Fantastic Fest 2023: ENTER THE CLONES OF BRUCE

At this year’s festival, I only watched one documentary feature. Enter The Clones of Bruce caught my eye because, after reading the title, I knew what this film is about. During the 1960s and early 1970s, Bruce Lee significantly impacted martial arts, kung fu cinema, and television. However, before he could genuinely attain superstar status, his life was cut too short and too soon.

Still, his impact on international pop culture was undeniable, and his untimely demise left his fans voraciously craving more. Enter the Bruce Lee clones! In hopes of capitalizing on Lee’s success and the desire to fuel the cravings for more Bruce, movie producers worldwide searched for the next Bruce Lee. Filling that void was impossible. However, some lower-budget studios were willing to settle for even cheap knock-offs.

Directed by David Gregory, Enter The Clones of Bruce profiles several of Lee’s imitators. Featuring enlightening and insightful interviews with Bruce Li, Bruce Le, Dragon Lee, Bruce Liang, and others involved in the making of their movies, the intriguing and entertaining documentary offers audiences the opportunity to hear the personal stories of these real people who based their movie careers as Bruce Lee “replacements.”

As a kid, I grew up watching some of these martial arts actors/stunt performers in their sometimes laughable but always entertaining kung fu movies. This reason is why I was attracted to this movie and also why I enjoyed it so much. I highly recommend that anyone who has watched these actors and their films check out this fun and fascinating documentary whenever it gets released.

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