Bruce Lee is universally recognized as the pioneer who elevated martial arts in film to an art form, and this documentary will reveal why Bruce Lee's flame burns brighter now than the day he died over three decades ago.
While investigating his friend Chin Ku's (Hwang Jang Lee) death, martial artist Billy Lo (Bruce Lee) is killed. His younger brother, Bobby Lo (Kim Tai Chung), investigates both deaths. His search takes him to Japan, where he befriends Lewis (Roy Horan), master of the Castle Of Death. But when Lewis is brutally murdered, Bobby must investigate the mysterious Fan Yu temple, where he must enter an underground pagoda and face off with the most terrifying of enemies.Written by
Bruce Lee had filmed over 30 minutes of fight scenes for Game of Death (1978) when work was suspended to allow Lee to work on Enter the Dragon (1973). However, Lee died before he could return. Six years later, director Robert Clouse fleshed out a feature around the original footage with a new cast, including two stand-ins for Lee. After the success of Game of Death in Japan, there was high demand for a new Bruce Lee movie there. As a result, much of the movie is filmed in and takes place in Japan. See more »
The wire to pull the monk in mid-air (after being thrown by Bobby Lo) is a little too late, he ends up being pulled along the ground instead. See more »
You're lucky I'm a fair man, otherwise you'd be dead. Beat it!
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The late 90s Universe Laser DVD released in Hong Kong had a unique "hybrid" Cantonese track, in that it maintained the original Cantonese voice acting, but used the music from the international English dub. The Mandarin track followed a similar pattern. See more »
Game of Death II (aka Tower of Death) is a dichotomy of a film. It is a Bruceploitation film (though it is one of the better ones) and it is an exiting revenge flick. Raymond Chow had apparently not made enough money off of the insipid Game of Death and was slowly leaking "newly found" footage of Bruce so it was bound that he would create another film with spliced in footage, redubbed dialog and, of course, Bruce's namesake. A lot of people were using Lee's name to promote their own productions, but Golden Harvest (who Bruce worked for; though technically this was a Seasonal production) was the worst of these offenders.
The first act of the movie is the least interesting and worst part of the film. Bruce Lee stars (posthumously edited in) as Billy Lo (Bruce Lee) who visits his friend Chin Ku (Hwang Jang Lee) who is currently beating up an under-classed challenger. After an reestablishment of friendship between the two (never a good sign in a Kung Fu film), he visits an abbot (Roy Chiao revisiting his role from Enter the Dragon so they can reuse and redub footage) to discuss about his contumacious brother Bobby Lo (Tong Lung who also starred in Game of Death).
Of course, the scenes that compromise the first act are not only exploitative of Bruce Lee they are also poorly done. The most obvious is that the backgrounds do not match between Bruce's footage and the new footage. Also check out the sculpted back muscles of Bruce and compare them to his double. It is not even close. The fight scenes with Bruce (and his double) do not flow well. However, anytime you see a fight scene and that Bruce (or his double) does a difficult move such as a flip you will notice that it is the incomparable Yuen Biao (he even has a small role toward the beginning.) Bruce later visits the funeral of his friend Chin Ku and he is prevented from examining the body (this must mean something to the plot.) When the ceremony takes place a helicopter comes by and snags the coffin. For some strange reason, well to dispose of the fake Bruce character, he jumps on the coffin as it is flying away and is hit with a dart and falls to his death. This is absolutely absurd. Though this is not as bad as the 70s clothes at the funeral or the tacky real funeral footage of Bruce Lee that would come next.
Now the movie gets more interesting and less exploitative. Bobby learns of his brother's death from his father who tells him to meet Sherman Lan. Sherman tells him to go to the Palace of Death. Now this is an interesting place. It is owned by Lewis, played by Roy Horan who has been an executive at Seasonal, an actor who also acted in Snake in the Eagle's Shadow, a student of Hwang Jang Lee and currently a lecturer at HK Polytechnic University; obviously his life is more interesting than this film. Bobby suspects Lewis as the culprit behind his brother's death. Lewis likes to eat raw meat, is surrounded by lions (who are fed the fighters that he defeats), Killer Peacocks and a one-armed valet (oh my). The one-armed assistant, a monk from the Fan Yu temple, does not seem that he could be of great use to Lewis, but Lewis says that he is faithful and he has known him for a long time (do not dwell on this fact because the absurdity of what happens later is quite hilarious). I really do not trust one-armed people in Hong Kong films unless they are played by Jimmy Wang Yu.
Lewis tells Bobby of a tower built by abbot Hung Kuang. However, it cannot be found above ground. The abbot had it built underground (this is a nice twist until you see how much they spent on the set design and how many levels there actually are). Obviously there is going to be a show down there with Bobby fighting however is behind all of this madness. I will not give it away (or tell what happens at the Palace of Death) but it is fairly obvious who it will be.
The final act of the film leads to some good fighting scenes, obviously with the help of action director Yuen Wo-Ping, as Bobby makes his way down the tower (try to see how many times Yuen Biao is used as a stunt double; hint check every other move Bobby makes). Most of the film is entertaining (not counting the irritating and unnecessary flashbacks). There is always going to be tackiness involved anytime you invoke Bruce Lee's inimitable name; but once the movie gets past that it is fun to watch. In fact it is the best Bruceploitation film out there -- though that does not necessarily mean that much.
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