What’s the Story With This Guy?! – Enter the Dragon

Welcome to the inaugural post of What’s the Story With This Guy?!  We here at Act Classy Industries consider ourselves to be fans of the cinema.  We find that sitting in a movie theater is far more desirable than any other situation where we have to interact with other members of society.  It makes us uncomfortable.  Some of us smell funny and the rest sometimes confuse a stabbing with casually saying hello.  It’s all due to our harsh Amish upbringing.

Deborah, Little Mary, Little Ezekiel, Samuel, and his wife, Princess Snorffles.

Anyway, your pal at Act Classy, Joe Sasquatch Lyons, is such a fan of cinema that he’s done intense research into the breathtaking detail that goes into your favorite films.  Did you know that in order to get a movie made in Hollywood, every character that appears on screen needs to have an extensive backstory?  It’s true!  You have to appreciate that devotion to detail from the fine folks who brought us Saw IX: All We Want is Your Money.

She’s not so much as scared as she is upset that the inside of the mask smells weird.

So, let’s dive into the inaugural post of What’s the Story With This Guy?!  CUE THE GRAPHIC!!!

From the classic motion picture Attack of the Floating Arrows.

Today we dive into the back story of a lesser character from the martial arts classic Enter the Dragon.  This was the film that officially made Bruce Lee an international superstar, tragically, months after his death.  It’s a rich and exciting film full of fun performances, amazing fight scenes, and John Saxon.  The character we’ll be profiling today is pictured on the right of Bruce Lee and was in this pivotal scene from the film:

I am, of course, referring to this guy:

The character’s name was Zhang Wei and was played by the unfortunately named Bryce Lei, a Chinese actor known for his background work.  His ability to seamlessly fill in a background won him fame and the Shing Tung Shun Shen Lifetime Achievement prize for acting casual.  So after literally MINUTES of intense internet searching, I am now proud to present to you the official cinematic back story of Zhang Wei from Enter the Dragon.

You probably recognize him from the popular shark paste commercials he starred in from Shanghai.

Exit the Marmot – The Zhang Wei Story
By Joe “Attachable Bear Hand” Lyons

Zhang Wei grew up on the far side of the nefarious Mister Han’s island, which was known for it’s kung fu tournaments and general policy of evil doings.  Wei’s father was a quality assurance expert in Mr. Han’s opium factory.  Wei’s mother was a Class D prostitute in Mr. Han’s cadre of kung fu whore-tial artists.  Class D prostitutes, the lowest rank, were not known for their looks (after all the “C” in “Class C Prostitutes” stands for “Christ!  Who ate that lady’s face?!)  and were trained to service the sexual needs of martial artists who lost in Mr. Han’s tournaments but didn’t have the common courtesy to die from their horrifying injuries.  They also served as cannon fodder whenever Mr. Han got a hankering to fire off a couple of rounds on his antique cannons.

Wei’s mother, right after he was born, at the age of 23.

Wei was orphaned when he was 7 years old.  His mother was lost when she succumbed to cannon-ball related injuries and his father died in the opium factory after eating cake with nuts on it during a coworker’s birthday lunch in the break room.  Up until that point, he thought his nut allergies were just mild reactions to being around opium fumes for 22 hours a day.  Wei, since orphans don’t have a whole heap of options on an evil island, was forced to work on the tournament grounds sweeping up bones, mopping up blood, and learning to love the art of battle.  Yet Wei did not forget where he came from and vowed to someday avenge his parents and strike down Mr. Han at his own tournament.

There are no less than 47 support groups for orphans that Mr. Han has created.

Longing to learn how to become the world’s finest fighter, Wei sought out the tutelage of Ping Yeun, a disgraced kung fu master who lived on the island and survived on the meager wages he made posing as a Class B prostitute for the drunker fighters on the darkest nights.   Yeun took Wei under his arm, having once thirsted for revenge himself when he lost his koi pond in a rock slide, and decided to teach him the arts martial.  For years they trained at night, when they knew they could work without being noticed by Mr. Han’s foot soldiers.  The first three years were a total bust after discovering the hard way that Wei suffered from a debilitating inner ear disorder and hemophilia.  Not the best attributes for a kung fu fighter.  Yeun would have to take a different approach to teach Wei how to fight.

Especially since Charles Atlas and his foolproof system had not made it overseas yet.

Yeun eventually settled on “Marmot Style” as the kung fu best suited to attain Wei’s revenge against Mr. Han.  The marmot, a fat, small mammal not cool enough to even be considered a groundhog, could be drawn upon for fighting inspiration.  Until Wei turned 18, they trained vehemently in Marmot Style kung fu.  The primary tenet of this martial art relied on the splaying of oneself on the ground.  When one tries to burrow, they become increasingly hard to hit, so while your opponent tries to land a blow, you make it a point to nip them in the calf with your sharp incisors (you also totally have to sharpen your incisors on a rock).  You then avoid further contact until your opponent gets tired or starts to succumb to a minor infection.  It was not the most glamorous style, but it’s all they could do since Wei was guaranteed to fall down anyway.

The “crane kick” of Marmot Style is basically just spraying the ground with urine.

Now that Wei was trained, the plan was set into motion.  Wei would enter Mr. Han’s yearly kung fu tournament in order to get close to his target.  After earning some victories, Wei would surely be invited into Mr. Han’s inner circle where Wei would finally close the trap and strike down Mr. Han when he least expected it.  It was a plan that even skeptical old Yeun  called “crazy good”.  Wei signed up for the tournament and was issued the white gi that was given to all of the non-threatening combatants who didn’t have their own cool outfits.

Yellow is for badasses ONLY.

Wei could see his revenge on the horizon.  Soon he would face his first match in the tournament, nip the calves of a crap-ton of fighters and get close to Mr. Han.  His years and years of training and anger had all led up to this moment…that is until this guy named Lee showed up and started kicking everyone in the face.  There Wei was, primed to get started on the road to his revenge and here’s this Lee guy stealing the freaking show from everyone!  Even the afro guy!  Soon Lee is the only fighter anyone wants to see and it didn’t look like Wei was going to even get his chance to fight.  Especially after he had a guy kicked into him…

Fortunately for us, this was the first tournament that was televised.

After the impact, Wei nearly bled to death after being nicked by one of Mr. Han’s trademarked folding chairs that had extra corners.  By the time Wei had come to in the triage tent, pandemonium had broken out.  Lee, as it turned out, was also embroiled in his own revenge plot against Mr. Han and was currently beating him to the death in Mr. Han’s Hall of Mirrors (the one next to his House of Animatronic Horrors).  A brief survey of the survivors of that day showed that approximately 73% of the fighters attending the tournament were all there secretly to get revenge on Mr. Han.  When the dust had settled, Mr. Han was defeated, Lee had liberated island’s drug and sex slaves, and Wei was left with no more purpose in his life.

Damn it.

Wei and Yeung decided to stay on the island and help rebuild after the chaos of Lee’s takedown of Mr. Han.  Under their guidance, the island became the world’s foremost center of the guidance and counseling of the world’s revenge-seeking orphans.  Their records indicate that they’ve already successfully prevented 4 Batmen, 12 Inigo Montoyas, and a Kill Bill Vol. 3.  Lee remains on the island running Mr. Han’s old kung fu academy, much to Wei’s chagrin.  While they stay out of each other’s way, every time Wei sees Lee, he can’t help but remember the revenge that was almost his…then he gets a little dizzy…then he decides not to worry about it anymore.

Cool story, Bro.


So that wraps up our first edition of What’s the Story With This Guy?!  Got any other movie characters that you’d desperately like to know the back stories of?  Then let us know in our Classy Ass Comment Box below!

Joe Lyons

Joe Lyons is a Pittsburgh-based humorist, playwright and the only man to successfully play Street Fighter II at Beeps, Balls & Bings in Camp Hill, PA blindfolded for 12 consecutive matches in 1992. His fighter of choice was E. Honda, thanks to the ease of his attacks, the reach on his punches and kicks, and the fact that when he flew through the air you could kind of see his butt. Butts are funny. Joe has been featured on Significant Objects, Hilobrow, MamaPop, and will someday spout his insanity on a gigantic video wall in the middle of a major city, like that Geisha lady from Blade Runner.

Leave a Reply