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29 May 2012

Enter the Dragon (1973)

There are certain films that take me back to my childhood... where I can almost smell the air and feel the sun on my face. Enter the Dragon is one of these films. I honestly couldn't tell you the first time that I saw it but I do know that it wasn't at the Pictures. More likely it was on video... on Betamax! Remember that old thing?

Freaky Mirrors
Enter the Dragon, Warner Bros 1973

Enter the Dragon was Bruce Lee's final film. Can you remember all the stories that surrounded Bruce Lee's death? I remember one that talked about him being poisoned by a rival martial arts expert who was jealous of his skills. Actually the truth is a bit sadder than that... Bruce was the victim of an unfortunate allergy to some painkillers he took for a headache! What a shit way to go!

Jim Kelly without a hair out of place
Enter the Dragon, Warner Bros 1973

Let  me rewind a bit and explain how I happened to be watching this film tonight.

Those of you with a long memory and a high tolerance for my ramblings may remember a review I wrote for a Japanese manga comic by Yusaku Hanakuma called Tokyo Zombie. That was almost a year ago. Tagged on the end I showcased a small guest review written by someone I only knew then as BrizDaz. He had an interesting take on the comic which tickled me and I just had to share it with you.

An iconic moment
Enter the Dragon, Warner Bros 1973

Fast forward to a matter of weeks ago when out of the blue Briz Daz - or Darren from Brisbane - appeared out of the internet to claim his throne. As I said to him at the time: It felt like an old friend had paid me a visit. We've batted a couple of conversations back and forth over the weeks. I've enjoyed the company. It turns out that Darren is a blogger too, and quite a prolific one at that. I don't pretend to understand everything that he blogs about, but there's usually something that piques my interest. One major theme for Darren is that of "Syncs". I'm sure Darren could explain this a lot better than me, but he's fascinated by the whole idea of synchronicity... "the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, yet are experienced as occurring together in a meaningful manner." (thanks Wikipedia).

Designer Ukulele - Enter the Dragon - "龍爭虎鬥"

I think I've got my own sync going  on here!

I created an Enter the Dragon custom ukulele design in a recent post where I mashed up a few designs inspired by a some of my favourite films. Darren mentioned that he felt that the film was a bit corny but tipped his hat to Bruce Lee. Well, I was out last week getting some new tyres on my car and while I was waiting I tried to kill some time browsing the dvds in Cash Converters. What do you reckon I found? You already know. So I bought it and tonight I watched it. It must have been 20 years since I last watched this film. I'm watching it and I'm thinking to myself: This is really like a sort of martial arts James Bond film. It's got  the 70s attitude, the babes, the odd baddie boss (with a white cat), the fighting, a guy with a 'fro. Even the ending screams classic Bond. I'm thinking: Surely The Man With the Golden Gun must have stolen its ending from Enter the Dragon. A quick google tells me that Golden Gun was released in 1974, the year after Dragon. But get this... On the night of his death, Bruce Lee was meant to be discussing Game of Death, the film he had begun filming before Enter the Dragon, with an Australian actor by the name of George Lazenby. George, of course, played James Bond in the 1969 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Isn't that odd! What would you say if I was to tell you that George Lazenby was born in Brisbane? Unfortunately the sync runs out here... He was actually born in Goulburn, New South Wales. Oh well...

So what about the film then?

I'm kind of running out of steam. I'll be quick.

I want a shirt like this... NOW!
Enter the Dragon, Warner Bros 1973

Bruce Lee is sent to the island of evil baddie Han to take part in a martial arts competition. His mission is to find out what Han's up to and avenge the death of his sister. That's all you need to know. There's a grasshopper sequence with head slapping, loads of posturing and kung fu, and more retro chic than you could ever dream of. Yes, there's also a lot of retro cliché and retro stereotypes too, but it's okay. You kind of have to appreciate it for what it is... a martial arts film made in 1973.

Bruce Lee is as cool as ever doing all the things that he was famous for.

On the Triple-B I'm going to pick 8 of you lovely ladies, but remember, I'm a little bit tired...

Wow - that must be my shortest review to date! I'll try harder next time! Hiyah!


  1. Nice review KU.
    Have you seen the movie "Dragon" made by Rob Cohen?
    It was completed one month before Brandon Died playing "The Crow".
    Some of it was fact,and some of it was fiction.
    But it is worth a watch all the same.

  2. I think I have seen it Daz... or something very much like it and you're right, I think I enjoyed it! Thanks for the comment mate.