Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bruce The Super Hero (1979)

1979 - Bruce The Super Hero (Dragon Films Company/Dragon Films International)

[A Hong Kong production filmed in the Philippines, also released as “Super Hero” and “Bruce The Superhero”; released on French VHS as “Contrat Pour La Mort”]

Director/Producer/Action Director Bruce Le Writer Poon Fan Executive Producer Dick Randall Supervising Producer/Dubbing Supervisor Cheng Leung On Music/Sound Effects Lawrence Chan Cinematography Ho Hak Wai Editor Robert Choi Production Manager Chan Chun Man Planners Lawrence Chan, Ho Hak Wai

Cast Bruce Le (Bruce Cheng), Lito Lapid (Ramon "Rocky" Robledo), Azenith Briones (Marlena Martinez, aka Agent Platinum), Kong To (Mr Kong, also referred to as Mr Kwong), Yang Sze [aka Bolo Yeung] (First Expert: Peter Sze aka Bullkiller), “Chai Ching Tao”/Tao Chang (Second Expert), [uncredited] Tsing Tong Tsai (Mr Lee - also referred to as Mr Ming), Subas Herrero (Martel), Mike Cohen (Don Emicio), Eddie Nicart (Aircraft Hanger Thug), Romy Nario (Failed Assassin), Ernie Ortega (Pole Master)

Review from the 10K Bullets website:

Bruce Chang (Bruce Le) goes to the Philippines after he hears the news of his sister’s death. She was in possession of a Japanese sword that contained a map written to a hidden treasure. The Black Dragon Society will do anything to get that sword. Before her death Chang’s sister gave the key to the safety deposit box where the sword is hidden to a boxer named Rocky Roblado (Lito Lapid). The Black Dragon Society kills Rocky’s father which lead to Rocky joining forces with Chang to find the gold.

There is plenty of action through out and in one scene Bruce Le comes out of the bathroom wearing the trademark yellow jumpsuit. Bruce Le and Lito Lapid make a dynamic duo that rivals Crocket and Tubbs. This film at times is all over the place with many situations being played more for laughs then seriously. Bruce the Super Hero is Bruce Le’s Citizen Kane as he wears several hats in the films production actor, action director, producer and Director. This film may not be a tour de force still it has enough laughs and action to keep things entertaining for the films full eighty eight minutes duration.

William's review from the Many Bruces website:

When his sister is murdered, Bruce Chang (Bruce Le) heads to the Philippines to find out why. It seems she was in possession of a Japanese sword that contains a map to a hidden treasure of gold. Members of the Black Dragon Society attacked her, but not before she gave the key to the safety deposit box where the sword is hidden to a local amateur boxer named Ramon "Rocky" Roblado. A United Nations Intelligence Bureau (!) agent named Marlene manages to track Rocky down and, under the guise of being a reporter, tells him the secret of the gold. After his father is murdered, Rocky teams up with Bruce to find the gold. Meanwhile, the Black Dragon Society, knowing the combination of Bruce and Rocky is a handful, brings in two high profile fighters (Bolo and Kong Do), one who had a past run-in with Bruce that left him with a broken arm and bruised ego. Bruce and Rocky eventually put two and two together and go to the safety deposit box to get the sword/map. Unfortunately, they weren't bright enough to notice they were followed and they lead the villains directly to the gold. Ohhhhh, there's gonna be some fighting!

This is a surprisingly entertaining Bruce Le vehicle. Bruce gets into plenty of fights and seems amazingly intense. While Bruce appears through out the film, Lito Lapid gets equal screen time as Rocky. He is the peanut butter to Bruce Le's jelly. The scene where the two meet is hilarious. Rocky is snooping around Bruce's house and Bruce comes out of the bathroom wearing the trademark yellow jumpsuit. "What are you doing here," he screams as they start fighting. And Lapid is a lot of fun to watch. Playing an amateur boxer, he throws jabs and punches instead of busting out kung fu. At one point in the film, he whips out a handkerchief, ties a knot in the end and starts whipping his opponent with it. Ingenuity stemming from all those towel fights he used to have in the locker room no doubt.

The deadly duo of Bolo and Kang Do is pretty cool too. Bolo is dubbed the "Bull Killer" and a flashback shows why...he kills a bull with a single blow to the head! Kang Do has a past with Bruce. During the final fight, Bruce breaks his arm again, but Kang Do comes running back, revealing his arm has turned into a cobra! Yes, his ARM TURNS INTO A SNAKE! This downright bizarre sequence came out of nowhere and had me floored.

Hardcore kung fu fans will notice this film's plot bears more than a passing resemblance to Jackie Chan's OPERATION CONDOR: ARMOR OF GOD 2. The whole chase to find WW2 gold with a key before the white bad guys do is just too familiar. Then again, maybe they both watched THE TREASURE OF SIERRA MADRE? Nah! Chan rips off Bruce at 11! But still, Chan missed the boat. His film didn't have a scene like the one here where Marlene goes to meet her boss at a restaurant for a briefing. "Order what ever you want," her boss says. "Can I have fried chicken?" she asks. Few films can lay claim to a line like that now can they?

Review from the Internet Movie Database:

'Bruce The Superhero' features Bruce Lee clone, Bruce Le, who "stars" in and directs the film. Actually, Bruce Le is mostly a supporting player in the film while a more competent Philipino lead actor/martial artist takes charge. Le, the Philipino kickboxer, and their allies must get to hidden WWII gold before the Yakuza and a bunch of different gangsters do. Bolo Yeung(of 'Enter the Dragon' fame) plays one of the gangster's lackeys. In one scene, he "fights" with a decrepit, somewhat benign ox as a stolen Jerry Goldsmith score from 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture' plays over the scene. I almost thought V'Ger was going to come down from the sky and turn Bolo into a "data pattern". This film stinks of gaudy fashions, low production values, grainy filmstock, etc. Still, there's a half-decent fight between Bruce Le and Chiang Tao(who sports a snake hand puppet). Bruce Lee clone, Bruce Le, shows little presence(as usual) in this film. I only recommend this film to hard-core martial-arts cinema fans who have the patience to endure this lackluster cheese-fest.

Review from the High Impact website:

Bruce Lee-clone Bruce Le stars, produced, and directs this HK-Filipino co-production.

When a young woman, Susan Chang is harrassed by the Black Dragons, carriage driver and amateur boxer Rocky Robledo tries to help her, but it is too later. Before she dies, she gives Rocky a key attached to a scarf. He is to give to someone named Bruce, who is actually Susan's brother from Hong Kong.

Double Lightning gang boss Kong meets with Black Dragon Boss Martel. They discuss not only Susan Chang's death, but also the mysterious Hilt of the Samurai, which contains a map that leads to a fortune in treasure. Meanwhile, Bruce has arrives to the Philippines and with the help of his uncle, he begins to investigate the death of his sister. From the moment he steps off the plane, trouble already comes in the form of the Black Dragons.

The United Nations Intelligence Office and Interpol are joining forces to investigate the Black Dragons and the Double Lightning gang. They know that Rocky tries to help Susan the night of her murder and that Bruce has arrived to begin looking into her death. To investigate Rocky, sexy agent Marlena is to go undercover as a news reporter for a sports magazine. Soon, Rocky gets into danger as the Black Dragons have killed his father and even attempted a hit on him. When both fails, Rocky is to meet someone. He gets in a local apartment and finds Bruce. Mistaken for a robber, Bruce and Rocky fight, only to have Bruce's uncle break up the meleƩ. The two properly meet.

Martel hires two men, Peter Sze and the Bullkiller. Peter is an arch rival of Bruce's, who was defeated by Bruce a long time ago. For Peter, it's not about the money, but vengeance. Meanwhile, Rocky and Marlena are kidnapped only to be saved by a young woman who is actually an Interpol agent infiltrating the Black Dragons. With the help of Bruce, the group find that the key Susan gave Rocky is the key to a safety deposit box that has the Hilt of the Samurai. The group decides to look for the treasure for the sake of the government. However, they have been followed by the Black Dragons and the Double Lightning as well as other factions who have allied with them. Now, our four heroes must fight to stop everyone in their paths.

This is a cheesy HK-Filipino co-production that has Bruce Le, probably one of two Bruce-alikes that actually likes to think he is Bruce when fighting on-screen. Bruce doesn't really pull off any Bruce moves until the ending, but tehre were flaws in the finale. In his fight against Chiang Tao, he is seen with 3 scratches on his stomach. However, after that, the marks are gone!!! And even more cheesy, Chiang leaves but returns with a hand looking like a snake. The supporting cast are comprised of some Hong Kong stars and Filipino stars. Lito Lapid is very fast with his hands. Azenith Briones looks like Bluto from Popeye and does no fighting at all. Bolo Yeung has a short but sweet fight against Le. The fights are all to go for here, but at times, they seemed to flawed. A cheesy chop socky film!!!

The Bottom Line: Bruce the Superhero is a film that defines the word "cheesy". Fights seemed flaw at times, Bruce Le acting like Bruce, and a very cheesy snake hand to top it off. Then again, cheesy isn't all that bad.

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