Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
Game of Death (1978)

When you consider that Bruce Lee did not regard "Way of the Dragon" to be fit for international distribution, we can only wonder at what he would have made of the cut-and-paste job that is "Game of Death".

Lee had started work on the film, only to be offered the chance to make "Enter the Dragon". He put "Game of Death" on hold but sadly never completed it as he died after finishing "Enter the Dragon". In 1978, new footage using three Bruce Lee look-a-likes was shot to accompany the few scenes Lee had completed - a shameless attempt to create a feature-length movie.

The result is, at times, nothing short of ludicrous but there are plenty of enjoyable moments: the standard of the choreography is excellent, and the final 20 minutes - which are almost all of Bruce fighting - are well worth holding out for.

Lee plays Billy Lo, a famous movie star who has to fake his death in order to exact revenge on a gang of criminals out to ruin his career. Quite incredibly, the producers used footage from Lee's actual funeral for Lo's funeral scenes!

Moral objections aside (of which there are a good few), the trick allows the character of Billy to reach the tower of death where, on each level, he must fight a specialist in various fighting arts. This is where we get to see Bruce in action and it's exciting stuff. The new DVD release contains all the fights in the correct order, including the previously banned scene with Dan Inosanto.

The addition of a John Barry score (often similar to his music for "The Specialist"), the action direction of the new scenes by Sammo Hung, combined with the international thriller feel that director Robert Clouse adds, makes this a highly entertaining if somewhat dubious pleasure.

End Credits

Director: Robert Clouse, Bruce Lee, Sammo Hung

Writer: Jan Spears, Bruce Lee

Stars: Bruce Lee, Kim Tai Jong, Gig Young, Hugh O'Brian, Dean Jagger, Chuck Norris, Colleen Camp, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dan Inosanto, Sammo Hung

Genre: Martial Arts

Length: 96 minutes

Cinema: 1978

DVD: 1 October 2001

VHS: 1 October 2001

Country: Hong Kong/USA

Cinema Search

Where can I see this film?

New Releases