Published Sep 01, 2001
Expect some heavy duty craziness if you dare to see this Japanese future shock thriller that literally deserves the tag "electrifying." Directed and written by Ishii Sogo ("Crazy Thunder Road"), the film brings us into the world of Dragon Eye Morrison, played by Asano Tadanobu. The victim of an electrical accident as a child that awakened his "inner dragon," Morrison lives his life as an outsider. A quick montage of his early life reveals a fierce fighter who is subjected to increasingly powerful electric shock treatments, which are unable to calm his anti-social tendencies. The sequence is inter-cut with images of lizards and other fierce looking animals, showing just how close we are to our primal urges. And what is the only thing that helps rein in the sinister energy of Dragon Eye? The electric guitar of course. His instrument provides the source of balance in his lonely life, preventing the possibility of catastrophe. By day, he works as a pet detective of sorts, combing the alleys and sewers of Tokyo in search of lost lizards.
Dragon Eye's unknown enemy is Thunderbolt Buddha, played by Nagase Masatoshi. He too was accidentally electrified as a youth when he was struck by lightening. Thunderbolt quietly stalks Dragon Eye, preparing to challenge fight him and become the electric champion of Tokyo.
Shot in black and white this film relies more on visuals than dialogue and story. There is very little dialogue among the characters with most of the info provided by a narrator. Dragon Eye's guitar playing and the rest of the music for the film is provided by Japanese noise masters, Mach 1.67. Their feast for the ears had several members of the audience running for the exits, especially during his protracted solos. To say this film has limited appeal is quite an understatement, with its bizarre story, seizure inducing editing and camera work and 55 minute running time. You're not likely to see "Electric Dragon" outside of a limited engagement at your local repertory cinema or in the cult section of the video store. But don't let that stop you. Seek out this comic book fantasy adventure and awake your own inner dragon.