Sunday, 20 September 2009

Bruce Le Black Spot

Hei Se Zou Lang
aka Black Spot
(1991/Hong Kong)

Kin Lung Huang, better known as Bruce Le, gets to step away from the countless Bruce Lee impersonator kung fu flicks and turn his attention to a serious portion of big budgetary Action. Here he plays Wong Lung, a former problem solver for an international organisation responsible for the manufacture and trafficking of drugs worldwide. He is a former criminal with a moral conscience, but once you are embroiled in the organisation they never let you go. The head of the trans national cartel wants Wong Lung to take out one of their Asian bosses and is not prepared to take no for an answer. Now settled in Paris France, and leading a comfortable lifestyle untroubled by anyone, word is leaked to the police and Wong Lung is picked up by them. They too offer him a deal, work with them to infiltrate the organisation and earn his freedom as a world citizen, with all past illegal activities stricken from his record. Lung has little choice but to take the deal but the passage back to Hong Kong has to be earned, and the organisation set him a mighty task in order to prove his worth and loyalty to them. He must fight a seven foot monster of a man in a barbed wire steel cage, last man standing walks free !.
One of the highlights of the movie is the fight scene in the cage match. A brutal and barbaric environment in a den of iniquity where the cage is the centre piece, surrounded by a ravenous crowd baying for the blood of the warring occupants fighting for their very lives. The king of the ring is an Asian ox of a man, with the mind of a simpleton but the strength of a bull. Able to pummel expert fighters to death with his relentless hammer like arms, and never shy to rip chunks of flesh from their battered bodies with his very teeth. He rips open a living sheep thrown to him as sustenance between bouts, tearing the creature apart and feeding off its entrails, and drinking of its gushing blood. Hung enters the ring like the mindless behemoths next lamb to the slaughter, but this is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Years of martial arts training, guile and cunning have served Hung well, and prepared him for even the most seemingly insurmountable. This is a classic Eighties styled bloody mismatch of grand proportions. Rules simply do not apply and in order to walk free Hung immediately has to resort to evasive manoeuvres, close quarter quick body attacks and eye gouging !. Blood splays the fevered crowd as Hung ferociously chops the man elk down to a twitching stump, leaving him a bloody pulp relieved of his unbeaten crown.
The organisation are satisfied that in Hung they still have the best man for the job in hand. He is given a briefcase of money for expenses and a ticket to Taiwan. His assignment to kill boss Tai Chin, and re-establish secure trade links across the infamous Golden Triangle to ensure that the organisations Opium trade continues to thrive.

Bruce Le clearly is afforded a great deal of influence in the production of this international extravaganza. The countries involved must have delighted in getting recognition on a global scale as no obvious regional embargo’s towards the film makers seems at all evident. The grand scale of the army resources providing a vast cast of real soldiers, replete with full uniforms and weaponry, along with the full military might of heavy machinery such as tanks and helicopters is staggering to behold up on the screen.

As Director and likely aware of his star stature Bruce Le even affords a degree of thought provoking ethic, in a strong message for the audience to ponder upon long after the movie finishes. He shows both sides of the drug trade, not just the addictive evil that envelopes the planet but startlingly the naivety of those involved in its early stages of productivity. Midway through the movie Wong Lung gets to witness how an entire village of hard labouring poor farmers grow the crop for the production of the opium. They truly believe they are cultivating a medicine that helps the outside world, and what they work for in exchange for food and bare essentials to live on is their duty. Their innocence tears at Lung’s ideals and causes him to contemplate on what will happen to these people when their community is destroyed. The principal of cause and effect here is powerfully touched upon.

Along with several showcase fight sequences, that display Bruce Le as a very fine martial artist in his own right, the grand scale sets are also an impressive part of the whole. The mass production facility for the heroin / opium is purified and packaged in a massive natural cave. It is very well lit to highlight its structure and the base level is bedecked with big machinery, productivity vats and electrical machinery, all just waiting to explode upon the arrival of the armed forces come the big finale.

Sure enough the ending plays out on a tumultuous Action high as Bruce Le takes down the Asian cartel, whilst outside two armies collide in spectacular fashion. The stunt coordinators earn triple time with the shear volume of explosions and bodies flying about. With the Thai army providing the real deal on the heavy artillery this really is a barn storming end event highlight. Throw in international agents of the female babes with guns variety, and Black Spot proves to be a destination for die hard Action seekers the world over.

Even when Bruce Le runs out of bullets he just fires up his fists and shoots from the hip with lethal kicks to opponents. The cataclysmic finale delivers a damning indictment on all fighting both for and against the production of drugs. A message for the masses and a real body punch conclusion to a grand scale Action epic.
Review by Paul Cooke / Source NTSC US VHS
NB: Original Language English Subtitled and
Semi Wide Screen, Likely Taken From An
Original Source Aprox 1:85:1 Ratio

Black Spot (1991)
Director Bruce Le
With Bruce Le, Rossieo Badin, Yu-Man Cheng,
Tao Chiang, Elizabeth Gordon, James Ha,
Fanny Hill & Lo Lieh


  1. A Huge Thank You to Mr. David Zuzelo for seeking out and acquiring this rare gem of an Action movie. Thanks to the man who makes collecting Bruce Le movies an acceptable form of OCD I got to watch this slice of Hong Kong designer Eighties Action for the first time ever !.
    An ironic quirk to thie piece is that Bruce Le was residing in & shooting the opening portion of Black Spot in Paris France, where DZ is currently attending a wedding this very weekend. Hope you had a Great time David. The Boston Brawler slam dunks Goofy in Euro Disney & Bruce Le is no where to be seen :) . Hope you found some time to chack out the movie stores & maybe found a rare Franco poster. Looking forward to tales of Le France soon.

  2. We have returned! Excellent review, probably one of the very few available. I love the French "Avec BRUCE!" on that artwork...perfect timing.