Bruce and the Shaolin Bronzemen (1982)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2013-04-07
Summary: Brucesploitation at its most insane and best...
Filmed in the Philippines and throwing just about everything but the kitchen sink into the pot, Bruce and the Shaolin Bronzemen is in the end a wonderful example of Brucesploitation at its weirdest and finest. After doing a form in front of a waterfall, Wang Lung (Bruce Le) has evidently mastered the art of kung fu and is sent by his master to search for some hidden treasure in the Philippines. Equipped with half a silver coin, various colored tank tops and large sunglasses, Wang sets off, stopping first to utilize his kung fu skills to whack water with a stick and cook the fish that float to the top as a result. He calmly watches a girl about to be assaulted and raped, only getting involved when one of the men accidentally kicks his half-eaten fish. The girl invites him back to her place in Baguio City, promising to help Wang find Felix Santos, the man who has the clue to the silver coin. Little does Wang know that the girl is actually employed by Miss Sockie (Lita Vasquez), a half-Japanese underworld boss who is also after the treasure. Drugged and nearly stabbed, Wang escapes and continues on his way, getting in fights with Sockie’s henchmen along the way. He eventually locates Mr. Santos, but he’s been beaten to the brink of death by Sockie’s dastardly midgets. Along with Santos’s daughter Vivian, Wang goes to Manila to find Nina, the daughter of the only other person that knows where the treasure is and holder of the other half of the silver coin. Once there, Wang fights every sort of person imaginable leading up to his final showdown with Miss Sockie.

It would be unfair to go into too much detail on the exploits of Wang once he reaches Manila, but it is about as entertaining and mind-bending as you can get from Brucesploitation movie. The dialogue is horrific, the characters terribly stereotyped and offensive, the fight choreography embarrassing and the Bruce Lee mannerisms plentiful. Throw on top of that dubbing that makes Bruce Le sound like Zorro and you have an immensely entertaining film for all the wrong reasons. I generally dislike the term “so-bad-its-good,” but in this case it is absolutely true. Any film where you have a gang of shirtless, scythe-wielding little people, akward gold painted “bronzemen,” obese masseuse assassins and Bruce Le beating what seems to be half the population of Manila at a horse track is a winner. If you do not expect anything but sheer lunacy when you start this film you will not be disappointed.

Side note: This movie is often referred to as “The Treasure of Bruce Lee” which makes sense given the plot, but is entirely different from Joseph Kong’s 1979 film of the same name. Strangely enough though, 79’s Treasure of Bruce Le(e) also involves a half-Japanese woman boss searching for hidden wealth. Let’s face it, the Japanese are often not the most beloved characters in Chinese films.

7/10
Reviewer Score: 7