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“Bruceploitation – A cultural phenomenon mostly seen in the 1970’s & early 80’s after the 1973 death of martial artist and actor Bruce Lee. A portmanteau of the name “Bruce” and exploitation, it refers to the practice on the part of filmmakers in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan who hired Bruce Lee look-alike actors (“Lee-alikes”) to star in many cheap knock-off martial arts movies to cash in on Lee’s success after his death.”
Bruce Lee was a legend. However, even his death didn’t stop his image, mannerisms, and iconic look from being exploited by others for over a decade afterwards. We know about Mr. Lee’s life, death, and the legacy he left behind… but what about the “others” who came after? Why did they make so many knock-off movies imitating Bruce Lee? How did these projects come to fruition? What’s their story?