Dragon Fury (1995) Poster

(1995)

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5/10
Hilariously bad
Nuclear_Exorcist14 March 2006
This is one of those movies which is insanely enjoyable for the sole purpose of laughing at how badly the makers tried and failed to make a watchable movie. The paper-thin plot revolves around the future being all post-apocalyptic and plagued by a nasty disease (which is referred to by a made-up name which would make it a bacterium even though it's called a virus), so the pretty-boy main character goes back to 1999 (in a time machine seemingly made of spare planks and leftover parts from someone's school science project) to find the cure. Of course, he's followed by a couple of bad-asses and his wife, who randomly takes her top off before going through for no apparent reason. Then later on she takes it off again, after saying "but not before we rest and have sex". Yes, that's a direct quote.

Anyway, most of the movie involves random fighting, interspersed with hilariously bad dialog, random nudity and acting so wooden you could hammer nails into it and make a porch from it. It also seems to have been filmed through a camera lens smeared with vaseline, edited by a monkey and mixed on a $50 boom box tape recorder. In other words, splendid stuff if you're looking to go a bit of home-mysting.
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3/10
Junky, no-budget sludge
Comeuppance Reviews22 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
A swordsman from the future named Mason, who has attained the rank of "Dragon Warrior" (Chapin) travels back in time to the year 1999 to find a cure for a plague-ravaged world after the big earthquake kills most of civilization. While you might think that if it was invented in the past, they would have the serum in the future, you'd be wrong. So Mason and his partner Regina (Jason) end up having to fight a bunch of people, but the main baddie is Fullock (Storm). There's also an emperor-like overlord named Vestor (Lynch), but his presence raises more questions than answers. Will Mason and Regina run for the cure? Will future populations be saved? Dragon Fury had us asking the question, "where's Joe Estevez?" It really seems like he should've been involved, but he's nowhere in sight. Lack of Estevezness aside, this 'Fury is junky, no-budget sludge that is essentially a cross between Future War (1997), Abraxas (1990), Peacemaker (1990), and a parent's video of a child's school play. It makes sense that Troma released this, because the way it's filmed will make your eyes hurt, and it will likely annoy you. What doesn't make sense is that the normally-dependable David Heavener directed it. It all, somehow, feels very un-Heavener-like. Maybe he was preoccupied with his one-scene "special guest appearance" where he plays against type as a nerd. Unsurprisingly, he was probably unsatisfied working on the production, which would explain why he didn't return for the (inexplicable) sequel. Robert Chapin did, however.

Chapin, last seen in Comeuppance Classic Ring of Steel (1994), takes a step down here with this far more amateurish production. His lovely, lovely locks are still in abundance and they put the hair of most of the female characters to shame. While he's not the only mulleted guy to be seen, his is truly king of them all. Perhaps that's why he graduated to be lead Dragon Warrior. TJ Storm makes a worthy villain, and Richard Lynch is…here, but the movie is loaded with stupid, stupid stupidity that will make you feel stupid. Probably the highlights are the Skid Row fight and the Chinatown fight, and if you ever wanted to know what having a lobotomy might feel like without having to go through the time and expense of undergoing the surgery, watching these two scenes is likely the closest you'll get.

There are irritating characters such as Milton (Loch), as well as some hooded ninjas, and a lot of silliness, and it's a pretty unapologetic Terminator (1984) knockoff, but the good side is that it's only 79 minutes. So at least it has the good sense not to waste too much of your time. It's a prime candidate for the MST3K treatment (either by they themselves or you with your friends). Dragon Fury will make you yearn for the presence of Jorgo Ognenovski. And that's saying something.
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4/10
"I'll answer more questions after we rest and have sex"
The_Phantom_Projectionist28 October 2015
After making his acting debut in RING OF STEEL – one of the best films about weapons-fighting I have ever seen – swordsman Robert Chapin followed it up with this little independent disaster. DRAGON FURY is an ambitious outing that partially recycles the premise of THE TERMINATOR with swords in place of robots, without a hint of a substantial budget. Though it bears the Troma label, this is likely a third-party acquisition because despite its hokeyness, it lacks the inspired cult spirit of the likes of THE TOXIC AVENGER. Not to spoil the rest of the review, but this movie isn't very good.

The story: A warrior from a dystopian future (Chapin) and his cohort (Chona Jason) travel back in time to 1999 and attempt to recover the cure for a devastating disease while being hunted by the minions of an evil overlord (Richard Lynch).

From the opening shots of a mass slaughter taking place on a flimsy outdoor set, the viewer knows s/he's in for the amateur experience. Things improve a little when the characters travel through time and have the public property of Los Angeles to elevate the production standard, but the single-camera cinematography and restrictive indoor locations never let you forget what kind of a movie you're watching. The tone of this college-level production is inconsistent and inharmonious: for the most part, the performers are trying to tell a semi-serious action yarn, but aside from moments of massive overacting, there are instances where it seems like a rogue goofball took over the production with intentionally bad comedic scenes and silly inserts (e.g. goofy voiceovers when characters are stabbed). I don't know what to make of this, other than be unimpressed.

Though Richard Lynch gets top billing, the real villain of the piece is T.J. Storm, given his presence and the fact that his genuine athletic ability is one of the few highlights of the film. Though the fight scenes that he contributes to are plagued by occasionally silly choreography and vague repetitiveness, Storm and Chapin and a handful of martial costars are fun to watch and their smooth sword-fighting is a welcome change from kickboxing. The fights are virtually the only reason one would want to watch this movie, other than for laughs, but even I can't get maximum enjoyment out of the ten or so duels due to the underutilization of Chona Jason and the absolutely embarrassing finale between Chapin and Lynch.

DRAGON FURY has enough spirit and enthusiasm to save it from a lower rating, but it's still a cheap movie that can hardly afford its own special effects and features some blatant goofs (get a load of T.J. Storm's white stunt double). I don't think it's funny enough to achieve cult status, rendering it as little more than a cheap action movie that made questionable choices of how to maximize its resources. Let it be.
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