasted Lee's face over another person's face for a very brief scene! Clutch Cargo episodes were constructed better than this! Probably the creepiest aspect of all this was that Bruce's son, Brandon, also died prematurely while filming THE CROW and the studio did pretty much the same trick (though with modern computer techniques it did look better). In addition, to add another creepier element, Brandon was killed in an on-set accident where he was killed by a prop gun---something that is in the plot of GAME OF DEATH--when a bad guy pretends to be using a prop gun but really shoots Bruce in the face!!!! This is just so surreal and sick. Also surreal and sick is seeing Gig Young in his final film--just months before he killed himself and his partner! This truly seemed like a cursed production! While I am trashing the film, I may as well point out a few other things before I actually go on to praise the film. First, while I greatly enjoyed watching Chuck Norris BRIEFLY at the beginning of the film, somebody should have told him to shave his back hair!!! Chuck just looked like some sort of missing link with all that hair--a major turn off and something I am surprised made it into both this film and another Lee picture, RETURN OF THE DRAGON. Second, the female co-star Colleen Camp very ably sang the final song in the film but when they show her singing earlier in the movie, she's obviously out of sync with the music.

Now apart from the MANY serious flaws with the film, let's talk about the good. While a tad cheesy, the overall production values were pretty good (apart from the way they dealt with Lee)--especially for a kung-fu movie. Seeing the American supporting actors (especially a foul-mouthed elderly Dean Jagger) was pretty interesting and the music for the film was exceptional. The opening titles were highly reminiscent of a James Bond film and the recurring strains throughout the film were very clearly inspired by the music from ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE. Plus, the effects and fight scenes were pretty good throughout.

Despite occasionally seeing tiny glimpses of Lee in the first 2/3 of the film, he is the clear star of the final portion of the film--the only portion of the movie that should have included Lee in my opinion. Here, he does perhaps his best stunt-work ever and the battles are well worth seeing for fans of the genre. In particular, seeing Lee fight Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was majorly cool. It really is a shame that such great material was never used the way it was originally intended. For fans of Lee, this is STILL a must-see film, but for most others it's a mixed bag--a lot of good and a lot of really, really, REALLY bad editing.

FYI--In the wonderful kung fu comedy, SHAOLIN SOCCER, the goalie is clearly meant to look and act just like Bruce Lee. In fact, his yellow outfit is a copy of Lee's in the finale of GAME OF DEATH. This was a cute little homage to Lee.
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Might test your patience
Don Bendell25 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"Even though this is sometimes called Bruce Lee's last movie, he is in it for really only twenty minutes. While he was working on this film, he was called by Warner Bros. to start on Enter the Dragon. Lee, of course, died shortly before ETD's premiere, and so the rest of Game of Death was finished using Lee lookalikes and released some five years after "the dragon's" death. The result is actually pretty good, perhaps not surprisingly because the bits in which Lee appears are excellent. It's too bad the rest of the movie is such junk.

Lee (and his lookalikes) play Billy Tang, an actor who the Mafia for some reason want to control. When Billy refuses, the mob puts the squeeze on his girlfriend (some okay-looking gweilo with a horrible singing voice). Of course, Billy won't take that kind of crap and sets out to dish out some street justice. Really, the first two-thirds of this movie is pretty bad -- all of the actors (mostly gweilos) are pretty sorry, and the lookalike scam never really works. It doesn't help that the doubles aren't nearly as talented fighters as Lee himself. However, the final bit in the movie, where Lee has to climb up a building, fighting a different type of enemy on each floor, is outstanding and a true classic, right down to Lee's swank yellow jumpsuit. While the rest of Game of Death might test your patience, the ending provides a satisfying payoff."
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The last 15 minutes of the film is worth watching
MovieCriticMarvelfan2 December 2000
I wish I could say the same thing for the first 60 minutes of the film..

Before watching this film,I knew that Bruce Lee died before finishing it,so my expectations where that Bruce would come out in some parts of the films and other parts would be doubled.

That is the frame of my mind you have to have with this film. However you will probably have to fast forward to the only fluid moments with the Master Bruce Lee. The 60 minutes use pictures of Bruce Lee in the fights but it's a bad idea. The movie could have been cut considerably into maybe a 30 min to 45 min ,but instead we are forced to stomach, a Bruce Lee wannabee who cant compare an eye to the Master, and who gets his butt kicked throught the movie.

The footage with Bruce Lee, is incredible. The fight scenes last up to 10-15 minutes total, but they are so physical, they probably took up several rehearsals to shoot.

Bruce was filming "Enter The Dragon" while filming this film. He and the Directors did the right thing by filming the end first because of Bruce's busy schedule.

You cant call this film an overall great action movie like one reviewer said because it has many faults. It's too too long (90 minutes) and the Bruce Look alike gets beat for half the film until the Real Bruce Lee shows up at the end.

Also the Bruce Lee double in this film is just plain puny looking. He looks as if he has never lifted weights.

What I would have done to make the film more enjoyable is shorten the film, immensely, then put a biograpy about Bruce , so as not to leave the viewer unsatisfied with the film.

No one today can do what Bruce Lee did in his prime (ask Chuck Norris who has failed miserably copying his moves and is now doing a laughable show called Walker).
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Game of Trickery
maudlinofthewell19 August 2005
I rate this movie a 2 out of 10, two points for having a cool ending credits where they show clips of the real Bruce Lee while a sad tune plays in the background. Other than that this movie is pure junk, most of the movie is played by a Bruce Lee double whose moves aren't as graceful as Bruce Lee's. The story and the dialogue seemed like it was written in five days. Another thing that annoyed me is in one scene they pasted a picture of Bruce Lee's face over the Bruce Lee double with the worst editing I have ever seen. This movie will trick you, because the DVD cover has Bruce Lee's picture on it when it's not even a Bruce Lee movie. This movie shouldn't be worth more than five US dollars.
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Monumentally awful and NOT a Bruce Lee film.
InjunNose25 January 2006
What did Golden Harvest Studios get when they spliced fifteen minutes of Bruce Lee demo footage onto a clumsy, poorly-written mess full of Mafia heavies, motorcycle-riding thugs, and faded Hollywood stars like Gig Young and Dean Jagger? Well, it's not a Bruce Lee movie, but it *is* called "Game of Death" (the title Lee had intended to use for a totally different film before he died). And it's a disaster. Not only are there two unconvincing doubles (Kim Tai-chung and Chen Yao-po) who stand in for Lee, but there's an equally unconvincing Kareem Abdul Jabbar double! That's right, Lee's student and friend wisely chose to have nothing to do with this humiliating bastard of a project, and--like Lee--appears only in the climactic fight scenes. Speaking of those scenes (in which Lee also takes on former student/instructor/nunchaku expert Dan Inosanto and hapkido master Ji Han Jae), they were shot immediately before work on "Enter the Dragon" began and obviously were not intended to be used in the final "Game of Death" project. They're interesting to watch, but they are ONLY demonstration footage; the choreography has a lot of rough edges. (Watch John Little's "Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey" to see the footage placed in its proper perspective.) The rest of the fights in the film are not up to the standard of the Lee scenes, of course. The locker room showdown between Kim Tai-chung and Bob Wall is okay, but if director Robert Clouse wanted to fool the audience into believing that the protagonist in this fight was Bruce Lee (and he obviously did, judging from all the split-second reaction clips of Lee from other films that were spliced into "Game of Death", both during the Bob Wall fight and elsewhere), he failed miserably. This is a rotten piece of work, people. And I repeat, it is NOT a Bruce Lee movie! In his definitive article on the Bruceploitation phenomenon in "Martial Arts Movies" magazine back in the '80s, Daniel C. Lee included "Game of Death" in his filmography of Bruce Lee exploitation flicks, and he was right--that's exactly where it belongs. This movie is an insult to Lee's memory and, thankfully, most fans now seem to recognize it as such. Single worst moment: about five minutes into the film, when a picture of Lee's face is pasted to a mirror, and the neck and shoulders of one of the doubles are placed immediately beneath the photo. cheap and awful can you get? And no, Chuck Norris is not in "Game of Death", so why does his name appear in the credits? EVERYTHING about this movie is terrible, and not in a so-bad-it's-good way. AVOID!
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Skip this bore.
The Bronson Fan19 May 2004
Movie tells the story of Billy Lo, a famous Kung fu action star that is being bullied into joining a syndicate. He eventually takes them all out. Game of Death is truly one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Bruce Lee was used in this film only for someone to gain profit. He is only in the last 10 to 20 minutes with a few cuts here and there. As others have already mentioned that was all that he had filmed years before and they decided to use stock footage and other actors to fill in the rest of the move....... about 90% of it! Most of the time you have an actor dressed up with hair in his eyes and large glasses like the kind wives where when the get beaten, to cover up that its not Bruce Lee. The fights scenes are laughable garbage, not good, but very funny dew the over dramatic wah ta stuff. Lee's battles at the end are the only redeemable part of this movie and you should skip most of the movie to retain your brain matter. Besides for Lee most of the people in this movie are in poor shape and it surprises me that any of them ever got into any kind of gym whatsoever. Bruce lee is rolling in his grave over this one. 2 out 10 for this bomb.
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40 minutes of Footage and the Rest is Junk
Chrysanthepop19 May 2010
As Bruce Lee's son the late Brandon Lee so eloquently put it, ""Game of Death has 40 minutes of footage and the rest is junk". I made the mistake of buying it on DVD (hope I manage to return it and get my money back) seeing that it starred Bruce Lee but he is barely in it. The film was to be made under a different title. Bruce Lee shot for part of it before his untimely death. The rest is amateurishly put together by Clouse where he completes the film with a stand in (who doesn't even remotely look anything like Lee). Wow, this is so terribly done that I would have found it unintentionally funny but I am too mortified by its quality to enjoy it at all. The only bright light are the real Bruce Lee's (and not that amateur's) fight sequences, especially towards the end but before reaching that one has to put himself through 1 hour + of boredom (fast forwarding will be the wise thing to do in this case).
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Light at the end of the tunnel
djrobchapman25 February 2007
OK like the last person said this is one of the worst Bruce Lee rip off films ever produced, the trouble is Bruce Lee died before it was finished, so what the good old Hollywood boys did is get a stand in actor and use odd bits of film footage that they had. The end result a very average and I am being generous when I say average film.

So why have I rated it so highly? the recent DVD release's have included a second disk with the uncut version that Bruce himself was working on, about 45 minutes of Bruce lee heaven, completely different in plot to what the film company had released, you get to see Bruce Lee and two other actors that you will recognise from other Bruce lee flicks trying to climb to the top of the pagoda. This includes Bruce lee fighting one of his most famous students Dan Inosanto in a double nunchaku battle! I feel that if Bruce Lee had not died this might of been his best film.
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Absolute crap
sliat_198113 August 2005
This movie is ridiculous. Bruce is given the staring role, yet for most of the movie, it's a guy with dark glasses on. Occasionally they throw in a stock footage of Lee and show close ups of his eyes, but most of the time it's another actor. It's hard not to compare this with Plan Nine From Outer Space, which has a Bela Lugosi double with a cloak over his face most the movie. Robert Clouse is credited as the director and Bruce is credited as the star. Bruce only appeared in the footage that he directed so both of these credits are misleading. The original plot was going to be about Bruce saving a national treasure that was stolen and hidden in a temple and there were foes he had to beat. He even had two other people to help him, but their footage was deleted (aside from a brief glance of Kareem strangling one of them). The writers probably decided to go with the new storyline because they thought it was more like a false story about Bruce. It had a sort of fantasy about it (maybe Bruce didn't die and faked his death). Unfortuantly even when he does appear, he doesn't last long. He fights a fighter in the first floor (with or without nun-chucks, depending of which version you have). Then comes his famous fight with Kareem Abdul Jarber (who was a close friend of Bruce. This is a fantastic fight scene. Even so, it is edited from the original footage, lasting much shorter. Then Hugh Laurie's character comes down the stairs and the fake footage starts again. You even see they throw in a previous shot of Bruce in the last fight scene. Then the fake Bruce goes after the Dean Jagger character, etc.

This is complete garbage. I've given it 4 stars for 3 reasons: 1: It's (slightly) better then Game Of Death 2. 2: Bruce's memorable fight with Kareem Abdul Jarber. 3: The fantastic theme music.

Please don't bother seeing this. It's not a Bruce Lee film. It's a Bruce Lee lookalike film in which Bruce makes a small appearance.
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cheeseandfish24 October 2004
The real tragedy here is that if they hadn't tried to make it a Bruce Lee film it could have been acceptable but no. For anyone who has seen the original Game of Death footage with the original plot (about 30 minutes worth of footage, and only 10 minutes is used here) had Bruce lee finished that version it would have been brilliant. This is total rubbish though having his look alike who look nothing like him wear huge glasses and stand in the shadows is ridiculous! Even worse is the footage interspersed in the fight scenes of Bruce where his hair changes length all the time.The plot is nothing to do with Bruce Lees vision and they even use footage from Bruce Lees funeral which really is taking exploitation to the limit so my advice is avoid this but if you can see the original footage in its entirety - it can be found on the Enter the Dragon DVD in one of the documentaries.
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