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Dragon Blue
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Box Front Director: Takuya Wada
Original Release Year: 1995
Running Time: 72 minutes

DVD Released By: ADV Films
Video: Widescreen
Audio: Japanese 2.0
Extras: ADV previews
Subtitles: English
Closed Captions: None
Region: 1
Format: NTSC
Chapters: 8
Packaging: Keepcase
MSRP: $19.98
UPC #: 702727071522
Catalog #: DDRB/001
Status: Available


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Reviewed by:
The Film: Mayuko Mizuki is a Feng Shui expert and reluctant part-time exorcist.  During an encounter with a violent ghost, the specter of an old priest appears and banishes the angry spirit.  The priest, Tenkai, tells Mayuko that she is a descendant of the Dragon People.  He insists that it is her destiny to banish demons from the world.  Mayuko thinks his ideas are ridiculous, but she soon begins having visions.  Some are violent; some are messages of advice from Tenkai.

Mayukoís teacher sends her to an island to investigate a string of bizarre occurrences.  A resort construction project has stalled, women are being abducted, and men are being killed.  Complicating things for Mayuko is the fact that most of the local people distrust her.  Saga, a charlatan priest, is particularly bothersome.  She finds one ally in Ryusaki, a private detective.  Their investigation leads them to another nearby island, where a Sea Demon has collected a harem of human women for mating purposes!  Those that survive the creatureís affections become zombies.  Mayuko will have to heed the advice of Tenkai and use the power of the Dragon People to put a stop to the Sea Demonís campaign of rape and murder!

Despite a few good points,
Dragon Blue is a mess of a movie.  It could have been interesting to show a more mystical side of Feng Shui, which most Westerners know only as an interior-decorating gimmick.  The island scenery is beautiful.  As Mayuko, Hiroko Tanaka is a pretty and appealing lead.  She should be in better movies.  Pro wrestler Keiji Mutoh (aka The Great Muta) is a standard big lug, nothing more.  His action scenes (if you can call them that) make little use of his physical abilities.  Mayukoís transformation and battle with the Sea Demon are also clumsy and anti-climatic.

In many areas, the film is pretty nonsensical.  Why does Saga talk like a hillbilly at fist, and why does he have a nasty boil on his cheek?  Who thought any audience would want to see him in a sex scene?  Why does Mayuko pass on looking at some ancient documents that could shed some light on the supernatural events?  Why does the Sea Demon who falls in love with a village girl in a flashback sequence just look like a normal guy?

The modern Sea Demon is a ridiculous rubber monster.  (It was designed by
The Guyverís Steve Wang.)  Slimy humanoids have been lumbering out of the water and lusting after human women since the 1950s.  The Creature from the Black Lagoon is a classic; Dragon Blue is more akin to Roger Cormanís kitschy 1980 Humanoids from the Deep.  However, the film isnít over-the-top enough to be campy fun.  Although it drifts in the direction of live-action hentai, it doesnít really deliver the gruesome goods in that department either.  Overall, itís just a bland blood-and-tits potboiler.  Grade:  D+

Video: Dragon Blue is presented in non-anamorphic widescreen.  The print is clean, with only very occasional specks.  Color reproduction is good; the islandís clear blue water and white sand look good enough for a travel video.  Grain is never a problem.  All in all, it looks very good.  It would look even better with the additional sharpness and clarity of anamorphic enhancement, though.  What does ADV have against anamorphic transfers?  Grade:  B

Audio: The original Japanese 2.0 is the only option.  The dialogue is clear.  The music is unmemorable, and the film could have used more punch in the sound effects.  Thatís no fault of the disc, though.  Just donít expect your speakers or your ears to get much of a workout from this one.  Grade:  B-

Extras / Menus: The only extras are ADV previews for:  Gamera:  Guardian of the Universe; The Complete Daimajin Trilogy, Yokai Monsters:  100 Monsters, Gamera 2:  Attack of Legion, Yokai Monsters:  Along with Ghosts, and Yokai Monsters:  Spook Warfare.  These are promos for ADVís video releases, not original theatrical trailers.  They are all presented in non-anamorphic widescreen.  There is also a single still screen of DVD credits.

The chapter select and ADV previews menus have animated film clips in the selection windows.  The main menu is a simple still image; perhaps the blandest-looking DVD menu screen ever.  They should have gone the opposite route and used a picture of a stun gun hitting a bare breast (yes, itís in the movie).  All of the menus have the same background music, which gets old quickly.  The music is taken from the filmís end theme.  The full version is one of those Japanese pop / rock love songs that are frequently tacked on to the end of monster movies they have nothing to do with.  This one includes the memorable line, ďWith your mischievous finger, you make me tremble.Ē 
Grade:  D

Final Analysis: If youíre going to make a movie about a sexually predacious sea creature, either make a dark and terrifying horror film, an over-the-top splatter movie, or at least fun popcorn fare.  Naked chicks, a wrestler, and a rubber monster do not necessarily make a good movie.  That may be heresy to the beer-and-chips crowd, but itís true.  Even for them, Dragon Blue is worth a rental at best.  Final Grade:  D+
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