Actor/filmmaker and genre fan Michael Worth began his filmmaking journey as he puts it, “cutting my teeth on Bruceploitation and Kung fu movies”. Catching the tail end of the grindhouse era in Basy Area cinemas, the still preteen Worth began attending double feature and triple feature showings of Shaw brothers, independent kung fu films and a weekly dose of Bruceploitation movies. Having that “big screen” experience some younger fans missed and since becoming a professional filmmaker, Worth has begun a journey trying to recapture and preserve many of the films he experienced as a child for present and future generations who only get to experience them on a TV screen, at best.
Worth has made up a list of what he considers his top 10 viewing Bruceploitation movies during this Covid-19 epidemic. As he points out, they are not necessarily in order and in some cases more about his nostalgic connections to them, but his comments will also be noted below. Hope maybe one of them inspires you for a watch while we all are in lockdown.￼
Michael Worth – Top 10 Covid Bruceploitation Watchlist
Though my dream would be to have you seek out each film it their original scope presentations, I know this is not always possible in this day and age. But even if you are getting a dirtied down version of these films, these are a handful I find are worth watching or re-watching for some re-evaluation. A few are well known but a handful don’t normally get their deserved attention. A couple of the more popular titles I have left off, like Clones of Bruce Lee, The Chinese Stuntman, Exit The Dragon or The Real Bruce Lee, as they have either been watched countless times or at least more familiar with the fans by now.
10) Bruce Lee The Invincible
A weird one and a bit clumsy but is a prequel of sort to Fist of Fury with Chan Sing playing Bruce Lee’s soon-to-be-murdered teacher. The gorilla fight and theme music are classic!
9) Treasure of Bruce Lee
A bit in the Bruce and the Shaolin category, set in the mountains and loaded with spontaneous fight scenes that are sometimes highly entertaining.
8) The Growling Tiger
The only sequel exploitation film to Lee’s Way of the Dragon with the extremely entertaining Dolemite of Bruceploitation, Tang Lung in his only true entry in the genre.
7) Bruce’s Deadly Fingers
My first Bruceploitation film so partially nostalgic but one of the earliest made so the air is still vibrating from Lee’s passing and the finale’ with Le is great!
6) Deadly Silver Ninja
Martial Monks may be a better film from this time period but this one is more unique in some ways, set in the snow like a martial arts version of The Great Silence.
5) Iron Dragon Strikes Back
One of Bruce Li’s later films but worth seeing as the darkness and violence is turned up a notch. The fight with Phillip Ko at the end is brutal!
4) The Dragon, The Hero
Godfrey Ho directed this fringe Bruceploitation film. It is Dragon Lee’s performance that just scantily includes an otherwise classic Kung Fu movie into this genre.
3) Fist of Fury Part 2
Though there is merit for Part 3 in this series too, Lee Tso Nam just does a great job (better than Lo Wei with his own sequel) of carrying some of the original essence over and giving Li one of his best performance and action moments.
2) Bruce Le’s Greatest Revenge
Probably my favorite Le film, the ending being a crazy achievement of full out testicle squeezing, ear tearing Kung Fu action! A remake of Fury as well.
1) Bruce Lee – The Man The Myth
No list should not include this great film. No matter where it lands on your list, it is one of the most interesting presentations of Lee’s life made. This internationally shot film is not fully true obviously, but loaded with sentimental nods to Lee’s short time here.
– The Bruceploitation Bible