HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
   
 
Newest Articles
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
   
 
  Electric Dragon 80000V An Illuminating Experience
Year: 2001
Director: Gakuryû Ishii
Stars: Tadanobu Asano, Masatoshi Nagase, Masakatsu Funaki, Yoshiki Arizono
Genre: Science Fiction, Weirdo, MusicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The legends of dragons have it that they died out many centuries ago, if they existed at all, but what if one man had it in him to channel the power of the mighty reptiles in the present day? One man who will come to be known as Dragon Eye Morrison (Tadanobu Asano), for when he was a child he attempted to climb an electricity pylon and in the process part of the way to the top was struck with a bolt of energy that changed his life forever. He found from that day on that he could use this power to give himself a super punch, so whenever bullies would pick on him he sent them flying with his fists, something experimented on by scientists who only served to make him stronger...

In case you haven't guessed, we were in Japanese cyberpunk territory once again, a genre that often worked in black and white when it was in live action as if to pay tribute to the daddy (if not the grandaddy) of the concept of low budget science fiction in that vein, Shinya Tsukamoto's Tetsuo: The Iron Man which was seen by all the right people to create a movement in the style, or if not all the right people at least all those who thought, hey, I could do that just as well. Whether they could or not was a moot point as it did lead to a bunch of Japanese overacting and screaming through makeshift effects, makeup and sets which was not everyone's idea of a great night out at the pictures, and indeed a cult following was all that resulted.

In the case of director Gakuryû Ishii, here billed as he was for his first few efforts as Ishii Sogo, he was rewarded with a small but loyal band of admirers for his work on Electric Dragon 80000V and other, "punk" movies, and he did have an undeniable way with the camera to convey the sheer kinetic energy of his characters and scenes. That said, a preoccupation with electricity aside there wasn't much to distinguish what he was up to here from what Tsukamoto crafted in his groundbreaking debut, so much so that it looked as if Ishii was making a slavish copy, in spite of them actually being contemporaries operating in parallel - indeed, Tsukamoto could be said to be following Ishii's lead. The shots of Morrison zooming through the streets of Tokyo were now hard to separate from Tetsuo, however.

Not to mention the twisted superhero rivalry that erupts between Morrison and his nemesis, an equally electricity-obsessed engineer called Thunderbolt Buddha (Masatoshi Nagase) who is distinguished by a mask that covers half of his face, the right half, and a metallic right hand as well. Instead of unleashing arcs of lightning from his fists like boxer turned reptile detective Morrison does, the Buddha has a couple of self-devised weapons to deliver his wrath, but essentially they have the same superpowers, it's simply a matter of who implements them the better. Our hero becomes noble by dint of two aspects separating him from the villain: he's kind to animals, those lizards, and he loves rock and roll, playing his own electric (of course) guitar in various locations, apparently powered by his own body.

The sight of a superhero with an axe in hand, pounding out the noisy power chords is such a potent one that it's mildly surprising Marvel didn't include it in half their productions once their mania for franchises got underway, but leave it to the Japanese to tap into the cultural consciousness in that respect. Similar to Wild Zero, another rock-flavoured sci-fi flick, the proof of the protagonist's ability is in his talent with a guitar, but if he has a weakness, it's because he cares too much goddammit, a flaw that the Buddha exploits by basically winding him up until he lashes out. That's it, the bad guy doesn't especially wish to take over the world or any of that conventional stuff, he simply wanted to make Morrison mad enough to get into a fight with him. That we have no doubt how this will turn out, the victor obvious for a number of reasons set in stone in the superhero format, speaks to a more clichéd deployment of what on the surface was a fairly out there plot, so best to sit back and enjoy the rock music (by Hiroyuki Onogawa) and sparky visuals, which were most important anyway.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1826 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: