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  • Writer's pictureRob Freese

Don't say "Bronsonploitation!"

Updated: Feb 4, 2022

Remember when Bruce Lee mysteriously passed away, and in the wake of his death a whole slew of Bruce Lee-wannabes ushered in the era of "Bruceploitation" kung fu flicks? (And Bruceploitation is only one of two "ploitations" ICFH officially recognizes, the other being, obviously, Blaxploitation.) The idea was that just the spirit of Bruce Lee could be present in a new kung fu movie, as long as someone in the cast sort of looked like him.

Which brings us to Robert Bronzi, the Hungarian actor formerly known as Robert Kovacs. Bronzi seems to be performing somewhere on a similar level as Bruce Lei, Bruce Li, and Bruce Lai performed after the death of the master, appearing as a, from-a-certain-angle, Charles Bronson lookalike. What makes Robert Bronzi appearance in the last couple of years so weird, though, is the fact that Charles Bronson passed away in 2003 and it took Bronzi 15 years to start cashing in on his at times, under certain lighting, resemblance to Mr. Bronson. (But hey, maybe it took a while for the news of Bronson's passing to get to him.)

Bronzi came to my attention with his 2018 feature Death Kiss. I haven't watched it yet, but it is still a movie I want to watch. The trailer seemed to promote it as a continuation of Bronson's Death Wish series. How bad could it be? I'll get around to seeing it.

I did give Escape from Death Block 13 a watch and I have to say, going into it with zero expectations, I was rewarded with a fast paced, albeit cheap, action flick about a man who kind of reminds you of Charles Bronson wrongly accused of a crime and busting a drug syndicate while in the slams. Obviously, with his accent, any similarity to Bronson is lost when Bronzi begins to talk, but I think that is okay because there's still something cool (to me at least) about a guy who sort of looks like Charles Bronson making movies similar to the types of films Bronson made in the '70s, 19 years after Bronson's passing. As cheesy as it is, watching Bronzi on screen is kind of fun.

He's appeared in a couple of films so far and I imagine he will be around for a while, making direct-to-streaming action flicks for when you want to just forget about life and watch a guy who, if you're not sure what Charles Bronson really looked like, kind of looks like Charles Bronson, kick some ass. (It's only a matter of time before he is paired up with Danny Trejo in a flick.)

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