Archive for August 6th, 2012

The evil King Horn and his troops attack a small village in his quest to retrieve the mystical Dragon Pearls (of which there are 7). A young girl flees from the destruction as her father and the majority of the villagers are seemingly killed. The movie then introduces us to teen martial arts master Son Goku who after testing his skills on his grandfather (Master Roshi) runs into a pretty young woman named Bulma. She is riding around in her jeep. Both come under attack from King Horn’s flying raiders led by his trusty generals Zebrata and Maria who are on their way to Goku’s grandfathers’ residence to steal another Dragon Pearl. Son Goku and Bulma race back but find that Goku’s grandfather and the Dragon Pearl are gone. They team up with people they meet on their travels: Westwood, a boy who is afraid of girls; Jade (the girl who fled from her village at the start of the movie) and Piggy, a pervert who can change his shape at will. Minus Westwood who is sulking, the others travel to the Turtle Master’s island to ask for his help in defeating King Horn. The Turtle Master is a bigger pervert than Piggy who is constantly thinking about sex. He can command a magical cloud which can take him anywhere he wants. It’s not long before King Horn’s raiders appear in the skies and totally destroy the Turtle Master’s home on the island. King Horn now has 6 Dragon Pearls in his possession and needs only 1 more to complete the set and that belongs to Westwood. Our heroes decide to take the fight to King Horn’s HQ which has been set up in Jade’s village. Will they manage to defeat King Horn and his mighty army?

I’m not that familiar with the Dragon Ball franchise except through the crappy live-action US remake that tanked in 2009 and by reading a little bit about it online. I know the names of the characters more than anything. This Taiwanese version shot in Thailand which was made back in 1991 is one of the most cheesiest, OTT fantasy movies you’ll ever get to see with some ridiculous hammy acting by some of the cast. The story is loosely based on the first couple of episodes from the anime on how the characters all met up for the first time and the version I saw has some of the worst dubbing ever in a foreign movie. For some reason the filmmakers decided to change the names of the original characters so now Son Goku is Monkey Boy and Bulma is Seito etc. It could be that this happened due to copyright? I’ve read that the actors were told to exaggerate some of their acting because the anime is somewhat OTT as well. I wouldn’t know having not seen the anime. The less said about the atrocious special effects the better (e.g cardboard spaceships superimposed on screen!). It looks incredibly bad and embarrassing. Who would have thought that King Horn’s troops prefer to use machine guns to laser weapons!! For a family movie there is a fair amount of sexual humour so be warned if you intend to let your children watch this. They would ask questions when the Turtle Master buries his face in Bulma’s breasts and when the characters talk about rapists! There’s a lot of kung fu wirework which is amusing and explosions going off but they don’t really excite you. To be perfectly honest the script isn’t up to scratch with dialogue that will have you laughing as it’s so awful, no character development at all and the villains/minor character are so one-dimensional, dull and completely forgettable. Did I mention that Goku has a fight with a talking crocodile in a river!!! Some of the characters (Turtle Master/Master Roshi) come across as very annoying.

I did find myself chuckling a lot whilst watching the sheer ineptness of the production. What were the filmmakers thinking when they made this but it’s still miles more entertaining than the 2009 remake as it’ll make you smile in disbelief. There’s a Korean version that was made as well so I’ll be sure to check that out in the near future too. Also there’s a new updated version of this movie which sees the old special effects replaced with new CG effects. As for this movie I can only recommend this to die-hard Dragonball fans otherwise steer well clear of this disaster.

Sadako’s Rating: 1.5 stars out of 5

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