Friday, March 27, 2009

Review of "Fist of Fear, Touch of Death" (1980)

Fist of Fear, Touch of Death (1980)

Lifetime Membership to the Worst-Movie-Ever Club.

It has been quite a while (more than 6 months) since I posted my last review. Do not take this to mean I have given up on movies. I have seen many since then and hopefully will write about them soon, but for now let's handle what is upon us.

Ron van Clief??

Fist of Fear, Touch of Death is a epic movie in the genre that exploited the consumer desire after the death of Bruce Lee. In the vernacular, this is a Bruce-ploitation movie. I have seen a few of these, with most bordering on the ridiculous and having little to do with Bruce Lee (except for the use of his name, image, words, etc). Some are enjoyable on that ridiculous level, but most are unwatchable. FoF,ToD is epic in the scale at which it seemingly exhumes and defecates on Bruce's image. I can safely add this alongside Orgy of the Dead, as the two worst movies I have ever witnessed.

I don't know how to start. This movie is a multi-leveled disaster. On one level it tries to fake investigative journalism surrounding the "theory" of the pressure point death spot, a.k.a. Touch of Death, and whether or not it was the "secret" cause of Bruce's death. This is mostly done through the narration/"interviews" of NY actor Adolph Caesar (who most will remember for his role in Club Paradise).

Hey. You're not Sidney Poitier!!

Other levels include staged martial arts exhibitions by Ron Van Clief, Bill Louie and Aaron Banks, all in tribute (of course). The Hammer, Fred Williamson, shows up as himself for no apparent reason as well. Yes I know he was one of Bruce's students, but that doesn't explain his purpose in this movie. Add another level, by showing two different movies and somehow linking them up. The first movie being an early, early, early black & white Bruce movie that resembles the Chinese version of Leave it to Beaver. That is somehow linked to a color, period-piece martial arts movie that does not star Bruce. The cherry topping to this turd cake are the dubbings, especially Bruce's martial arts fortune cookie-like sayings. It isn't even Bruce Lee's voice, it's much worse.

I AM Jasper Milktoast!!

Others have commented that even though this movie is atrocious, it still maintains a ridiculous humor. Sadly, I searched for any spark of humor, but was met with a dull, boring pain instead. The production value just screams of a VHS copy of someone's home video of their trip to New York being found in a dumpster and edited by one coming out of a weekend of chasing the dragon.

All those who commented that they enjoyed this, did recommend not watching this by oneself. All I can say is that any fun derived from watching this with others, is laughing at your "friends" as they writhe around on the floor in agony. If Mel Gibson made a biography film based on Bruce Lee in a similar manner to the Passion of the Christ, this would be it, because you will feel approximately the same amount of pain that Bruce would have felt in death. Skip it. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Turdenstein approaches:

The rest of the screen shots are here.

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