Dragon Head (2003)

Directed by
Badly acted and somewhat annoying
Reviewed by Simon on 2004-11-12

Teru (Tsumabuki Satoshi) wakes up to find himself apparently the only survivor of a train wreck that has left all his classmates dead. Panic sets in when he discovers that the crash has happened in a tunnel and there appears to be no way to escape. Eventually he finds two other survivors, Ako and Nobou, both trying to come to terms with what has happened. Soon after it becomes apparent that Nobou has lost his mind and turned into a maniac, babbling about seeing red lights before the crash.

After surviving a murderous onslaught from the crazy Nobou, Ako and Teru manage to climb through a sewage tunnel to freedom, only to find that the landscape is emersed in a white ash with more ash raining down from the sky. They decide to try and make their way to Tokyo and search for other survivors. What they discover is a world on the brink of catastrophe, as the few remaining survivors set about killing each other as the panic sets in.

Checked this one out with some friends, and have to say I side with the negative reviews more than the positive. There were some good aspects, but it just didn't feel very well made - the acting was awful, the cinematography not that good (looked like it was shot on video) and the special effects not as impressive as I'd been expecting (we watched it on a big-ass projector, which highlights the somewhat low-tech nature of some of the effects).

Also, the lead characters were whiny, annoying and rather stupid :p With better actors and direction this could have worked well and been a more realistic sort of disaster movies than the usual grand heroics of the genre (more like Battle Royale, perhaps), but in this film I found that the attributes reflected on the actors, not the characters, which made it harder to enjoy.

But, it was kind of fun to watch with friends and make fun of, and did have some good moments.



See also