The world's most famous martial arts star, Bruce Lee, is dead. But all is not lost for a secret experiment is put into operation involving Professor Lucas who creates three clones from the martial arts legend's cells. Trained to be as proficient in unarmed combat as their skilled progenitor the trio are given their orders, to combat crime. But has their creator got other plans for them?
Following the untimely death of Bruce Lee the chopsocky film industry sought to exploit his legacy with look-alike performers often starring in unofficial sequels or films based on his life. So numerous were these cynical cash-ins that the phrase Bruceploitation was coined to define the phenomena and The Clones Of Bruce Lee is a pretty notorious addition to this short-lived cycle of films. Things kick off with an opening scene that fans my find particularly unpalatable as its a 're-enactment' of Lee's arrival at hospital and the medical team's attempts to save his life. From there it heads off into fantasyland with the Special Bureau of Intelligence's plan to create crimefighting clones of the iconic film star.
Brought to life in a shoddy lab full of giant consoles and flashing lights these clones, handily named Bruce Lee number 1, Bruce Lee number 2 and Bruce Lee number 3, are given their orders and sent out after a couple of dubious characters, an evil gold smuggler masquerading as a film producer and a mad scientist with plans for world domination. The fact that these copies look nothing like each other, let alone Bruce Lee, is the least of the movie's problems. They imitate Lee's unique vocal style and mannerisms to varying degrees of success, from awful to average and the repetitive fight scenes, choreographed by cast member Bruce Le, are of the same standard. One involving two of the clones facing off against a gang of bronze warriors (in actuality men painted in similar fashion to Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger) is unintentionally hilarious with its ridiculous sound effects.
With the clones split up and sent on two separate missions this feels like it was hastily and clumsily constructed from bits and pieces of other films. The slapdash editing and change in film quality throughout adding to this opinion. Of course a cheesy exploitation flick wouldn't be complete without a bit of female nudity and Joseph Kong's film is no exception as it has a scene, probably also culled from another movie, in which a group of frolicking nude beach babes end up attacking a scrawny peeping tom that has absolutely nothing to do with the plot whatsoever.
A low point in martial arts movies The Clones of Bruce Lee is a tacky slightly contemptuous film made with little entertainment value, even in a 'so bad its good' type of way. It has all the hallmarks of cheap chopsocky cinema with tedious fight scenes, awful dubbing, a funk/disco score and low production values. At one point, when the bogus filmmaker plans to kill one of the clones on camera he states "we can capitalise for years on his death." A fittingly apt comment on the Bruceploitation series as a whole. Avoid.