Bruce Li stars in one of the more baffling entries of Brucesploitation, the long rich tradition of cheap cash in movies after Bruce Lee’s untimely death. Although the biggest icon of martial arts cinema, Bruce Lee only really starred in four features (we don’t include Game of Death, which apart from the classic fight with Kareem Abdul Jabaar, Bruce Lee was played by a look-alike wearing a full-face motorcycle helmet). Bruce passed away a month before the release of Enter the Dragon and the world clamored for more. BRUCE LEE VS. SUPERMAN is certainly one of the strangest.
Here’s the basic premise:
An aging Superman is called out of retirement by Hong Kong triad gansters to kidnap a scientist who has solved the global food shortage crisis - he invented a process to convert petroleum into food. Superman is apparently desperate, as he agrees to this caper in exchange for ““money, plenty of girls and booze.” The authorities seek the help of the Green Hornet, so they call him at his fortress. Alas, Green Hornet is off on another case, but his trusty sidekick Kato (Bruce Li) picks up the phone. Instead of just tackling the case himself he refers the police to his friend, a martial arts whiz, named Carter (also played by Bruce Li). Carter looks, dresses, acts, and makes the same heat-of-action moans as Bruce Lee. Carter takes the case, grabs a pair of yellow “Game of Death” nunchucks and ultimately, the final showdown is set-up: Bruce Lee Vs. Superman.
The movie isn’t good in the traditional sense, but boy is it a fascinating time-capsule of a wacky, wonderful era of cheap, cash-grab, gonzo, exploitation filmmaking.