Friday, July 21, 2006

Electric Dragon 80000V

Title: Electric Dragon 80000V (2001)
Dir: Sogo Ishii
Rating: *** and 1/2 out of 5 stars

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Tadanobu Asano is a BAD ASS MOTHERFUCKER. He's Johnny Depp's Japanese doppleganger. He still hasn't topped his role in Ichi the Killer, but he just oozes cool in everything he's in. This film is no exception.

In Electric Dragon, Asano plays Dragon Eye Morrison, professional reptile detective. He can conduct electricity after a childhood accident with an electric tower and years of electroshock therapy. There is a rage (or "dragon" if you will) pent up inside him, which can only be controlled by grinding away on his electric guitar (causing some serious power outages in the city). Meanwhile, across town, there is another electric badass called Thunderbolt Buddha (Masatoshi Nagase). As there can only be one electricity king in town, the Buddha coaxes our hero into a battle.


The entire film is in black-and-white, and only lasts 55 minutes. And there is very little dialogue. The visuals are wild and there is a WWF-like narrator screaming things like, "HE TALKS TO REPTILES! HE IS THE MAN!" It is crazy, and occasionally hilarious.

Electric Dragon is basically a hyperactive comic book-on-film. Ishii takes the classic hero-and-villain story and spikes it with a few hundred micrograms of LSD. The result is one crazy Japanese cyberpunk movie that you should rent sometime.