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Fist of Fear, Touch of Death (1980)
The Dragon and the Cobra
Fist of Fear

Nomination Year: 1997
SYNOPSIS:  This film purports to be a documentary about Bruce Lee. It's not. In reality, it's a thrown-together amalgamation of a karate match, perhaps a dozen interviews and pseudo-interviews (where interviewer talking-head footage is intercut with Bruce Lee stock footage), and old never-before-seen Bruce Lee stock footage. Fred Williamson stars as himself (even though he's called "Hammer"). There's also an interminable section in the center of the film which pretends to be a documentary about Bruce Lee's family life as a young boy. Almost unwatchable, and with virtually nothing in the way of interesting scenes, shots, characters, or dialogue. Even the film stock is crappy, suffering from the late-70s Red Death syndrome.

Worst Cover Copy

Fist of Finance, Touch of Marketing
Large, dramatic pictures of Bruce Lee (from some other film) adorn this cover in a good working definition of deceptive advertising. The copy on the back describes a rather dramatic story that doesn't exist, implying that Fred Williamson and Ron Van Clief fight each other in a bout to determine who will be crowned the Bruce Lee Champion. In boring actuality, Fred Williamson argues that Bruce Lee was the greatest, and no one should be given the Bruce Lee Title. Ron Van Clief gives a simulated television interview.

Smithee Award Winner! Worst Acting

Man Lame, Woman Lamer
Hammer (Fred Williamson) is just waking up the morning that he's supposed to be at Madison Square Garden. He's late because the hotel clerk mistook him for Harry Belafonte, and gave him the wrong wake-up time (don't ask -- it's never explained). The nomination, however, goes to the actress playing Hammer's Girlfriend (Hollywood Browde). She weasels, wheedles, and whines in her attempt to convince him to stay in bed a little longer and have more sex. Her line "You told me you would satisfy me, and here I am, still wanting," has one of the most painful deliveries that I've ever seen. Hollywood Browde could almost be the stupid man's Myra Chason (see the entry on The Lost Idol). This scene has an eerie similarity to the scene that ends the South Park episode about Kathy Lee Gifford. A deserving clip indeed.

Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame
Bruce Lee Some say the greatest martial-arts master of all time 
Fred Williamson "The Hammer" 
Ron Van Clief  
Hollywood Browde  
Director Claim to Fame
Matthew Mallinson  

Kevin Hogan

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© 2011-2019 Bryan D. Cassidy, Greg Pearson, Matthew Quirk, and Kevin Hogan. All Rights Reserved.