The Dragon Lives Again/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< The Dragon Lives Again

Bruceploitation is the very infamous genre that produced so many films which "paid tribute" to the legendary Bruce Lee, and in the Exploitation world, it is a very important chapter of 70's Grindhouse cinema. It was a big Low Budget industry of films starring actors with stage names like "Bruce Li," "Bruce Le," "Dragon Lee," and in this case "Bruce Leong" made with plenty of Kung Fu to keep things moving and sometimes and sometimes even more Adult scenes for the films with more spice. This film, however, is it's own experience and a stand out in this scene as everything about it is wonderfully so wrong that it winds up being a Exploitation legend, right from the "Borrowed" music to the use of characters and the facing up to the fact that Leong barley looks like the real Bruce with the quotable line of the face and body going through a change when a person dies, made in a time that actually let a film like this get away with it, including a release in The States.


Right from the opening credits, it's easy to tell that this is not going to be just another Bruceploitation film as "Bruce" battles with Bond, Clint, Zatoichi, a group of skeletons, The Exorcist, and Dracula while the next scene takes the viewer to Hell where Bruce is resting looking like he's erect (Cue sounds of the hit "Kung Fu Fighting"), although it turns out that it's a well-placed Nunchaku. After being sent out, we find out that this Hell looks like your usual every day B-Kung Fu film town, but once watching Bruce get defeated by a group of guys in skeleton costumes in a restaurant as "Clint" and Bond watch on, this films gets moving into pure madness. After being taken care of by a kind old man, Bruce meets up again with a couple of his allies he met, Popeye (Eric Tsang) and a swordsman, and teaches Martial Arts to some townspeople - the hilarity factor of watching Popeye learning this really sends this into another world - while being offered a place in Hell's Bully Squad which he refuses.


Meanwhile, back at the Bad Guys Palace, we find out that The Exorcist is planning to take over as the Emperor of Hell (!) while having Emmanuelle (Played here by another One-Name/One-Film wonder, Jenny) as his girlfriend. After Bruce messes up their plan to ruin the horny Emperor (Who's palace has a sauna with topless women) through having plenty of sex with Emmanuelle, he is offered a job as a his bodyguard, with the bad guys trying to ruin this as Dracula with the guys in the skeleton costumes called his zombie army, Zatoichi, and Clint aim to destroy Bruce once and for all and failing. The fight with Dracula is a classic moment as the Kato outfit is worn and the winning strike is through the use of "The Third Leg of Bruce," while the fight with Zatoichi in another moment is hilarious as the names of the moves are put on the bottom of the screen (something used later in the final battle scenes with the mummies).


Bruce is not impressed by his surroundings and decides to walk out of his job, not very happy with the way things are ran, a decision made at the wrong moment as The Godfather and The Exorcist try to take things over through some force and calling the Emperor washed up. Finding this out, the Emperor looks for Bruce outside with his new sidekick, and decides to unleash an army of mummies for a final fight to the last scenes of this film, with Popeye helping out our legend in the final moments. Finally, it has been decided that Bruce can go back to Earth to "Live Again," a moment that really could make the viewer wondering about the amount of sanity left after watching this classic dementia and hitting the replay button at the same time to see if anything was missed.

Any review could not fully capture what is in essence something that has to be seen to be believed as the words "Only in this film" can be used with confidence here. The action scenes are all over the place, the humor very ridiculous, and the use of music really having a jaw-dropping factor in music fans, especially those who know that the "Sounds Like the Devil" used by the mummies are actually the closing moments of Pink Floyd's "Bike," the part that sounds like demonic ducks. There's nothing more to say but see it, it's the ultimate in Bruceploitation.

Reviewed by Screen13

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