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Fist of Fear, Touch of Death
Fist of Fear Touch of Death
Actors: Bruce Lee, Fred Williamson, Ron Van Clief, Adolph Caesar, Aaron Banks
Director: Matthew Mallinson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
R     2001     1hr 22min

Mayhem reigns where martial arts experts meet! Before the Ultimate Fighting Championships became popular, this martial arts tournament was the biggest and baddest sport around. Filmed at the famous Madison Square Garden, t...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Bruce Lee, Fred Williamson, Ron Van Clief, Adolph Caesar, Aaron Banks
Director: Matthew Mallinson
Creators: John Hazard, Matthew Mallinson, Jeffrey D. Brown, Terry Levene, Ron Harvey
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
Sub-Genres: Bruce Lee, Fred Williamson, Drama
Studio: Bci / Eclipse
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 04/24/2001
Original Release Date: 01/01/1980
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1980
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 1hr 22min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

1 star or 5? How can I choose? I must average them out....
Shantell Powell | Kitchener, ON, Canada | 03/11/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I rented The Dragon and the Cobra completely unaware of what I was getting into. The cover makes it look like just another Bruce Lee movie, and the description on the box is equally misleading. This is, by a very wide margin, the absolute worst movie of its genre I have ever seen. In fact, if Ed Wood directed martial arts flicks, this would have been his masterpiece. If ever a movie screamed out to be showcased on Mystery Science Theatre 3000, this is the one. The flaws/laughs are countless, but I'll list a few, anyhow:- The sound is terrible. The dialogue is often inaudible, but never mind! It's quite good fun to make up your own dialogue.
- During a demonstration karate match, a contender plucks out the eyeballs of his opponent, and then, in a stunning display of showmanship, tosses them out to the audience with bizarre sound effects.
- Bruce Lee, despite being Chinese, is touted as having come from a long line of Japanese Samurai fighters.
- The terms "kung fu" and "karate" are used interchangeably.
- Footage supposedly demonstrating Bruce Lee's magnificent stage presence is actually a one-second clip of an old man jumping off a roof.
- Jogging women with torpedo bras are prime candidates for rape and rescue.
- Bruce Lee's "grandfather" fought enormous groups of opponents in a most spectacular fashion. He hurls people into trees (well, the video just showed reverse footage of people jumping out of trees), simultaneously skewers several people with a handful of thrown arrows, and he also fights a midget with a big hat and a black, Chinese man wielding an even bigger abacus.
- Bruce Lee's growing-up footage is actually scenes from an early Chinese soap opera with ridiculous overdubbed dialogue.
- When the bad guys aren't actually fighting with the good guys, they try to look busy by running around aimlessly, doing somersaults and bad jumps. Sometimes they fall down for no apparent reason.
- Bill Louie pretends to be Kato in a non sequiter scene.
- Much ado is made of the "touch of death," the technique apparently used to murder Bruce Lee. When practiced with a human, the touch of death results in the victim's death three weeks later. When practiced with a board, the victim breaks in half on contact.
- The interviews between Aaron Banks and Bruce Lee are obviously cobbled together from several unrelated interviews. The result is disjointed, confusing, and hilarious.I've only seen one thing that's tackier than this relating to Bruce Lee, and that would be Game of Death where Bruce Lee's actual funeral footage was used as a plot device. Yeah, Bruce's character fakes his own death, and the film makers use the open casket funeral as part of the movie. Tacky, tacky, tacky!Like I said, Ed Wood would have been proud...."
This is not a Bruce Lee movie
kfdws | Phoenix, Arizona | 03/25/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)

"This movie takes place after Bruce Lee's Death. The plot of the movie is that the top martial artists of the world are going to fight for his title. The only catch is that in only shows maybe three fight scenes in the whole movie and none of them are Bruce Lee. It shows Bruce Lee's head a couple times with someone trying to portray his voice. The movie was very low budget, even for its time. I purchased a DVD frisbee for 6.99+s/h. Don't make the same mistake I did."
Bruceploitation at its unforgivable worst
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 10/14/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Where oh where do I even begin? Fist of Fear, Touch of Death (also known as The Dragon and the Cobra) has to be the worst, most insulting Bruce Lee exploitation film of all time. I don't know what the filmmakers were thinking on this one; the only thing I can come up with is to think these guys were trying to invoke the spirit of Bruce Lee by insulting his memory to such hellish proportions that he would have to come back from the grave and make them pay for the wrong they have done. Just watching this cinematic monstrosity makes me feel dirty. It is impossible to explain this "film." Oh, but there is so much to say. The movie opens at Madison Square Gardens on the night of the big 1979 karate championships. Thanks to promoter Aaron Banks, the winner of the big welter-weight fight is to be acclaimed as Bruce Lee's successor. Yes, you heard me right. First, though, Aaron Banks has to open a can of worms in an interview with our narrator of events, the agonizingly annoying Adolph Caesar. According to Banks, Bruce was killed by the mythical touch of death, in which such a powerful energy is forced into the victim's body that he drops dead three or four weeks later. How does he know? Well, his good friend Bruce was showing him the technique in the days before his premature death. This leads Caesar to ask the "obvious" question: will the new Bruce Lee successor also die from the touch of death? Next we get to meet a few actual martial artists: including Ron Van Clief and Fred "the Hammer" Williamson (who keeps being mistaken for Harry Belafonte - I'm not making this up), although they don't actually fight. While all of this is going on, we are assaulted with random video clips of Bruce Lee interviews; these feature someone else's words inserted over Bruce's actual words. At one point, they have Bruce singing the praises of Aaron Banks, which really got my dander up. There is also a wee bit of fighting action in the ring early on, capped off by the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen-Bill Louie rips both of his opponents eyes out and, being the great sportsman that he is, tosses them into the audience. Sadly, this is by far the highlight of this whole experience. Much worse is yet to come.Despite the fact that there is no first half, we are assaulted by a halftime show that lasts longer than the Orange Bowl halftime show. This is where the real insults to Bruce Lee are to be found. We watch film footage supposedly showing an 18-year-old Bruce Lee struggling to counter his parents' low opinion of karate and eventually leaving home. Bruce loves karate so much, we are told, because his great-great-grandfather was the greatest samurai warrior China ever saw. This isn't as impressive as it sounds, given the fact that there never were any Chinese samurai - they were all Japanese. In this completely fictional (and hopelessly inaccurate) life story of Bruce, we are also forced time and again to see fake footage within the fake footage of Bruce's impossible ancestor at work. The guy is an overweight slob who just goes around beating up everyone he meets; hitting a perfect 10 on the ridiculous meter, this old guy flies through the air with the greatest of ease and has a special talent of throwing his opponents up into trees (hmm, if I didn't know better, I might think that we're just seeing reversed video clips of guys jumping out of trees). Some foolish curse is supposedly associated with the old man to further make the bastardized history of Bruce Lee more mysterious. Finally, we get to the "main event," only to learn that Bruce Lee's "successor" will be one of two completely unknown kickboxers, one of whom apparently doesn't know he is actually allowed to kick as well as punch his opponent.I know other reviewers have covered some of these inanities, but I can't stop. There is one moment in which we are shown footage of a young Bruce Lee in his first film-what we see, though, is about a two-second clip of some old man jumping off a roof. Then we are purportedly shown a clip from The Green Hornet: it is an expletive-laced scene in which "Kato" saves two women from being pawed over and worse by a gang of cretins. Big surprise, that wasn't Bruce Lee at all; that was Bill Louie, another overweight slob of a martial artist, "recreating" the role for our supposed entertainment. This completely fictional portrayal of Bruce Lee's life is an insult that seems to cry out for retribution. My biggest fear is that someone unfamiliar with the real Bruce Lee may see this and get a hopelessly warped idea of the legend who cannot possibly rest in peace as long as a single copy of this film exists anywhere on earth. This "film" is just bloody awful. I would advise any Bruce Lee fans who watch this thing to do so in the daytime because you will be so outraged by what you see that you will not possibly be able to sleep for many hours if not days."
Bruce Lee is rolling in his grave
Robert Huggins | Suburban Philadelphia, PA United States | 07/19/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)

"After viewing "Fist of Fear, Touch of Death," the words travesty, shameful, and disgraceful, among others come to mind. Without a doubt, this has to be one of the lamest attempts at making a coherent film in modern times. Whole portions of two Asian films (one in color - a Chinese period piece, the other in black & white ? possibly of Japanese origins) are pasted together to tell the alleged ?legend? of Bruce Lee and his great grandfather. A martial arts exhibition at Madison Square Garden frames the ?story telling.? Everyone involved on this ?project,? including actors Fred Williamson and Adolph Caesar (so good in ?A Soldier?s Story?) ought to hang their heads in shame. The only reason that this ?film? could have been possibly made was a quick killing at the box office and, now, through video and DVD sales. Trust me, watching "Fist of Fear, Touch of Death" is a mind-numbing, jaw-dropping bad experience that you won?t easily forget.As bad as this film is, Brentwood Communications actually released this in the widescreen format and the quality of the print is very good for a budget release. But a good presentation does not make a bad film good. Save your money and try one of Brentwood?s other budget releases (they have the Sonny Chiba classic ?The Street Fighter?) which you can find by typing in ?Brentwood? in search engine. You have been warned."