Is this the floor above Kareem...what is the mysterious white object on the left
and the strange barrel like objects behind him?
To this day only a handful of notes exist from Lee's 4th uncompleted film and for 30 years the rumours speculate many myths and fantasy stories ranging from 50 floor pagodas to Bruce fighting zombies. Sadly the real truth IS unknown and I feel when Bruce died we lost the storyline forever, not even Bruce knew for sure what his plans were for this movie. But we can tell certain things by the footages that we do have that this was definately more than just your average martial arts movie. Firstly Lee had made the mistake of creating Jeet Kune Do, realising his mistake that he was on the verge of creating another system much to the opposite as to what his goals were in the martial arts, he closed down his Jeet Kune Do schools. Lee planned to use this movie to reducate the people he had mistakenly misguided about his methods, Jeet Kune Do is no style but a philosophy about how become one with the martial arts, like the water becoming the teapot. In the movie Bruce is dressed in a modern day catsuit, it represents no style he is just a man in a catsuit. Each of the pagoda guardians wears a traditional martial arts uniform representing their chosen style. Lee would then take them on and adapt to their style showing that all martial arts styles have a weakness. You cannot stick to just one style as it is predictive and mechanical like a robot. You follow the code of a 1000 year tradition and like Lee said, you become a mechanical man. So this is the basis of what he intended to show once he entered the pagoda. Unfortunately he never completed the movie and the Jeet Kune Do world has cashed in and misunderstood everything about it all. But the thing that has caused all the rumours however is why did he go in to the pagoda in the first place...
Kareem Abdul Jabbar, what the hell
kinda character was he playing in this movie?
John Little had only a handful of notes when he made the Warriors Journey documentary some 3 years ago, in this documentary the storyline is that Bruce is a retired martial arts champion called Hai Tien who stops off at a Korean airport with his brother and sister but while he is on the phone they are kidnapped and Bruce is told that he must enter a five story pagoda along with 4 other martial artists where they would clear the pagoda of the martial artists within, so the mafia who have kidnapped his family can enter it and steal the treasure that is supposedly at the top of the pagoda. This storyline however is not what I believe to be the truth, there are many holes in this. Bruce halted filming the movie in late 1972 to film Enter The Dragon. Andre Morgan who worked for Golden Harvest said in a recent documentary, "We never did come up with what was going to be at the top of the pagoda, Bruce turned to me and said well thank god we don't have to solve that problem for six months". The documentary Warriors Journey shows Bruce defeating the final guardian Kareem Abdul Jabbar and going back down the stairs in one take. Anyone who knows how movies are made would know that this means nothing, when you make a movie you don't just film one idea of a scene you film several of them so that you have a whole selection to choose from. Evidence of this is shown when you compare the 35 mins of footage from Warriors Journey to the 35 mins on the Artport Bruce Lee In G.O.D film, there's small differences like when Kareem sidekicks the bag one take shows the bag missing James Tien and another shows it thudding him in the back, the most noticable is the eyes of Kareem when Bruce knocks his sunglasses off, one take showed albino eyes and the other showed cat eyes much rather like a lizard but more on this in just a second. These are alternate takes which would have been viewed and selected in the editting room afterwards so the fact that Warriors Journey shows him going down in one take means nothing and the comment from Andre Morgan also suggests that Lee wasn't 100% as to what he was doing, whether he would go up to the final floor or not. On a final note Lee turns to Kareem and says, "Why continue, just let me pass" so the fact that Lee had planned to go further is now unquestionable. It is impossible to say he hadn't decided for sure as much as it is to say he had. He died without knowing how the film was going to end.
Mutant? Vampire? Devil? Product of a
mad scientist? The biggest question is WHY?
Okay moving on to something else now, after recent research and discussions it would appear that the character played by Kareem Abdul Jabbar was definately not a human but rather some sort of mutant or scientific creation. He's light sensitive, okay this does happen in life and he filmed TWO shots of Jabbars real eyes like I just said. The first he had red pupils which I guess has been seen in the albinos but the 2nd shot shows different eyes which are definately not human but
lizard like cat slitted red pupils. There is no reasonable explanation for the lizard eyes other than Jabbar was definatlely
playing something not of this world. There was a Kim Tai Jung interview a while ago on a forum, at first
when I saw it I thought it was a joke but he mentions prior to filming Game of Death in 1978 that he was shown
a more complete film which had the real Bruce and it wasn't just pagoda stuff there was beginnings and middle
parts of the movie. This sounds like the usual fairytale fantasy stories but when he said that Jabbar wasn't human he was actually a being created by a mad scientist who was creating a race far beyond anything on earth this DOES make sense and ties in with the lizard eyes, which makes me think that maybe Bruce was making a sci fi horror martial arts film because other than this there's no reason why Jabbar has inhuman eyes and light sensitivity doesn't cause this. So it would seem this adds more fuel to the ever growing mysterious fire of Game of Death. This fact totally blows John Little's theory out of the water, he made no mention whatsoever about Kareem's eyes and yet the evidence is there clear as glass that he was playing something definately inhuman, so what exactly was the REAL story of this movie? A kidnapping? A set up? A martial arts horror movie? We will never know!
How much was really filmed?
3 floors or more? Nobody knows for sure!
The 35 minutes of footage leaves little clues as to what was happening, here we examine some of the rumours and possibilities behind them.
Q. What is the footage of Dan Inosanto and Ji Han Jae training outside?
Bruce choregraphs the outdoor scene (left)
where Dan will defeat the guy in the actual film (right), but again WHY?
A. Warriors Journey showed this footage to show the 5 martial artists what they would face in the pagoda, there is rumoured to be 18 minutes of the footage. Other possibilities of this footage is that Bruce and his 4 companions fight Dan and Ji a first time and that they retreat back inside, this however wouldnt make sense and would spoil the later part of the film so let's put that rumour in the bin. What it is for is debatable, we don't know what it is without viewing the full 18 minutes. We know however that is it not screentests, the mannerisms on everyone shows the acting of a fight scene and there's also pictures of Bruce choregraphing the scene with Dan Inosanto battering a Karate guy with sticks. So this footage from outdoor is definately intended to be in the film it is not screentests or behind the scenes footage, as for what role the footage plays in the film I'm not sure but I personally don't believe there's 18 mins or if there is then it's not continous footage by that I mean it's not an 18 minute scene it will be outtakes and alternate takes, the scene itself might have lasted only a couple of minutes maximum with the other 16 ending up on the cutting room floor.
Q. Whang Ing Sik is in the outdoor footage did he film a floor?
Ji Han Jae defeats Whang Ing Sik outdoor,
was Whang just playing a stuntman there or is there more to all of this?
A. Whang was definately going to be in the film as the guardian of floor 1, some say he filmed a little footage of his floor but didn't complete it. You could say well where's the pics but then again we don't need any we know he was there because we've seen him in the few seconds of footage shown in The Legend documentary. But would he really fly out to film 18 mins of footage? Whang is then see being tossed about by Ji Han Jae and is then left for dead, a rumour is Whang had escaped the pagoda and told Bruce about their weaknesses and details of the pagoda but knows nothing about Kareem's character. I guess it is possible but wouldn't make sense to me later in the film when Bruce and co whooped his ass back in the pagoda. A most talked about subject this one.
Q. Why does Bruce arrive late to Dan's floor and what do you know about Chieh Yuan attacking Dan with a log?
Dan Inosanto defeats Chieh Yuan who grabs a log
as a weapon in this infamous lost scene!
A. Well one of the rumours is that Bruce is still fighting the 2nd floor boss while the other 2 guys go up, now judging by the way they ran up to Kareem's floor from Ji's this is highly possible and quite likely. Bruce arrives with a bruise under his right eye caused from either the guardian of floor 1 or 2 which doesn't mean he filmed them, when you make a film you film stuff in advance, out of sequence. He actually filmed his fight with Kareem first and added a lot of cuts and bruises knowing that by then he would have already fought the other people. The log scene is allegedly missing, however a roll of film lasts 20 minutes so if it's still out there I would put my money on it being with the 18 mins of outdoor takes rounding it up to a nice 20 minutes. The log is the middle part of the fight between Dan and Chieh Yuan, footage exists and can be seen in the 1978 version of Dan climbing from his chair and grabbing a long escrima stick and a short stick then the log scene is missing and we then see the log on the floor, Dan has dropped his sticks to defeat Chieh unarmed using a kenpo technique called The dance of death. Then there seems to be a little footage missing because he turns to James holding the sticks again before exchanging the sticks for 2 sticks of the same length. Dan actually had 4 sticks not 2.
Q. How come James and Chieh are so keen to run up to the 5th floor possibly knowing that it would be much harder than the previous ones?
Kareem poses for a strange style, footage of this exists and I've seen it
he poses for 10+ minutes in various styles like crane, mantis and eagle claw but again
the question comes back to WHY? Was this decided against at the time of filming or other reasons?
A. That floor is not called Temple of Gold, it is actually called The Temple of the Dragon and what they see in Chinese is a sign pointing upwards reading Temple of Gold, they thought Ji was the final guardian and the treasure was up there. James's character is a strange one. Warriors Journey shows him jealous of Hai Tien so there's a lot of jealousy going on. James wants the treasure so having seen Chien being thrown down the stairs, James runs up and realises that there's no Gold there and tries to kill Kareem, realising he has no chance he tries to run up the stairs. But wouldn't Kareem chase him up there though? Usually sure he would but remember the film is called Game of Death and we don't know properly why these guys are even in that place, for all we know it really is just a GAME and Bruce and his companions are the Contestants trying to win the game and the guardians aren't allowed to leave their floors, get to the top and you win the prize. There's all kinds of possibilities for this films storyline because as I've said we don't know the truth and neither did Bruce he was inventing the film as he went along he just had a basic concept.
Ji Han Jae having trouble against Hai Tien is helped out by pagoda janitor Unicorn lol. In this very rare pic we see proof that Unicorn was there, WHY was he there, was he just visiting Lee or was he actually in the movie?.
I won't talk about any rumours, only what you can see in the film simply because if there's no pics about it then forget it is usually the best way to go with the occasional exception. I know there's stuff we know was filmed but without a single pic ever being shown like the episode of Blondie which Bruce appeared in. Game of Death is a very strange film. The only thing that is unexplainable thoughis WHY does kareem have mutants eyes, eyes which cannot happen through any human diseases or races such as albino.
Bruce's draft of the pagoda, 5 floors nothing strange about any of it,
it clears up the 20 floors story anyway lol
Just to finish these are just a few of the rumours you should forget!
1. The pagoda had more than 5 or 6 floors.
2. Bruce had to try and find the pagoda.
3. They fought a guy with a wooden sword.
4. Anything Lazenby says.
5. Bruce kills a samurai on the floor after Kareem with steel nunchakus.
I think you get the idea of what to believe now and what not do, without a doubt this film would have been his best though.