During a span of approximately three years around 1900, there existed a secret society in China dedicated to martial arts training, which sought to topple the Chinese government and expel foreign influences. Recognized in the Western world as “The Boxer Rebellion,” this name derives from the fact that its members engaged in unarmed combat employing traditional Chinese fighting techniques.
Following the untimely death of Bruce Lee in 1973, the film industries of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea embarked on a quest to find a suitable successor to capitalize on his immense legacy. This era, later coined as “Bruceploitation,” saw a slew of actors adopting screen names reminiscent of the martial arts legend, such as Bruce Li, Bruce Lai, and Brute Lee, among others.
The Bruceploitation subgenre eventually lost momentum with the rise of another Hong Kong martial artist, Jackie Chan, whose films like Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow and Drunken Master helped solidify his position as the new face of martial arts cinema. This shift marked the end of the search for a Bruce Lee replacement and the beginning of a new era in the world of martial arts films.