Game of Death II (1981)

I’ve never seen anything quite like Game of Death II, in which the late Bruce Lee unwittingly reprises his role as Billy Lo from the misbegotten Game of Death. Like that 1978 turd, this is a Bruceploitation film, utilizing as much Bruce stock footage as they can get away with, and creating an illusion that he’s the star by shooting a double from the back, from the side or obscured by household items. But whereas that film was a chore to sit through, this hack job is a hoot.

If there’s a story to it, I sure didn’t catch it, but Billy fights his way through several colorful opponents before tragically dying at the film’s midpoint when he falls from a helicopter. For the second half, his brother, Bobby (Tong Lung), enters and becomes the main character, seeking revenge for Billy’s death.

That’s when things get crazy. Like my favorite scene, when Billy is sucking face with a fully naked skank. She tries to kill him, the lights go out, and a lion (obviously a guy in a suit) bursts through the wall and chases them around the room. Read that sentence again and let it sink in. I also dug the finale, which takes place in the underground “tower of death,” a high-tech, booby-trapped, spy-type lair that suggests the film is a cut-rate Enter the Dragon impostor. There Bobby takes on several henchmen and a guy in a Tarzan suit, just because.

Although the film itself is pretty funny (not on purpose), the martial arts on display in Game of Death II are pretty serious stuff, courtesy of fight choreographer Yuen Woo Ping, of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; The Matrix; Kill Bill and just about everything else that rules. —Rod Lott

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