HEAD KICKING BRICK BREAKING MAYHEM!
This is the first in-depth look at movies that riff on tropes associated with Bruce Lee and that sometimes transformed this actor into a mythical superman.
The period with the greatest cluster of Brucesploitaton productions lasted less than a decade from the mid-seventies to the early-eighties, but the genre spluttered on into the twenty-first century; and although it didn’t exist as a category before Bruce Lee’s death, there are several films that pre-date the Little Dragon’s demise that clearly belong to it. While death added another dimension to Bruce Lee’s celebrity status, he was already a huge star in South East Asia before he passed away; so cynical movie producers did not need to wait for his death to exploit popular interest in Lee – even if the term Brucesploitation had yet to be coined.
Within Brucesploitation actors who copy and clone Bruce Lee make up one strand of the subgenre, but their importance can and has been over-stated. Much of the writing about Brucesploitation is fan and internet based, and many of those producing this discourse make little attempt to explain why they insist certain films belong to the genre. Too many fans write as if genre is somehow natural, rather than created and shaped both through bald assertion and by more critical discussion and thinking. It is all too common to find any martial arts film featuring certain actors and themes, or with Bruce in the title, being accepted as Brucesploitation without any debate around the issue.
This book systematically explores the genre and controversially takes a close look at which flicks really should be seen as belonging to it.