Brucesploitation classic “Bruce’s Deadly Fingers” features relentlessly endless kung fu fighting

By on March 4, 2019

If you’re looking for relentlessly endless kung fu fighting, and another excellent chopsocky slice of “Bruceploitation,” Night Flight’s got you covered with Bruce’s Deadly Fingers (original title: Lung men bei chi/龍門秘指, also released as The Young Dragon and Bruce’s Fingers), now streaming in our Wu Tang Collection on Night Flight Plus.

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The 1976 film — which previously aired on the USA Network’s Kung Fu Theater– stars martial arts star “Bruce Le,” born Kin Lung Huang on June 5, 1950, in Myanmar (Burma).

We’ve also seen Lǚ Xiǎolóng, Huang Jian Long, Huange Hsiao Lung, Ho Chung Tao, and Wong Kin Lung listed as his original birth name and/or his various on-screen aliases.

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Le used “Bruce Le” for his many onscreen appearances in inexpensively-produced Brucesploitation titles.

These were kung fu features — typically exploiting Bruce Lee’s name in the title and meant as tributes — which capitalize don the vacuum left in the worldwide film market with Lee’s sudden death in 1973.

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Of all the actors who imitated or paid tribute to Bruce Lee onscreen, Bruce Le is considered the best, and his first Brucesploitation films was Bruce’s Deadly Fingers.

Here Le plays “Huang Hsao Lung”/”Bruce Wong,” who returns from the U.S. to Hong Kong after receiving a letter begging him to track down The Kung Fu Finger-Book.

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Le needs to find the book — an instructional manual reportedly written by Bruce Lee shortly before his unexpected death, containing lethal techniques a martial arts master can perform with just one finger — before it falls into the wrong hands.

Kung fu gangster “Lee Hung” (Lo Lieh, or maybe Lieh Lo) also wants the book. That’s Hung fighting with with an Interpol Agent (Michael Chan) in the opening scene of the movie.

Hung later recruits a partner (Nick Cheung) and together they spend the rest of the movie trying to take down Hung and his thug buddies.

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Lee Hung and his gang are blocked at every turn by Bruce Le, who sometimes appears onscreen with a cereal bowl haircut, wearing colorful track suits and oversized sunglasses and eye-wear just like his idol.

There’s another storyline going on here where a loser gambler in debt to a gangster pushes his fiancée into taking a job at brothel and becoming a prostitute to help pay off his gambling debts.

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She refuses, but the old mobster apparently likes the idea and forces her to do it against her will anyway.

Along the way we learn that the gambler’s girl is actually Bruce Le’s sister (“Hsiao Chu”) and he needs to rescue her, as well as his own love interest, his lovely ex-girlfriend “Mina” — played by Nora Miao, who actually appeared in several of the real Bruce Lee’s movies — because she knows who has the infamous finger book.

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There are bizarre interludes along the way like a disco-driven training montage sequence with uncredited blowup doll cameos, a hapless thug in a billiard club who gets an eight ball shot right into his mouth, and a poor girl being teased by a baby lizard before its inserted into her vagina, a variant on the infamous reptilian rape “snake torture.”

We should also mention that there’s some slightly NSFW nudity here, including a girl being gangraped inside a dangerously unsafe ring of fire, and, hey, just for laughs, we saw some rather silly scenes too!

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Honestly, at times it’s pretty difficult to make much sense of this mostly-nonsensical plot.

The mangled, English-dubbed dialogue is a hoot, though, but just know that the main focus here for nearly all of its ninety minutes is the incredibly-choreographed martial arts mayhem.

The last twenty minutes leads to an ending you won’t soon forget (don’t close your eyes!).

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Bruce’s Deadly Fingers was directed by actor-turned-director Joseph Hong, who — sometimes using various aliases himself — would go on to direct a number of additional Brucesploitation films, including Return of Bruce (1977, as “Kong Hung”), Bruce And The Shaolin Bronzemen (1977, as “Joseph Velasco”), Enter the Game of Death (1978), My Name Called Bruce (1978, as “Joseph Velasco), and The Clones of Bruce Lee (1980).

Read more about Bruce’s Deadly Fingers below.

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We should probably point out that the real Bruce Lee did not really write a book like the one at the center of Bruce’s Deadly Fingers‘s plot.

As plot devices go it’s actually pretty typical of the kinds of things you see in Brucesploitation flicks, which usually involve something mysterious that the real Bruce Lee is reported to have done just before his death.

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Nora Miao and the real Bruce Lee

More recently, Bruce Le — who originally worked under contract for the Shaw Brothers, appearing in the the science fiction opus Infra-Man — has done stunt work on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3.

Bruce’s Deadly Fingers also stars James Nam, Cheung Lik, Chan Wai Man, Kong Do, Chu Chi Ling, and Leung Siu Wa.

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For the first time ever, you can now see Bruce’s Deadly Fingers in Widescreen (2:35:1 aspect ratio), 1080p Hi-Def, produced from a new 2K scan from the 35mm original negative.

We should also mention that the film’s score at times sound like the composer listened to a lot of spaghetti western and Blaxploitation soundtracks.

We believe that’s Pink Floyd‘s Dark Side of the Moon (particularly the track “Time”) being sampled a few times during the film too, no doubt without the band’s record label’s permission.

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Watch Bruce’s Deadly Fingers and other great Kung fu classics in Night Flight’s Wu Tang Collection on Night Flight Plus.

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.