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|Bruce vs. Bill|
POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, November 10, 2013 Share
To be fair, Lung was off to a great start after appearing in the Shaw Brothers version of Ultraman called Infra-Man (1975.) Then he was casted as a Bruce Lee look-alike in several movies that either had a) Bruce somewhere in the title or b) a variation on the 4 movies that Bruce Lee actually made, (Game of Death doesn’t count as a true movie because look-alikes were used.)
In my quest for bad entertainment, I found Bruce vs. Bill (1981,) on DVD and quickly snatched it up while preparing for the worst.
The plot in Bruce vs Bill is that two fighters are pitted against each other by a manipulative gangster who is after millions that is locked up in a safe. Bill Louie is working as a waiter who just happens to have the key to the safe. A local gang hires Bruce, Bruce Le, to go after Bill and retrieve the key. So begins a kung fu action caper that dips from awful to mildly amusing.
Some of the low points are due to the bad transfer from VHS. The top of the screen is blurred with lines that look like cheap video in the old days when you had to adjust the tracking. It appears that no one bother to correct the tracking for this horrendous transfer. However, bad video quality is only one of many problems.
Several shots were filmed so quickly that the actors are not even in focus. The cameraman didn’t even bother to set up shots so there is no sense of composition. Also, the continuity is lacking. As Bruce and Bill meet up in a forest to fight each other, Bruce asks Bill, “Don’t you think we need more room?” Magically the two fighters are transported to a beach with several other kung fu fighters and then it is all one big kung fu brawl that consists of extras weakly kicking each other along with playful slaps and punches that lack any power at all.
Now for the good points, some of the kung fu choreography is somewhat interesting but nothing spectacular that you would get from a quality Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, or 70’s era Shaw Brothers movie. The best character in the entire movie is Bruce’s talking parakeet that provides comic relief with snappy one liners. Without said parakeet, Bruce vs. Bill would be pure drudgery to endure.
For all the many faults contained in the unintentionally humorous Bruce vs. Bill, the ending is actually pretty good. Bill beats up a kung fu gangster and demands to know where his boss is. Quite naturally the low level thug refuses to speak until an enraged Bill drops the guy into a hole and then takes a shovel to fill it up. Later, the thug is buried up to his neck and he still won’t talk, Bill lights a match and sets the grass on fire. Finally the thug breaks down and it all comes out.
The end fight has some interesting death scenes and the cheesiest moment is when Bruce and Bill walk away with all the cash down a dirt road together. Bruce stops to retrieve his parakeet resting in a tree and the movie is thankfully over.
Bruce vs. Bill is designed to be watched only once. Any attempts to watch repeated viewings will only result in a sleep inducing coma. It is the DVD that if you paid $2.99 for it, as I did, that was too much. It will go in my DVD library where it will collect dust and will gladly be forgotten.
I can only recommend Bruce vs. Bill to people who are entertained by staring at a blank white for 12-hours. All movie lovers should avoid this one at all costs.
˝ of a Star only for the comical parakeet, the only character I didn’t hate.
"The Asian Aperture" is ©2013 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2013 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.
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