While "Babe takes on Hideously Deformed and Horny Demon" movies are almost an entire subgenre in the land of the Rising Sun, "Dragon Blue"is a cut or two above the norm. Director Takoya Wada has clearly been influenced by European genre masters like Mario Bava and Lugio Fulchi, learning the most important lesson of suspense films:timing is everything! Rather than focus on piling up the transgressive stuff early, which some Japanese genre directors seem to relish, Waba allows his story to build dramatically. While it is difficult to take a movie about a big blue sea monster who kills men and rapes and kills women altogether seriously,Wada uses the setting (an isolated island far from mainland Japan) well to bring out the normal hopes and fears of the characters. Even the demon is not just a typical heavy,but a sympathetic character who actually represents enlightenment over the superstious villagers who would hunt him down. The young lady who plays the part of the Feng Shi master destined to kill the demon is not only eye candy, but an accomplished actress, turning in a surprisingly understated performance.
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