He is the man!
The dragon...not just animal of legends. It lives today, inside the heart of man.

Strange, weird and out-of-control: These would be the words that best describe Sogo Ishii's movie Electric Dragon 80000V, his wildest feature ever. Entirely shot in black and white, with little text, which is also displayed on screen in bizarre kanji, this amazing example of modern japanese filmmaking runs only 55 minutes, each and every one of which is just amazing filmmaking. The heavy electric guitar soundtrack (created by Mach 1.67 and Hiroyuki Onagawa) blows the viewer away, although the full effect may only be achieved in the theatre. Sometimes it seems to degenerate into an orgy of noise, but this also fits the movie well. Let the dragon roar!

This film is essentially the story of a boy and his guitar. After an accident which almost electrocuted him as a child, the dragon inside Dragon Eye Morrison's soul was awakened. Supercharged with raw electric power, we see him growing up, learning to to fight, to rage and to release this power. He is unstoppable, but saved by his guitar, giving him a conduit to channel his rage, regaining control over himself. Our hero Dragon Eye Morrison earns his living as a reptile hunter, dearly loving all lizards. We often see him hunting the sewers, cellars and streets for runaway reptiles. All seems well, but:

Wait....oh my GOD.

As second character, the enigmatic Thunderbolt Buddha, half man, half buddah-robot is seeking a confrontation with the dragon. His human side is in constant conflict with his robotic buddha side. But he finds Dragon Eye, hits him where it hurts to anger him, leading to an explosive climax that will leave only one man standing, and the other static in the wind.

There is little text, and to call the story thin would be an understatement, but the film is mainly carried by it's imagery and soundtrack anyway. The characters are weird but entirely fascinating, the camera moves fast and furious, and the permeating tension is palpatable. The japanese DVD is subtitled (apart from the various extras (There is loads, such as premiere videos, storyboards, director commentary, etc)). Get this disc, turn up the amps to eleven, be prepared to be blown away. There has not yet been a release outside of Japan, however. When Dragon plays his guitar you feel it while your ears bleed. After that, you may need a guitar yourself.


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