Bruce and Shaolin Kung Fu (1977)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2007-10-31
Summary: Bruce Le takes on the Japanese invaders!
The first in a two part entry into the Brucesploitation genre, Bruce and Shaolin Kung Fu has Ching Ling (Bruce Le) training with his master (Chan Sing) in the mountains outside Shanghai. Word gets to them that the Japanese are shutting down all the martial arts schools in the city and Ching decides to challenge one of their lieutenants. He soundly beats him to the verge of death, and is forced to flee to Korea, where he is taught "the secret of tae kwon do" by Master Po Sai Lam (James Nam), a fellow classmate of his master. He falls for Master Po's daughter (Gam Ching-Lan) and eventually must fight a band of fighters sent to Korea by the Japanese to kill him.

Bruce and Shaolin Kung Fu is typically bad, as most Brucesploitation films are. The acting is wooden and the fights are mediocre. There are some effective use of wires and ropes to enunciate the power of some strikes, but they are few and far between. They also use an interesting technique (that was later used to greater effect in Jet Li's "Romeo Must Die") of flashing to an x-ray of breaking ribs after a punch or kick. Not sure if it was used before, but it seems somewhat groundbreaking for 1978. Bolo Yeung and Kong Do are always fun to watch, but Bruce Le doesn't do much to serve the image of Bruce Lee, especially with his exaggerated howls and nose flicks. The film itself is extremely nationalistic and very anti-Japanese, leading me to believe it was a Taiwanese production. There is a very surprising ending to the film, but part 2 seeks to continue the story for those willing to whittle away another hour and a half.

On a seperate note, I'm not sure what the German title of "Der Gelbe Gorilla (The Yellow Gorilla) refers to, but I'm afraid it might be Bolo Yeung, who uses what appears to be a modified monkey style that closely resembles the movements of a gorilla. Yikes!
Reviewer Score: 4