HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
Satanic Panic
Claudine
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
   
 
Newest Articles
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
   
 
  Game of Death Bruce On The LooseBuy this film here.
Year: 1978
Director: Robert Clouse
Stars: Bruce Lee, Colleen Camp, Dean Jagger, Gig Young, Hugh O'Brian, Kim Tai Chung, Yuen Biao, Robert Wall, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mel Novak, James Tien, Dan Inosanto, Roy Chiao, Russell Cawthorne, Sammo Hung, Chuck Norris
Genre: Thriller, Martial Arts, Trash
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: Billy Lo (Bruce Lee and Kim Tai Chung) is a big movie star in Hong Kong and making his latest martial arts epic, but today when the director calls "cut" to end the filming, an arclight falls and nearly hits Billy. Accident? Or something more sinister? Billy thinks he knows when he enters his dressing room and Steiner (Hugh O'Brian), the right hand man of a top gangster, is waiting for him. Steiner is insistent that Billy carry out the wishes of the Syndicate and fight in a lucrative match, but the star is not so keen and recommends he leave. Then Billy visits his singer girlfriend Ann (Colleen Camp) in the studio, but she's concerned for his welfare, as well she might be as the Syndicate, led by the scheming Dr Land (Dean Jagger), are determined to make an example of him...

So you've got footage of one of the biggest screen stars of his time, but unfortunately he died over five years ago, what do you do with the footage that could potentially make you money? A good answer to that is Game of Death, well - perhaps "good" isn't quite the right word - where Bruce Lee had filmed a handful of fight scenes for his next martial arts endeavour, but had had to put it on hold to shoot Enter the Dragon. We all know that he never lived to finish his film, which might have been great, but on this evidence might not have been, yet that didn't stop the owners of those scenes shooting a whole new story around them.

The notion of editing in a dead star into your movie is not a new one, and perhaps the most notorious instance before this one was Edward D. Wood Jr's Plan 9 from Outer Space where home movies of Bela Lugosi created his final starring role with the help of a double. However, you can quite safely say director Robert Clouse and his associates really took this idea and ran with it, by cutting in the odd closeup of Lee from other features into film of a double wearing enormous sunglasses to obscure the fact that he's not Lee after all. And it works like a dream!

No, of course it doesn't, it's painfully obvious by the way the double is usually seen in shadow, or has to wear a false beard and moustache as disguise, or frequently has his back to the camera, that there's a strong element of fooling going on. The American cast members don't really help much, with O'Brian even set up as an opponent to Bruce for the climactic fight - not the best way to end your action movie - and Camp reduced to wailing and looking upset: in one scene all she has to do is sit in a car while the Lee stunt doubles go to work and cry "Bi-lleee!" This might be more palatable if Lee had filmed more of the original, but as it is he only came up with ten minutes that are used.

The whole idea behind that original footage was that Lee's character would move up various levels of a pagoda, fighting a tougher opponent on each level until, erm, he emerged the victor, I guess. And that's all you see of him, as it's obvious early on that, say, sticking a picture of Lee's face over a mirror and having the double sit very still to make it look as if it's his own face wasn't going to be especially effective. And that's the trouble, none of it's effective and there's not one point where the subterfuge isn't obvious, so you either throw up your hands in frustration or watch it as an example of cinematic hubris, a bad movie for bad movie buffs. In fact, it's not particularly exciting despite the involvement of stars like Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao, as most of the production is the boring thriller plot, and the finale sees Lee struggling with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, which looks odd, more than anything else. Music by John Barry.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 9686 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Robert Clouse  (1928 - 1997)

American director who, after directing Darker Than Amber, settled into a string of martial arts thrillers starting with the Bruce Lee favourite Enter the Dragon. His other films include Golden Needles, Black Belt Jones, The Ultimate Warrior, Game of Death, The London Connection, The Big Brawl, camp classic Gymkata, China O'Brien and its first sequel.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: