Document type
24 July 2001
Format viewed

Electric Dragon 80,000 V

picture: Electric Dragon 80,000 V (2001)picture: Electric Dragon 80,000 V (2001)

Original title
Electric Dragon 80,000 V
  • Tadanobu ASANO
  • Masatoshi NAGASE
  • Masakatsu FUNAKI
Running time
55 mins.

picture: Electric Dragon 80,000 V (2001)

Tom Mes

Words cannot begin to describe this film. A 55-minute hyperkinetic descent into electro-charged punk madness, set to an eardrum-shattering industrial punk/noise soundtrack, Electric Dragon 80,000 V transcends film to become an overwhelming, all-immersing experience. Just hope and pray that you still have all your brain cells after you emerge from it.

Made at the same time as Ishii's swordplay spectacular Gojoe, and sharing the same lead actors in Asano (the co-originator of this project) and Nagase, Electric Dragon is a return to the spirit and shape of Ishii's anarchic punk epics of the early 80s Crazy Thunder Road (Kuruizaki Sandaa Rodo, 1980) and Burst City (Bakuretsu Toshi, 1982). Shot in black and white on the rooftops and in the back alleys of Tokyo, the two leads (both actors who are idolised by thousands of girls across Asia, which makes one wonder how these girls will react to a film like this - can't say Ishii doesn't have a sense of humour) play high voltage superheroes out to destroy each other, which they try in the most spectacular ways imaginable. In between bouts they recharge themselves using electric chairs, electric beds, wall sockets and entire power stations.

Electric Dragon was produced by the Suncent company of eccentric producer Takenori Sento, a man who combines a shrewd business mind with a clear knowledge of what makes good cinema, as well as a willingness to take risks on projects that stray from the beaten path. The same year as this piece of sheer cinematic delirium, Sento also produced Naomi Kawase's intimate Hotaru, Shinji Aoyama's Eureka, Tomoyuki Furumaya's autobiographical festival favourite Bad Company (Mabudachi) and the aforementioned Gojoe. An eclectic mix to say the least.

Though its running time and subject matter make it an unattractive commercial venture and will probably keep it from receiving any form of proper distribution, any occasion to see Electric Dragon 80,000 V should be grabbed without hesitation. Sit down, tune in and experience a glorious, one-hour, unadulterated brain killer of a film. This, ladies and gentlemen, is CINEMA!


Discotek (USA)

picture: DVD cover of 'Electric Dragon 80,000 V'

Region 1. English subtitles.

Taki Corporation (Japan)

picture: DVD cover of 'Electric Dragon 80,000 V'

Region 2. English subtitles.