Blu-ray Review: Double Dragon (1994)

January 30, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

In the amazing future year 2007, the villainous businessman/shadow monster Koga Shuko (Robert Patrick, who looks absolutely preposterous and gobbles up scenery like he’s hitting the mac n’ cheese trough at the local Golden Corral) lords over the city of New Angeles. Not for nothing, he has also come in possession of half of a mystical medallion (called the Double Dragon) that when made whole grants it’s owner some of those mystic powers the kids are so into these days. Well, humanity can breathe easy as the other half is in the possession of Satori (Julia Nickson) and her two adopted sons Billy and Jimmy Lee (Scott Wolf and Mark Dacascos)…underground karate tournament fighters and favorite targets for Bo Abobo (Nils Allen Stewart…who seems to be having the time of his life in the role…as does everyone in this thing honestly), leader of the Mohawk Gang and frequent steroid abuser. Soon Shuko kills Satori, tuns Abobo into an outrageous monster, unites the cities Warriors-esque gangs, and becomes absolutely hell bent on killing our heroes and retrieving their half of the medallion. Thankfully Billy and Jimmy are joined by Marian (Alyssa Milano) and her vigilante squad The Power Corp, but will they have the stones to stop Shuko?
Reading that description above you can tell that the makers of Double Dragon seriously over-complicated an adaptation of a game that primarily consisted of you walking to the right and whipping some ass. Fortunately, the final picture, while not faithful to the game outside of a few character names and some martial arts battles, ends up being a huge slice of ultra-cheesy fun. As mentioned above, everyone involved is super involved in this nonsense, and that provides the flick with heart, and there’s some fun cameos (including horror biz legend Michael Berryman), interesting costume and production design (the post apocalyptic city of New Angeles is a mix of gaudy neon and heavy industrial elements), and solid fighting (mainly performed by trained martial artist Dacascos).
On the downside, the CGI is pretty fart…but there’s enough zombies, cyborgs, mutants, and sword wielding demons to make you not give much of a damn.
Of course it has to be noted that the entire affair is so painfully ’90’s that you’ll be wishing you had a case of Zima (or Surge) and some Butterfinger BBs to get you through…and hopefully your beeper won’t go off during the show. Seriously though, the ’90’s factor adds something the filmmakers never intended…a warm sense of comfortable nostalgia that will doubtless add to the viewing pleasure of those that were young during the decade.
Along with the flick, MVD Entertainment (through their Rewind Collection) have included some great extras on the Blu-ray release. First up we get a brand-new feature length documentary covering the production of Double Dragon. Featuring interviews with Producer Don Murphy, Writers Michael Davis and Peter Gould, and Actors Wolf and Dacascos, this is an info packed and incredibly entertaining watch that explains just how the insanity of ol’ Double D came to be. Following that comes an interview with Murphy (covering his entire career), the pilot episode of the animated Double Dragon series (so cheesy…so fun…kind of the theme of this release in a nutshell!), archival “behind the scenes” and “making of” footage. Last up we have a series of still galleries covering the film’s production and marketing, three trailers, and a handful of TV spots.
If you are looking for a completely goofy, brain-in-park great time in front of the ol’ beastly boob tube, Double Dragon will give you that in spades…it’s colorful, comic book cool with a thick corny shell and it’s pretty damn hard to resist!



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