Reviewed By-Paul Cooke Director-Joji Iida Starring-Naohito Fujiki , Sayaka Kanda , Jinpachi Nezu , Satochi Tsumabuki & Takayuki Yamada
The startling vision of a fallen Tokyo , awash with an ashen snow and ablaze with fireballs cascading down from the darkened sky above , is a breathtaking one that future nightmares may one day realize with shocking clarity. Pick up the home television and turn it upside down and the imprint may read ‘once made in Japan !’. Three mid teen school kids awaken not from a dream but a jolt out of reality as the class train trip to Tokyo is derailed on the underground system. A once timid youth goes crazy as he builds a shrine of human bodies , of which he is a self crowned patriarch. A bloody patchwork of body parts and remains amidst a bleak carriage that no longer hears the rapture of joyous classmates , set free from the dowdy restrains of school rules. The only rules now are those of survival !. Escaping from the madness the other surviving young woman and male climb up and out into the world above to soon realise their plight is fully realised as the world they once knew is now nothing more than a ravaged landscape , windswept by a blanket cloud of dust. Together they must seek shelter and search for fellow survivors of what appears to be a nuclear winter brought about by what they know not.
Studio backdrops are unrecognisable to the great plaudit of the filmmakers skills as the rendered vision of a devastated platform reaches as far as the eye can see. Tortured relics of once former glories in the form of modern structures weep like spent wax pouring from a lit candle. Fractured images where once glorious neon painted the night sky , vivid in its decadently cascading stream , dankly lay dormant in an inert pool of nothingness. This is cinemascope put to its most daunting use , daring in its direction and incitingly flamboyant in its message of man made decay. The world has been turned upside down and inside out as the Earth’s magnetic field has gone haywire , and with it the eco system along with humanities social decorum. An insanity has swept over the pockets of survivors that present themselves along the way as man turns against man and parents turn upon their very children !.
As the two youths doggedly brave the elements and discover an inner strength and maturity the world around them continues to re-evolve with the all mighty proportions of the Old Testament. Their relationship is a pivotal part of the movie but the star of the show are the special effects and incredible model work , made resplendent by the cinematographers eye for detail. As Japanese cinema boldly continues to push the envelope it is here with ‘Dragon Head’ that they have Post Apocalyptically expanded the realms of major league blockbuster with all the dressings of well packaged ‘B’ moviedom splendour.
Built upon the popular comic book Manga of Minetaro Mochizuki’s creation ‘Dragon Head’ the movie would seem to be but one chapter that hopefully paves the way for future instalments. The insidious back ground story of a government seemingly prepared for such a catastrophic outcome is invasively portrayed in the ultimate suicidal sustenance. One that numbs a subservient society into a mindless state of nothingness , oblivious to their hopelessness like children suckled off the matriarchal state.
Daring , striking and most definitely bold film making to expand the mind beyond your average sit back and be entertained , popcorn culture experience. This is an intrepid vocation for stale moviegoers who think they have seen it all. Given the slightest chance to see this movie on the big screen grab it with every ounce of enthusiasm you can muster , for the experience will turn your head in more than pure admiration at the sheer scale of what is on show. Adam and Eve in a twenty first century landscape , obscured by a vastly risen up volcano spewing forth the Earth’s regurgitated bile of humanities abuse , is a moment to rival all closures with jaw dropping vividness. Tokyo extreme dowsed in disaster decadence , flam bayed upon a cocktail stick and slammed right in the eye of Asian cinema.
Presentation : Wide Screen Ratio 2:35:1 Release : Cannibal King Coding : NTSC All Region Sound : Dolby Digital 5.1 Extras : Two Disc Edition / English Language Subtitles / Behind The Scenes Road To The End Documentary / Special Effects In Dragon Head
Film: 4.0 BITCH SLAPS Picture: 4.0 BITCH SLAPS Sound: 4.0 BITCH SLAPS Extras: 3.5 BITCH SLAPS Overall: 4.0 BITCH SLAPS