Dubious gray-market label VideoAsia has a track record of reissuing the same movies into different packages. Their Immortal Dragon three-DVD set is no exception. It contains ten "Bruceploitation" films, all of which have been put out before and since, either as stand-alone releases or as part of other sets. This review covers the first disc, a dual-sided "flipper" that has The Clones of Bruce Lee, Jackie and Bruce to the Rescue, Bruce Against Snake in Eagle's Shadow, and They Call Him Bruce Lee. Like the majority of VideoAsia's output, the DVD is a bare-bones affair, with the films presented in poor-looking 4:3 video accompanied by atrocious English dubs. There are no extras present; only a lone menu screen accompanies the movies.
Bruce Against Snake in Eagle's Shadow
(aka Bruce Lee Against Snake in Eagle's Shadow, Bruce Vs. Snake in Eagle's Shadow)
1979; directed by Ng Ka-Chun
Obviously titled to capitalize on the success of Snake in the Eagle's Shadow, this film contains none of the fun of Jackie Chan's breakthrough martial arts/comedy hybrid. The majority of the running time is dominated by the not-so-compelling drama of the Bruce not-so-lookalike romancing two not-so-good looking daughters of the heads of rival pearl farms. Weak attempts at kung fu -- which don't even really try to imitate Lee's trademarks besides having the star (Tang Lung, who starred in perhaps the most notorious Bruceploitation film, Game of Death, a fact that the producers pimp out in the opening credits) wear oversized sunglasses -- are limply thrown in from time to time, but even the most masochistic oldschool fan will have a tough time sitting through this picture.
Jackie and Bruce to the Rescue
(aka Fist of Death, Jackie Vs. Bruce to the Rescue)
1982; directed by Ng Ka-Chun and Choe Dong-Joon
We're treated to a bit of both Bruceploitation and Jackieploitation here. Most of the plot is unashamedly ripped off from Fist of Fury, as the Bruce imitator (which is Tang Lung again) heads back to his school following the murder of his teacher. This time out, it's not the evil Japanese that did the deed, it's students from the YMCA. Really. Anyway, while hunting down the killers, the Bruce clone comes across a Jackie Chan clone (played by Lee Siu-Ming) who is a bouncer at the YMCA's casino. What YMCA has a casino? Like most of these types of movies, it's probably best to try and not make too much sense of the plot, or lack thereof. Fake Bruce and Fake Jackie fight each other for a while, there's some bad 70's nudity thrown in, and then the pair team up to take down the nefarious YMCA. That's about it. This film is decent for trainwreck effect and curiosity factor, but not much else -- your fast-forward button is sure to get a workout here.
They Call Him Bruce Lee
(aka They Call Me Bruce Lee)
1979; directed by Francis Jun Posadas
Not to be confused with the 1982 American comedy They Call Me Bruce?, this is a Filipino production starring Jack Lee as Bruce's number one student. He's been hired by a dojo to protect the last book Bruce wrote, Ninjitsu Fighting Techniques. That's right, Bruce Lee was secretly a ninja. The Bruceploitation quotient here is a bit odd, since Jack does things like Bruce's iconic yells and dons a yellow track suit, but his fighting style is nothing like Lee's, favoring a lot of acrobatic moves versus Lee's more grounded repertoire. This makes for a few decent fight scenes, but in the end, the exposition kills any momentum, as it focuses far too much on "silly" comedy revolving around Jack and his friends trying to get laid.
The Clones of Bruce Lee
1977; directed by Joseph Kong
This movie tries to be the ultimate in Bruceploitation by employing five Bruce impersonators via a plot of the government agency "SBI" using clones of the Little Dragon to handle messy business in Asia without getting America's hands dirty. It's actually a fairly inventive story as far as these movies go, and there is some fun to be had with how cheeseball the special effects are, but ultimately, this is a one-trick pony that wears out its' welcome quickly, due to leaden exposition and sloppy fight scenes, which leaves the viewer bored.
Note: a more detailed review of the film can be found here.