So, uh, I think I LOVE this movie.
The cinematography made me smile so wide. I love stylized black-and-white movies, and boy is this ever stylized. Really great, inventive shots. I don’t want to say they’re innovative, chances are you’ve seen something similar somewhere else,but they still feel fresh, adventurous. Gakuryu Ishii, (or Sogo Ishii as he’s credited in his films), is not afraid to have fun with the camera, and boy does it looking fucking awesome. Peppered throughout the film are these fantastic and chaotic animated title cards. (Think Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) Shouted as well as presented, these cards often say hilarious things such as "He talks to reptiles! He’s the man!"
This seizure-inducing monster of a flick definitely feels like a comic in all the right ways, although as far as I know it’s not based off of any. The soundtrack is SUPERGREAT, lots of distortion, lots of noise. Amps you up the whole way right up to the climax and again at the very end of the film. (I found myself grinning stupidly every time one particular bit of soundtrack played, the one that plays during the credits) Clearly reflective of the main character’s obsession with his guitar.
The actor who plays the protagonist is actually in a band, Mach 1.67 I think, and they do the music for the film. Like I said, it fucking rocks. And that actor is none other than Tadanobu Asano. Who in addition to being pretty cool in this movie is also pretty spectacular in another hyperstylized comic movie: Ichi the Killer. Yup, I was super fucking surprised to find out that the lead in Electric Dragon also plays Kakihara! Blew my fucking mind, just about.
There is a kinda sorta big problem with this movie though. It’s short. Way too short. I can almost guarantee a good time but the good times don’t last. This bad boy is a fast and mean 56 minutes. Fucking criminal. As such the plot is pretty basic: Guy gets hit by electricity. This other guy is bad. He fucks with our hero’s shit. They have to fight. Don’t worry, I doubt knowing any of that will spoil this flick for you. That’s not even everything. I didn’t tell you the main character really likes reptiles. I mean, shit. The character motivations are somewhat unclear, especially in the badguy’s case, but I enjoyed this movie so much I was willing to look past it. Not let it ruin the movie.
I would kill to see an Electric Dragon 2.000.000 V, but I doubt it’s in the cards. Still, I have all of Gakuryu Ishii’s filmography to check out, and I’m so excited to do so. CHECK THIS MOVIE OUT.
Good, noisy times.
SIDENOTE: From what I read, (didn’t read too much into this so I’m not 100% on it), this film was shot in a week, which is pretty damn impressive. The shots are great and pretty ambitious, but I guess it makes sense when you take into account how much less happens plotwise compared to most other films.
ALSO. I read a story where this flick was playing at a festival with the director in attendance. With the aid of a translator he continually called out to the projectionist “Louder! It needs to be louder!” People claimed to have heard this play with the audio on full tilt at a cinema. That’s pretty crazy, and goddamn am I jealous of those fuckers.
CLICK THE POSTER FOR THE TRAILER.