Release Date(s)1976 (March 27, 2018)
Studio(s)United Cine-Production Enterprises (VCI Entertainment)
- Film/Program Grade: C
- Video Grade: C+
- Audio Grade: A-
- Extras Grade: D
When legendary iconic martial artist actor Bruce Lee passed away, his films were still quite profitable in the U.S. Because of this, a person who resembled him, Huang Jian Long, a martial arts actor who later changed his name to Wong Kin Lung and then again to Bruce Le, was utilized to help increase the size of the box office. As Bruce Le, he appeared in several low budget Asian exploitation films during the 1970s and 1980s. His most well-known films were his Bruce Lee tribute films, affectionately referred to as the Bruceploitation genre. Bruce’s Deadly Fingers (AKA Lung men bei chi), is one of several of those films.
After a group of vicious gangsters kidnap Bruce Wong’s (Bruce Le's) ex-girlfriend, he, along with his friends, set out to save her while simultaneously searching for The Kung Fu Finger Book, which contains techniques for killing people simply by using their fingers. Along their journey, there is an endless amount of fighting between Wong, his friends, and the various gang members.
Perhaps low on ideas in order to have the film reach 90 minutes, Bruce's Deadly Fingers is overly long and disjointed. Martial arts films can be fun, but here many of the fight scenes are clumsy and tend to go on and on. At other times, characters tend to do little else but sit around, saying and doing nothing. The film is also hampered by poor English dubbing, terrible editing, and an incoherent storyline. New characters are suddenly introduced out of nowhere without any idea who they are, what their motives are, or what their purpose is to begin with. On the plus side, the film adds a little spice with some surprisingly risqué scenes, including one involving a snake between a woman's legs during her torture, a rape scene, and some graphic gore when Bruce Wong’s titular finger techniques are put to use.
VCI Entertainment has managed to deliver an unlikely Blu-ray release for the film. As it says on the rear artwork, it has been given a “new 2K transfer from an original 35mm film negative.” While there are some areas in the film that have a sharp, vivid appearance, there are plenty of others where the image is lackluster. Many of these scenes have a faded look to them and are dominated by a greenish hue. There are also vertical lines on the right hand side, giving the movie a grindhouse kind of look (which some viewers may actually prefer for this kind of film). The image does retain film grain, but only during the most attractive moments of the presentation. Characters tend to look waxy, suggesting that some DNR has been applied. In the audio department, an English 2.0 LPCM track is provided. It's crisp and clear with effective dialogue, score, and sound effects. Since this is a dubbed presentation, sync is often a bit loose; outside of that, everything sounds well-balanced. There are also optional English subtitles as well.
Bonus materials include an audio commentary with filmmaker Michael Worth, who provides a great deal of insight into the film; a set of deleted scenes which go back and forth between Chinese and German dialogue (English subtitles are provided); a set of Bruceploitation trailers; the film's theatrical trailer; a photo gallery; and an amusing feature called Bad Kung Fu Dubs.
Bruce’s Deadly Fingers is a pretty wacky film. While it might not be the best example of high definition, the fact that it is at least now available on Blu-ray with some solid extras for fans to enjoy, makes it worth the effort.
– David Steigman