The Clones of Bruce Lee (Review)

The Clones of Bruce Lee

Directed by Joseph Kong Hung (as Joseph Velasco)

Bruce Lee’s death was a tragic affair, a life cut short in its prime. It also became a vehicle for many unscrupulous people to make a quick buck, and soon Bruce Lee exploitation films began popping up all over. Bruce’s death at the height of his popularity both made martial arts films a big deal, but then stagnated them with the plots of his biggest hits. Many films followed the Enter the Dragon plot line, or borrowed elements and threw “Dragon” in the title somewhere. People ate this stuff up.

Many of the Brucesploitation films were packaged as pseduo-sequels to the big Lee hits, where certain “Lee-alikes” took up the mantel of Bruce Lee. Another group of Brucesploitation films worked their magic on the mystery of Bruce Lee’s death, with things ranging from conspiracies, ninja assassins, secret organizations, faking of death, and biopics (including one costarring Bruce Lee’s alleged mistress and owner of the apartment he died in, Betty Ting Pei, Bruce Lee: His Last Days.) Other Brucesploitation efforts were just plain wacky, being totally ridiculous farces. The Clones of Bruce Lee fits more into this group, as does Bruce Lee Fights Back From the Grave and Dragon Lives Again. The final group of Brucesploitation films were just films with Lee-alikes that were retitles to make you think it was Bruce Lee and not Bruce Li or Bruce Le. Bruce Li in New Guinea is a good example of this. A good overview of the main Leealikes can be found here, four of them are in this film!

The Clones of Bruce Lee is a silly film. Forget silly, it is downright insane! The only thing that could have made it more crazy if is there were robots. We have a mad scientist, cloned Bruce Lees, cloned Bruce Lees that look nothing like Bruce Lee, secret agents, evil movie producers, bronze fighting men, random gangsters, laser bars, Bolo Yeung, lots and lots of female nudity, weird edits, compulsive grass eating, giant blinking computers, a Leealike who isn’t one of the clones fighting with two clones, and did I mention lots and lots of female nudity? This movie rules.

Produced by Dick Randall, who also helped bring to America Weng Weng in For Your Height Only, Challenge of the Tiger, the Italian film The Castle of Frankenstein, the Spanish Supersonic Man, and Jim Kelly’s Death Dimension. Director Joseph Kong Hung directed at least 6 other Brucesploitation films, and “Executive Directed” Bruce Li in New Guinea (whatever that means!)

Bruce Lee #1 (Dragon Lee) – Bruce Lee #1 specializes in solo missions, and has Bruce Lee’s mannorisms down pat. Too bad he has zero charisma. Dragon Lee is also known as Bruce Lei, and was in a few other movies as a Lee-alike before disappearing to obscurity.
Bruce Lee #2 (Bruce Le) – Bruce Lee #2 is the brutal assassin, he gives no mercy to his opponents and will kill them when they are begging for their lives. Huang Kin-Lung, better known as Bruce Le, was one of the most popular Lee-alikes, starred in many films of the genre, and even a Bollywood movie.
Bruce Lee #3 (Bruce Lai) – Bruce Lai is also known as Chang Yi-Tao, was also a Lee-alike in Enter 3 Dragons, but later struck out as himself in films such as Blooded Treasury Fight
Agent Charles Li Sing (Bruce Thai) – Not another Bruce Lee clone, just an SBI agent who dresses like Bruce Lee and fights like him also. He assists two of the clones in bringing down Dr. Nai. Bruce Thai was also in Enter 3 Dragons. Not much is known about him, but he is believed to be Thai due to his name.
Mr. Colin (???) – SBI agent who recruits Professor Lucas to clone multiple Bruce Lees to use as agents. A plan so crazy it could only work in some sort of crazy movie. I see… I have no clue who plays him.
Professor Lucas (John Benn) – The brilliant Professor Lucas not only learned human cloning decades before anyone has figured it out, but he also was able to rapidly grow the clones to adulthood, and train them in martial arts due to the martial artists he has hanging around his laboratory compound. Goes mad with power and has to be taken down by his own creations, as usual for mad scientists.

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