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Angry Tiger
(aka The Spirit of Bruce Lee, Spirits of Bruce Lee, Spirits of Bruce Li)
1973; directed by Heung Ling

More well-known as Spirits of Bruce Lee, this dull old-school picture has nothing to do with the "little dragon". In fact, it was originally shot in 1973, but shelved until 1979, slapped up with a new title screen and lousy dub, and released to an unsuspecting US public eager to eat up anything associated with Bruce Lee. The results, as you might expect, are anything but spectacular.

Spirits of Bruce Lee

Angry Tiger, at least in its' Spirits of Bruce Lee form, has been in the public domain realm for some time now, and is widely available for viewing on a number of streaming video websites. But even if you're not paying anything to watch this, getting any sort of enjoyment from this picture is an exercise in futility, except perhaps for a few chuckles with your buddies after having a few adult beverages. But even that might be a hopeless venture, as the movie's terrible pacing and lack of compelling action send Angry Tiger straight to the depths of B-movie hell.

Spirits of Bruce Lee

If you're actually still interested in this film, and want to know more about it, basically, Michael Chan plays a man who heads to Thailand to investigate the disappearance of his brother. It turns out he was killed by a local crime lord who wanted to steal the large piece of jade he was carrying. Now out for revenge, Michael teams up with a Chinese family running a tea shop, each member fufilling a chop-socky stereotype: pops dispenses pearls of wisdom, the overweight (and possibly retarded) son provides the (extremely lame) comic relief, and the daughter comes on board to play out a very awkward romantic subplot. After picking up the mandatory sidekick in the form of an undercover cop, Michael heads to the crime boss' compound for the final confrontation.

Spirits of Bruce Lee

Michael Chan is a favorite actor of mine, which is why this movie is getting a higher rating than it probably deserves, but he's totally under-used here. The fight scenes are, for the most part, simply awful, with most of Michael's opponents being generic slow-moving Thai guys who go down with one or two hits, ala the shemps peppering the initial level of any random beat-em-up video game like Double Dragon. The director does try to shake things up a bit during the finale, by adding in a dude with a whip and a pair of samurais, but by then it's clearly too little, too late to save Angry Tiger from being anything more than just yet another terribly nondescript and poorly-made old-school kung fu movie.


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(screen captures courtesy of Movie Feast)