Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Dragon Lives Again (1977)

aka Deadly Hands of Kung Fu

After Bruce Lee dies, he wakes up in a fancy cave with the King of the Underworld. To prove his power, the King shakes a pillar which causes an  earthquake and explains he could destroy the world if he desired.   You'd think that the Underworld was Hell but since the King says he can send Bruce to Hell if he messes with him, then I guess not.  What is the difference between the Underground and Hell, and why is Bruce here?  No idea.

Through exposition we're that even though he doesn't look like Bruce Lee, that is because when you die your face and your body change. There is no explanation offered for why everyone who sees him instantly recognizes he is Bruce Lee.

When Bruce goes to a restaurant for something to eat, he is set upon by the blind swordsman, Clint Eastwood, James Bond, and some guys in skeleton suits.  He is nursed back to health by an old man and his young innocent daughter.  So the Underworld is just the same as Earth, with restaurants owned by good people who are victimized by organized crime?

Meanwhile there is a plot to take overthrow the King and take control of the Underworld.  This is being done by Bond, Eastwood, the blind swordsman, the Godfather, the Exorcist, and Emmanuelle.  If they can't handle it, they also have the help of Dracula and his zombies (which turn out to be the guys in skeleton suits).  In order to take control, they must kill Bruce. I have no idea why since he isn't in charge, and if they'd just left him alone maybe everything would have gone smoothly.

Emmanuelle tries to seduce him, but is thwarted when Bruce sees the rest of the villains peeking through a curtain of beads on the other side of the cave.  Couldn't they have waited until she finished?  And why take him to the cave when the villains lounge is a short way down the corridor?  Like everything else in this movie, it makes no sense.

When the villains decide to make another attempt on Bruce's life, he gets help from his friends, the one armed swordsman, Kwai Chang Caine (from the TV series Kung Fu), and Popeye.  You heard me... Popeye, complete with little sailor hat and corncob pipe.  What the hell.

And when you think you've seen everything, here comes Dracula - enjoying a walk in the daytime  -with his zombies.  But then Bruce shows up dressed as Kato from the Green Hornet.  You think nothing can top that until a herd of mummies show up and play Ring Around the Rosy with Bruce in the middle.  And it doesn't spoil anything to tell you that the movie ends with Bruce floating up into the sky to go back to Earth. It makes no freakin' sense.

This is one of the strangest kung fu films I've ever seen.  The soundtrack has clips from Enter the Dragon, James Bond, Morricone westerns, and even a brief clip from Carl Douglas's song, Kung Fu Fighting.  Bruce's moves are named after his movies. There are posters of the real Bruce Lee covering the walls in one scene, which is awkward since we're watching fake Bruce.  There is a lot of talk about Bruce begin well endowed and popular with the women.  Surprisingly when Dracula and his zombies pin Bruce down, his third leg (which has a shoe on it) kicks Dracula in the face.

In the most tasteless bit in the movie, Bruce apologizes to his wife Linda for cheating on her so much.  Come on!  Imply what you want, movie, and do your questionable exploitation of the dead, but don't bring his widow into it.  That's not cool.

Oh and why is there a guy in a union suit wearing a dinosaur head and holding a spear in the Underworld?  That's just weird.

Ridiculous dialogue

Is there something wrong? You're weird.

woman 1: Are you sure it's Bruce Lee?
woman 2: It so happens when a person dies their face and their body undergo a change....

They're the Godfathers private body guards....one's James Bond and the other is Clint Eastwood.

Clint: Bastard. Where'd you come from?
Bruce: You talking to me? You want to learn something? You sure you want to?
Clint: I don't give a damn who you are.  But since you're here with us now and yet you did not say hello, well that means trouble.

Bond: Brother, this guy fancies himself as a fighter. What a stupid jerk.
Blind guy: Hey brother, I reckon the jerk is taking the mickey.  We better rub him out.....

Bruce: Uncle tell me straight up. Have I a chance of getting back to Earth?

Man1: Here's hoping you become the King soon.
Man 2: Haha, thank you, but let's not count ze chickens.

Man 1: .... but then you are afraid of Bruce Lee.
Man 2: That's right. That's right. I really think he'll cause trouble.
Clint: Hahaha wah.  Why the hell are you worrying? We're all here, aren't we? That's enough. What's more, we have Dracula and he can summon up all those zombies to help us too.

God damn bastard! You're annoying my King!  And now that I'm here to protect him, I'm going to boot you in the ass!  You're gonna get yours, punk!

Proof that when you die your body and face change.
What the hell is going on with the guy in red
long johns wearing a dinosaur head?
Clint Eastwood and James Bond
Why are they called zombies when they dress as skeletons? 
Kwai Chang Kaine, Bruce Lee and... Popeye?
Meanwhile in the villains underground cave headquarters... 
That awkward scene where there's a poster of the real
Bruce Lee behind you while you're pretending to be Bruce
Dracula enjoying some sunshine
Zombies vs. Kato
Dracula's claws heading towards Kato's nether region...
...and he's taken out by the Third Leg of Bruce
They ran out of movie titles and came up with this
There's no consistency in the mummy suits
So.... that's different
Looks like the gym class is out of control
Ring Around the Rosey

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