JULY 9 VHS MOVIE REVIEW : RETURN OF RED TIGER
This intro may be repetitive to some but informative to others. After Bruce Lee’s death in 1973 and the huge success of the posthumously released Enter the Dragon studios began fearing they’d lose money if they didn’t advertise their releases as starring Bruce Lee, so they came up with several fairly funny and sometimes clever ways around this, and these films are known as Bruceploitation. They found several actors who either resembled Bruce Lee or had something to do with Bruce Lee and had them change their name to something similar, some of the more popular examples being Bruce Li and Bruce Le. Jackie Chan even did this at one point before he became a star. Often times the films were bad, but bad in the best most hilarious ways possible. The films even continued through the 80s making the number of Bruce Lee imitations huge and making blind Bruce Lee shopping nearly impossible. He is one of the few actors you really have to research before you try and watch anything he has been in.
While VHS shopping we came across two films, one pretty standard Bruceploitation flick (being reviewed next) and one that is much lesser known and in fact very obscure (it has less than five ratings on IMDB and no Amazon.com ratings). We definitely plan to continue watching as many of these films as possible, as Bruce Lee is so fucking good that even his imitators are fun.
Mao qaun aka Return of Red Tiger stars Bruce Le and was directed by James Nam who is a fairly popular actor who lived in the same apartment complex as John Woo and who worked for the Shaw Brothers. It has a very nonsensical plot which is on one level very simple, man falls in love with girl but she has a boyfriend, on the other it is full of a lost microfilm (“It’s worth a small fortune!”) subplot and melodramatic flashbacks that are as meaningless as half the characters’ drawn on mustaches! Did I mention Bruce Le plays a mute bum that acts like Charlie Chaplin and thinks he’s a cat!?
This was thoroughly enjoyable with horrendous dubbing making even the most boring parts watchable. The finale has to be seen to be believed as it consists of countless goons being scratched to death while wall-to-wall cat noises are being played and while Le is going berserk and screaming at the top of his lungs. His final Frankenstein’s Monster-esque scream to the sun that lasts close to five minutes is amazing, hilarious, and jaw-dropping all at the same time.
While Bruce Le is no where fucking near Bruce Lee this is a great flick and if you love bad martial arts movies this is one of the best ones I’ve seen. So Dan Kinem says, “If you watch one Bruce Le movie this year, make it this one!”
A little sidenote, as we were watching this Tim’s roommate walks in with some girl who looks at what we are watching and says, “Oh, it’s Asian its got to be bad.” AND SHE WAS FUCKING ASIAN! What an uncultured bitch.