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Enter the Clones of Bruce Explores a Bizarre Chapter in Cult Film History

io9 has the exclusive trailer for a new doc about "Bruceploitation," a martial-arts movie phenomenon that popped up after Bruce Lee's sudden death.

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Bruce Lee in his iconic yellow outfit
Screenshot: Severin Films

Martial arts superstar Bruce Lee was just 32 when he died in 1974; he’d only made a handful of films, but the loss of his towering popularity left a huge void. Naturally, it didn’t take long for movie studios to try and capitalize on that—as a new documentary, Enter the Clones of Bruce, explores.

io9 has the exclusive trailer to share today ahead of the doc’s Tribeca Film Festival debut this weekend.

Exclusive Trailer for New Bruce Lee ‘Bruceploitation’ Doc
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Exclusive Trailer for New Bruce Lee ‘Bruceploitation’ Doc

Here’s the official synopsis for the film courtesy of Severin Films, plus a bit about its director:

“When Bruce Lee died in 1974 at the peak of his superstardom, he had completed only four feature films. But within hours of his funeral, Hong Kong movie studios began to produce hundreds of unauthorized biopics, sequels, prequels, spin-offs, and rip-offs starring a competing series of Lee lookalikes. Over the next decade, fueled by both deception and demand, ‘Bruceploitation’ would become a staple of global cinema.
 
Director David Gregory—who’d previously explored film’s transgressive edges in his award-winning documentaries Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau and Blood & Flesh: The Reel Life & Ghastly Death of Al Adamson—now examines this uniquely ‘70s phenomenon via interviews with Bruce Li, Bruce Le, Bruce Liang and Dragon Lee; martial arts movie legends that include Angela Mao, David Chiang, Phillip Ko, Casanova Wong, Yasuaki Kurata, and Sammo Hung; and the producers, directors, distributors, and experts—along with copious clips from the films themselves—that for the first time reveal the history, controversy, and legacy behind one of the most bizarre and successful genres in movie history.”

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Enter the Clones of Bruce has its world premiere Saturday, June 10 at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it’s showing as part of Escape From Tribeca, the fest’s “Psychotronic Sidebar” program.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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