In 1997, Busta Rhymes parodied the character Sho'nuff in his music video for "Dangerous". In the video, the music cuts off, and Busta proclaims, "Yo Leroy! Am I not the baddest..." and replicates Sho'nuff's first on-screen speech.
Under pressure from the studio, trying to cut the budget by $2 million, director Michael Schultz and screenwriter Louis Venosta sat up all night in a hotel room, re-writing the script. When Venosta fell asleep, Schultz decided to delete 40 pages of the script. When Venosta awoke the next morning, the pair spent the day recreating the deleted material.
Filming began April 16th 1984. Locations include: The Victory Theater on 42nd Street, Bernstein's-on-Essex (an oriental delicatessen used with its decor intact), the Harlem Karate Institute, a pizza restaurant in lower Manhattan, a Chinese warehouse on Walker Street in Manhattan, Super Amusements in Flushing, Queens, and an abandoned wire factory and warehouse at East 118th and East Side Highway in Manhattan.
Some posters for the film featured a long text preamble that read: "He's a martial arts master who refuses to fight. He's a Bruce Lee fan who's so sure he's Oriental that he eats popcorn with chopsticks. His friends think he's too serious. His family thinks he's crazy. His enemies think he's no challenge. But he knows he's The Last Dragon".
According to its production notes, the film made covered new ground in its use of video and digital recording of sound. Video consultant Charles Anzalone, whose company custom-built the video equipment used in the film, said in an interview, "We used a million dollars worth of video equipment. We used three professional Sony Betacam players, the only three of their kind in the world, especially developed for this movie. We had to modify the transmission of the video in order to accommodate the filming of the video sections in the film, all that work with Vanity in the Seventh Heaven sequences. This took months of intensive research and development. It's very sophisticated".