The Clones of Bruce Lee (1980)
_“CLONES OF BRUCE LEE is the PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE of Hong Kong cinema. It’s the very definition of… sleazy exploitation. Expect to witness mad scientists bent on world domination, death rays, bronzemen, and naked women frolicking on the beach.” _—Bruce Pollard, Kung Fu Cinema
Joseph Velasco was one of the more prolific Bruce Lee cloners himself, directing no fewer than 14 Brucesploitation films including YOUNG DRAGON, RETURN OF BRUCE, BRUCE’S DEADLY FINGRS, BRUCE’S SECRET KUNG FU, MY NAME CALLED BRUCE, BRUCE’S FINGERS, ENTER THE GAME OF DEATH, TREASURE OF BRUCE LEE, BRUCE STRIKES BACK, BRUCE LEE THE HUMAN BEAST, BRUCE’S SECRET KUNG FU, BRUCE AND THE SHAOLIN BRONZEMEN, BRUCE LEE REVENGE, and, well, you get the idea.
CLONES features 3 of the top Bruce imitators, the Taiwanese Bruce Le, the North Korean Dragon Lee and Hong Kong native Bruce Lai as well as a featured role by Bruce Lee’s musclebound collaborator from ENTER THE DRAGON Bolo Yeung. Another actual Bruce Lee co-star Jon T. Benn (who played the mob boss in Way of the Dragon) is cast has the titular cloner, the brilliant scientist Professor Lucas.
Here’s the setup: Bruce Lee has unexpectedly died. But the world needed Bruce Lee to fight crime! The Special Branch of Investigations quickly springs into action. Before the body is cold, Professor Lucas (Jon T. Benn) extracts cell samples and replicates three perfect adult clones of Bruce Lee. With the aid of a machine with blinking lights, the clones are trained in martial arts and are swiftly dispatched out to battle crime. Bruce Lee #1 goes undercover as an actor for a corrupt, gold-smuggling producer who plans to have him die on camera in a Brucesploitation film.
Meanwhile, Bruce Lee #2 and Bruce Lee #3 head to Thailand and join forces with Chuck (Bruce Thai), a local SBI agent who is not a clone but does have a resemblance to Bruce Lee. They have been assigned to kill Dr. Ngai, a mad scientist who is plotting to take over the world with his army of bronze automatons: men whose skin turns to metal when they are injected with Ngai’s special formula.
With not one, not two, not three but FOUR Bruce Lee imitators, CLONES OF BRUCE LEE is reverently referred to as the Mount Rushmore of Brucesploitation.
Hong Kong, Philippines
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