Bruce Lee the Invincible (1978)

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Bruce Lee clone Bruce Li (Ho Chung-Tao) and “the Headcrusher” Chan Sing star in this action packed that whose notoriety is the appearance of kung fu fighting gorillas!

Cheung Li-Kung is a rogue student of Shaolin who plots to kill a local businessman. However, he is stopped by Master Fok and his star student Yu Fong. When Cheung tries to resist Fok and Yu Fong, Cheung is ultimately stopped by their master. Cheung makes a promise to go to Malaysia to start a new life and not cause trouble. Anyone who has seen these type of film know that is not what he is planning to do.

Cheung does arrive in Malaysia. However, he is up to no good. He runs a local casino where he plans to rip off the local migrant workers. Cheung also plans to kidnap Wai Sin, the girlfriend of Shu San. What doesn’t help is that Shu San is a student of Master Fok, who has learned of Cheung’s actions. Fok and Yu Fong head to Malaysia to help Shu San rescue Wai Sin and put an end to Cheung’s criminal activities. However, they learn there are many obstacles that stand in their way.

While the film is titled Bruce Lee the Invincible, there is not one but two true stars to the film. One, of course, is Bruce Li. Interestingly enough, the opening credits lists Li under his real name of Ho Chung-Dao. The other is Chan Sing, one of the veteran powerhouses of 1970’s Hong Kong action cinema perhaps best known at the time for his hulking figure and tenacity to play usually the hero with some top villain roles as well. Li and Chan actually make a pretty decent student-teacher duo here as they team up with Cheung Nik to take on a former student played by the ever popular Michael Chan Wai-Man.

Chan, a former boxing and kickboxing champion, gives a great villain performance as renegade Cheung Li-Kung. He plans to both rip off the local migrant workers in Malaysia through his casino, but with the help of some local barbarians and bandits, become a virtual crime lord in the area. The barbarians and local thugs are played by the likes of a young Eric Tsang, Fung Hark-On, Peter Chan Lung, and in a bold move, the legendary Chin Tsi-Ang as a nanny who abuses Wai Yin until her cousin rescues her.

Wong Mei and Cheung Nik handled the fight sequences here. The duo make the hulking Chan Sing look good with his karate skills. Ho Chung-Tao or Bruce Li always shines with his skills, even doing some intricate leg holding when he exposes the secret of the casino in loaded dice. Cheung Nik looks like he might have done his own fights and showcase his impressive spinning kicks. However, the real highlight of the film involves Chan and Li taking on two gorillas who are skilled in kung fu. It is obvious that the gorillas were actually stuntmen complete with cheesy kill effects.

Nevertheless, Bruce Lee the Invincible is a pretty decent Bruce Lee clone flick. While Bruce Li continues to impress in the action department, the fight choreographers make good use of the rest of the cast. The fight scene pitting Chan Sing and Li against the gorillas is definitely a cult fight fan’s dream.

WFG RATING: C

A Wuzhou Film Co. and Hua Hai Cinema Co. Production. Director: Law Kei. Producers: C.P. Keung and C.Y. Yang. Writer: C.Y. Yang. Editing: Tony Chow.

Cast: Chan Sing, Ho Chung-Tao, Cheung Nik, Michael Chan, Chan Wai-Ying, Fung Hark-On, Lam Yeung-Yeung, San Kuai, Bolo Yeung, Wong Mei, Mars, Eric Tsang, Sammy Lau, Chan Lung, Chung Fat, Chin Tsi-Ang.

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