Kung Fu Fever (1979)

Posted in Reviews by - June 01, 2021
Kung Fu Fever (1979)

A butchered South Korean Bruceploitation flick which exists in a few different versions. The British dubbed cut has some great stock footage at the start featuring the real Bruce Lee talking at a press conference to promote Fist of Unicorn in June 1972, for which he had a spent a day of its production helping out his childhood buddy – and the film’s star – Unicorn Chan. The footage is doctored to make it look like Bruce is talking about his favourite student, Ricky Chen (Dragon Lee), who he endorses as a master of his ‘secret deadly finger technique’. This notion of Bruce Lee writing a book about a ‘secret deadly finger technique’ is also explored in 1976’s Bruce’s Fingers, and seems to be a running theme in the Bruceploitation sub-genre. When Lee dies (cue funeral footage), every two-bit crook from Hong Kong to Japan wants their fingers on Bruce’s finger book. Being his star pupil, Ricky is soon embroiled in the action, fending off the likes of hired killers Ron Van Clief and Tam Yan-mei, a femme fatale in biker leathers who eventually switches her allegiance to the good guys. This stretches a very thin premise almost to breaking point, saved only by a suitably hammy supporting role from Van Clief and a completely unhinged turn from Dragon Lee. He’s absolutely deranged in this, looking glorious wearing the yellow Game of Death tracksuit for no good reason, thumbing his nose furiously while cockily strutting and kicking and screaming his head off. He’s Bruce Lee on amphetamine.

AKA: Black Dragon Fever; Bruce Lee Strikes Back; Kung Fu Finger BookNever Give Up.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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