Fist of Fear

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (92 votes, average: 3.98 out of 5)
Posted On: September 13, 2010
Posted In: Action Movies, All Movies, Bruce Lee Movies, Jeet Kune Do, Kung Fu Movie Reviews, Kung Fu Movies, Martial Arts Movies
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This Brucesploitation classic was billed as starring the 3 Greatest Masters! Bruce Lee, Fred Williamson, Ron Van Clief. This is Brucesploitation at its finest (cheesiest) moment and unabashedly pure exploitation schlock. Oh, and yes, it is hysterically, unintentionally funny. Despite what many purists would consider a disgrace to the name of Bruce Lee, this film serves as more of a campy action packed tribute, with footage of Bruce artfully spliced into the mix.

The plot you ask? Madison Square Garden is hosting a tournament to determine who will be Bruce’s successor. Enter Oscar-winner Adolph Caesar as the hokey announcer, Fred “The Hammer” Williamson and Ron Van Clief as the boxer. Through a series of flashbacks and cut scenes, a fictionalized tapestry of the Bruce Lee story is woven.

Clips from an old Chinese soap opera are re-dubbed to make Bruce’s “biography,” which then introduce a flashback-IN-a-flashback (got that?) about Bruce’s great-grandfather, who was apparently a samurai. The footage for this segment is taken from the “Invincible Super Chan” (a cult classic in its own right – wire tricks, a midget, and some guy with an abacus – yes, a true classic). Who knows what the writer was smoking when he wrote this, but if I had to guess, I would venture some of that golden triangle sticky icky icky (Thai Stick maybe?). No matter, the guy’s a B Movie genius.

Fist of Fear is a non-stop laugh fest, from Williamson’s girlfriend who insists on “making it a six-pack”, to Fred being mistaken for Harry Belafonte, to Bill Louie’s cameo as Green Hornet’s Kato (he kills a would-be rapist with shurikens!) to the special appearance of Grand Master Ron Van Clief (the Black Dragon!).

In the end, the tournament finale is fairly bland with Adolph Caesar’s final words about there being “no true successor to such a master” making all of this films slight offenses alright. I recommend you watch this film, then repent immediately by doing 5 flying eagle kata’s and 2 spinning axe kicks. Amen! Thomas DiSanto