Today’s selection: Electric Dragon 80000V (2001, dir. Sogo Ishii)
Available from: Discotek
Electric Dragon 80000V is… unusual. Well, not if you frequently watch black-and-white arthouse fare such as Pi, Eraserhead, and Tetsuo the Iron Man, but otherwise, it’ll come across as disjointed, frenetic, incoherent, and incredibly stylish. The premise is about Dragon-Eye Morrison, a guy who got electrocuted as a child, awakening the violent, reptilian part of his brain, and giving him electrical super powers. He channels his aggression into guitar music until another electric guy (with a half-Buddha face) kidnaps his pet lizard, leading to a confrontation. That’s more or less it; the entire film probably only has about two dozen lines of dialogue, but the movie is less about providing a narrative than a mood. It’s been used as a visual backdrop for punk rock performances, which may be the ideal use for such a project (heck, most of the dialogue even exists as captions), especially considering director Ishii’s history with works like Burst City.