Friday, March 22, 2013

Bruce Lee From Beyond the Grave (1976)

aka Bruce Lee Fights Back from the Grave

If you're not aware of the movies that Bruce Lee actually made, then you're sure to be taken in by the photos of Bruce featured on the cover as well as his freakin' name in the title.  So I'm sure there are people who watch this and end up disappointed when they discover that the star is actually Bruce K. L. Lea.

Wong Han suspects that his old friend was murdered, although the official word is that he committed suicide. Han goes to Los Angeles to investigate the death, saves a damsel in distress, and discovers his friend had become a successful businessman until a lawyers son was injured at his gym and a lawsuit took every penny he owned.

This is a sometimes boring, but super ridiculous movie with bad acting/dubbing and funny foley.  The voices sound like the same ones who would dub all the films I'd see back in the 1980s on Kung Fu Theater.  The line reads are stilted and often hysterically bad.  Dialogue is unintentionally silly and fake Bruce aka Wong Han makes funny noises when he fights. I know he's trying to sound like Bruce Lee, but Lee's sounds were not an imitation of the noises someone else makes. 

The music is funky 70s stuff.  In one scene where Bruce is teaching Susan kung fu, their mouths are moving and you can tell they're speaking, but there is only a 70s music soundtrack. The foley is so odd, I bet if you closed your eyes and tried to guess what the sounds were, that you would not be able to figure it out.

Also of note, ninja great Sho Kosugi is the unnamed Japanese ninja in this movie. Go Sho!

Here's a sampling of some of the more ridiculous dubbed dialogue:

Susan: "Then one day a group of strangers came to see him.  A Japanese, a Black man, a White man, a Mexican and a cowboy.  They looked a pretty mean bunch."
Wong Han: "And then what happened?"
Susan: "Nothing at all...."

Wong Han:"Leave her alone."
Masher: "Damn you!"

Susan: "I don't know where they are by now.  They could be anywhere in Los Angeles for all I know. This is an enormous city, you know."
Wong Han: "I understand.  Los Angeles is an enormous city."

Wong Han: "I'm looking for a karate school." (said to guy smoking a cigarette who promptly punches him in the face).

Wong Han: "Why did you kill him?  Speak up! Speak up! Talk!"
Killer: "I will tell you.  He was arrgghhhhhh....." (hit by shuriken and dies)
This is exactly what happened in all the plays I wrote when I was kid. A flunky who was just about to reveal the killers name would be killed mid-sentence.

The Many Moods of Susan
Bruce jumps out of his grave and right out
of this movie, never to be seen again
And the disappointment begins...
Surprise!  It's not Bruce Lee, but an incredible simulation.
Tonight on Overacting, Loud Plaid Theater...
Nothing awkward about wearing a box and your
dead friends 8x10 glossy tied to your neck by a sheet.
The literal rendering of Susan's story - "Then one day a
group of strangers came to see him. A Japanese, a
Black man, a White man, a Mexican, and a cowboy."
My favorite Ninja, Sho Kosugi
Bruce Lea, safari fashion plate
This guy reminds me of the Skipper from Gilligans Island

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