ENTER THE CLONES OF BRUCE
When Bruce Lee died in 1974 at the peak of his superstardom, he had completed only four feature films. But within hours of his funeral, Hong Kong movie studios began to produce hundreds of unauthorized biopics, sequels, prequels, spin-offs, and rip-offs starring a competing series of Lee lookalikes (Bruce Le, Bruce Lai, Bruce Liang, etc). Over the next decade, fueled by both deception and demand, ‘Bruceploitation’ would become a staple of global cinema, feeding a martial arts appetite that was fueled by the legend of Bruce Lee and the rise of grindhouse theaters, genres like Blaxploitation, Giallo, and martial arts action. This phenomenon also hit Hawai‘i via Chinatown theaters and “Kung Fu Theater” on late-night TV (a staple of ‘80s KITV). Director David Gregory–who explored cinema’s transgressive edges in his award-winning documentaries LOST SOUL and BLOOD & FLESH–now examines this uniquely ‘70s phenomenon via interviews with the performers, producers, directors, and distributors– and with copious clips from the films themselves–that for the first time reveals one of the most bizarre genres in movie history.