Dragon Lives Again | Varied Celluloid

Dragon Lives Again

Posted by Josh Samford On July - 22 - 2008
The Plot: Bruce Lee is not dead. Oh wait, my bad, he is dead. I just saw him alive in this movie and figured… wait a second, this is Brucesploitation! Whoops, my bad! In case you didn’t know Brucesploitation is defined as a subgenre that featured a film made in the wake of the pioneering martial artists’ death that featured a look-a-like in the lead role usually playing his brother or implying Bruce faked his death in some way. Anyhow, our film takes place in the underworld where Bruce has come to after his death. You see, when you die, you wake up looking bigtime different – as is explained by a character when another person remarks that Bruce Leong looks nothing like the real Bruce Lee; and with a fantastic explanation like that how can you dare argue the logic? So anyway, Bruce goes out into the city of Underworld Land, finds that the king is treating the people like garbage and makes it his personal mission to seek justice for them all. Something like that at least. You won’t pay attention and neither did I, you’ll instead be infatuated by how batsh** crazy this movie really is and you’re going to love every second of it!



The Review
There’s a phrase floating around the internet that I suppose most appropriately describes Dragon Lives Again, and that is WTF!? More of an abbreviation, but oh my god – Dragon Lives Again is without a doubt the most insane Brucesploitation film I have ever seen and I dare say I doubt I will ever see one quite up to this level again. Imagine if The Monster Mash was made into a live action film – but some drunk re-wrote the script to no longer feature monsters but famous film characters… and then placed it in the afterlife… and featured people who weren’t dead and never existed. My mind is literally blown sky high, as the complete and utter lack of any common sense in Dragon Lives Again completely puts an end to the chase for those films that simply make no sense. I just cannot ever imagine running into another film quite as completey out there as DLA. How many films are going to have the guts to do this? Who would be crazy enough to try? Why would you raise a large amount of money to even attempt it? FOR SCIENCE! That’s the only answer, to see just how cooky you can get. Maybe not, maybe it was the more likely scenario of several producers getting together and trying to pack as many elements into one script as possible in order to maximize their return. I don’t know if the film did well in its native land (I doubt it) but my oh my, what a classic piece of exploitation this turned out to be. Going into The Clones of Bruce Lee – I was expecting something that would blow away all others in terms of sheer weirdness. I mean, it was a flick called The Clones of Bruce Lee! However, after that fairly ordinary scifi kung fu crossover, I find within this fairly ordinarily named piece of Brucesploitation schlock everything I had ever hoped for in the genre. You will not believe your eyes once this film starts, and your life will never be the same again.

From the very opening sequence, you know this one is going to be a weird one. Instead of the usual Kung Fu demonstration of most flicks, we get Bruce Leong here lating on all of his enemies from the film. What kind of enemies might he face? This is where it gets interesting: Emanuelle (from the European sexsploitation films), Zatoichi, James Bond, Clint Eastwood (played by a very Chinese man), The Priest from the Excorcist and Dracula. Along the way to help Bruce is Popeye the Sailor Man and The One Armed Swordsman (from the very popular series) as well as some bum-looking character that I couldn’t quite place (post a comment in this review and let me know!). Are you getting the picture that this flick is insane yet? No? Well, how about this being one of the most absurdly offensive Brucesploitation flicks in terms of their representation of Bruce? I can’t speak for everyone else, but I personally found Bruce’s character to be kind of a jerk in the film. Going from one scene to the next all but walking on the set and shouting “F*** YOU! I’m Bruce Lee!” immediately before jumpkicking someone in the chest. It may not be that bad, but Bruce is shown to be arrogant, cocky and unfortunately more powerful than anyone else on this underworld planet. I mean, the guy has POSTERS of himself plastered all over his wall! Then there is the fight sequence that starts a little concept of naming fighting styles; with Zatoichi coming up with names usually as witty as “Blind Man Finds the Target!” – and Bruce, not to be outdone, comes up with “Fists of Fury”, “Enter the Dragon”, “Return of the Dragon”, “Game of Death” and the icing on the cake: “Fingers of Fury!”. Holy mother of god. Apparently, even in death Bruce is absolutely infatuated with himself and often dresses as his old film/television characters for no apparent reason. A favorite sequence of mine involved Bruce dressing like his famous character of Kato from The Green Hornet TV show – while fighting Dracula in a rock quarry (that pretty much EVERY SINGLE FIGHT seems to take place in, no matter where the scuffle starts, it will end up there) and taking on the horde of ninjas with skeleton patterns screen printed on their uniforms. Did I mention Bruce is fighting DRACULA in the middle of the DAYLIGHT? Do WHAT now!? I honestly couldn’t make this up people, my imagination isn’t so vivid. This is all just the beginning though folks, I haven’t even mentioned that Bruce shows up in the underworld with what apears to be a raging boner but only turns out to be his nunchucks – which play a prominent role in the film. Also, Bruce Leong looks absolutely NOTHING like Bruce Lee. He does however have a stunning resemblance to a smaller Bolo Yeong. Oh, and Bruce apparently knows a style where he can grow a third leg! The Third Leg of Bruce! Just… wow!

The Conclusion
If you’re up for a b-movie, you need to see this. You cannot have more fun while watching a movie, I just cannot fathom it.getting much better than this. Trust me, at this point you shoudl know whether this film is going to be for your or not. If you’re shaking your head, thinking that I am a complete moron and a threat to all things great in cinema – chances are; you might not dig on Dragon Lives Again. Might not be your thing. If by chance you were sold like a mofo by the time I mentioned Emanuelle and Popeye the Sailor Man; then saddle up partner – it’s just as crazy as you could like and then some! If you’re a drinking man, bring along a cold six. If you’re not, like me, grab some gatorade and prepare to spew it out your nose. This is a majestic experience that simply has to be seen to be believed.





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Varied Celluloid is a film website intent on delivering views on movies from all genres. Started in 2003, the website has been steadfast in its goal and features a database of over 500 lengthy reviews. If you would like to contact us about writing for the website or sending screeners, please visit the about page located here.

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