The first major-release film starring Bruce Lee not only kicked off his career, it also led to the creation of other exploitation subgenres.
"The Big Boss," also known in the U.S. by its American title, "Fists of Fury," is typical of the martial arts genre it helped create. The prolonged fight scenes make up the bulk of the film's running time. The protagonist -- here, a martial arts student investigating his teacher's murder -- commonly takes on a number of enemies at once, and often in successive waves. It's the violence carried out through astounding kung fu and karate moves that provide the hallmark characteristic of the martial arts exploitation film.
Released in 1971, "The Big Boss" was the first of five major Bruce Lee films, which are a foundation of the martial arts exploitation subgenre that also includes the likes of Sonny Chiba in the "Streetfighter" series. It's also noteworthy in that it introduced Lee to the world, making him a star and creating such a cottage industry around him that his untimely death at age 32 in 1973 actually ushered in a new subgenre of the martial arts subgenre: Bruce Lee exploitation. In these dozens of films, Bruce Lee lookalikes -- often with knockoff names like Bruce Le and Bruce Li -- carried on the tradition created by the original.
- Ashlin, Scott. "Cannibal Holocaust/Holocosto Cannibal (1979/1984)." 1000 Misspent Hours. Accessed December 16, 2010.http://www.1000misspenthours.com/reviews/reviewsa-d/cannibalholocaust.htm
- Amazon.com. "Isla: She Wolf of the SS." Accessed December 18, 2010.http://www.amazon.com/Ilsa-She-Wolf-Dyanne-Thorne/dp/6305808120/ref=cm_lmf_tit_13
- Amazon.com. "Vanishing Point (1971)." Accessed December 19, 2010. http://www.amazon.com/Vanishing-Point-Barry-Newman/dp/B00013RC8O%3FSubscriptionId%3DAKIAJASE6HSSVXTNREYQ%26tag%3Dsmtfx1-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB00013RC8O
- Blaxploitation.com. "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (Cinemation, 1971)." Accessed December 14, 2010.http://www.blaxploitation.com/m_36.html
- Biography. "Bruce Lee biography." Accessed December 19, 2010.http://www.biography.com/featured-biography/bruce-lee/
- Borntreger, Andrew. "Bad Taste." BadMovies.org. Accessed December 16, 2010. http://www.badmovies.org/movies/badtaste/
- Cohen, Joanna. "Top ten death proof exploitation films: The films that wouldn't die." Rotten Tomatoes. March 13, 2008. Accessed December 19, 2010.http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/death_proof/news/1715158/top-ten-death-proof-exploitation-films-the-films-that-wouldnt-die/
- Ebert, Roger. "I Spit on Your Grave." Chicago Sun-Times. July 16, 1980. Accessed December 19, 2010.http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=%2F19800716%2FREVIEWS%2F7160301%2F1023&AID1=%2F19800716%2FREVIEWS%2F7160301%2F1023&AID2=
- Grindhouseland. "Tag archives: carsploitation." Accessed December 19, 2010.http://grindhouseland.com/?tag=carsploitation
- Grindhouseland. "Tag archives: nazisploitation." Accessed December 19, 2010. http://grindhouseland.com/?tag=nazisploitation
- Holmes, Lee. "Database." The Clones of Bruce Lee. Accessed December 19, 2010. http://www.clonesofbrucelee.co.uk/database.html
- Internet Movie Database. "Bad Taste (1987)." Accessed December 16, 2010. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092610/
- Internet Movie Database. "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" Accessed December 18, 2010. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059170/
- Internet Movie Database. "I Spit on Your Grave (1978)." Accessed December 14, 2010. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077713/
- Internet Movie Database. "Isla: She Wolf of the SS." Accessed December 19, 2010. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071650/
- Internet Movie Database. "Plot summary for The Toxic Avenger." Accessed December 18, 2010. http://ww.imdb.com/title/tt0090190/plotsummary
- Internet Movie Database. "Tell Your Children (1936)." Accessed December 18, 2010. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0028346/
- Internet Movie Database. "Trivia for Cannibal Holocaust." Accessed December 16, 2010. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078935/trivia
- Movies Found Online. "Reefer Madness (1936)." Accessed December 18, 2010. http://www.moviesfoundonline.com/reefer_madness.php
- PBS. "Melvin Van Peebles." Life Part 2. Accessed December 14, 2010. http://www.pbs.org/lifepart2/perspectives/melvin-van-peebles
- Peyrano, Alicia. "Russ Meyer - Film-maker known as 'King of the Nudies'." The Independent. September 23, 2004.http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/russ-meyer-550526.html
- Showtime. "Reefer Madness (1936)." Accessed December 18, 2010. http://www.sho.com/site/movies/movie.do?seriesid=0&seasonid=0&episodeid=124380
- Troma Entertainment. "The Toxic Avenger 21st anniversary edition; synopsis." Accessed December 18, 2010.http://www.troma.com/movies/toxicavenger/
- United Press International. "'I Spit on Your Grave' opposed on R rating." New York Times. February 1, 1984. Accessed December 19, 2010.http://www.nytimes.com/1984/02/01/movies/i-spit-on-your-grave-opposed-on-r-rating.html
Will 'Crazy Rich Asians' kick off a new era in the portrayal of Asian people on the big screen? HowStuffWorks ducks into the theater.