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Dragon Head (2003) More at IMDbPro »Doragon heddo (original title)


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Minetaro Mochizuki (comic)
Masa Nakamura (screenplay) ...
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Release Date:
30 August 2003 (Japan) See more »
A teenage boy wakes up and finds himself on a train. He vaguely remembers being on a class trip when something terrible happened, and he is one of the few survivors. | Add synopsis »
2 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Clichés and pacing hurts a wonderfully bleak film See more (17 total) »


  (in credits order)

Satoshi Tsumabuki ... Teru Aoki
Sayaka Kanda ... Ako Seto (as Sayaka)

Takayuki Yamada ... Nobuo Takahashi
Naohito Fujiki ... Nimura
Yoshimasa Kondô ... Iwata
Kyûsaku Shimada ... Minila
Minori Terada ... Andou
Jinpachi Nezu ... Matsuo
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Camille LaBry West ... Ako Seto (voice) (as Camille A. LaBry)
Shion Machida
Yutaka Matsushige

Directed by
Jôji Iida 
Writing credits
Minetaro Mochizuki (comic)

Masa Nakamura (screenplay) &
Hiroshi Saitô (screenplay) &
Jôji Iida (screenplay)

Produced by
Takashi Hirano .... executive producer
Daisuke Oh'oka .... associate producer
Cinematography by
Jun'ichirô Hayashi (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Masahiro Ônaga 
Sound Department
Makio Ika .... sound recordist
Akikazu Inuzuka .... assistant sound re-recording mixer
Peter 'Duck' McDonald .... sound mixer
Christian Alexander Moran .... sound editor (english version)
Katsumi Muro .... sound re-recording mixer
Kenji Shibasaki .... sound effects
Yuji Tagami .... assistant sound re-recording mixer (as Yûji Tagami)
Visual Effects by
Masaru Tateishi .... visual effects supervisor
Hiroyuki Yoshida .... stunt coordinator

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Doragon heddo" - Japan (original title)
See more »
Rated R for some violence and disturbing images
122 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Japan:G | South Korea:15 (cable rating) | USA:R


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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Clichés and pacing hurts a wonderfully bleak film, 21 October 2004
Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York

There have been great Japanese disaster films like Submersion of Japan, and dreadful ones like Earthquake 7.9. This film falls between the best and worst in the good range.

A teenage boy wakes up on a train. He remembers traveling with his class somewhere when something happened, something terrible of which he is one of the few survivors. The first 40 minutes are set in a collapsed train tunnel where the survivors try to come to terms with their situation, both in the tunnel and in their heads. Its an odd way to start a film, but it works since it allows things to be set up and expectations to be dismantled.

After the 40 minutes the movie moves outside as the survivors struggle to travel across what is now a truly alien earth. What happened is not clear at least at first, but it was big and powerful and not over.

For the most part this film works in spades. Visually this film has set the bar to new end of the world films, and I can only imagine what a live action version of the manga and anime classic Akira would look like in the hands of these film makers. The acting is mostly fine with several eerie performances by several of the supporting cast. I also love the fact that this film is dealing with more than just destruction. There are ideas being battered about, as with the strange pair of kids who's father has removed that part of their brain that allows them to fear. Its trippy and creepy at the same time.

Unfortunately the film also has two serious, but not fatal problems. The first the film occasionally moves into cliché a couple of times, as in the crazed soldiers who hook up with our heroes. Why do we need this insanity, even if the film attempts to explain it? The other problem is the pacing is uneven. Sometimes sequences seem to go on a bit too long, while others are too speedy. It grated on this viewer and it felt longer than two hours. As I said its not fatal, but it is annoying because the film as a whole deserves better.

I liked this, especially its sense of the new world. 7 out of 10. See it if you get the chance.

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