The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at] I'd love to check out what you got. And check out my book, Chad in Accounting, over on Amazon.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Bridge of Dragons (1999)

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I first saw this film sitting in a used DVD bin for $5. It looked like a can't miss, and when I watched it for the first time with a buddy, it became an instant classic. This film is a staple of all of our Dolph fests, usually shown before the other Lundgren/Tagawa classic Showdown in Little Tokyo. This film also played a huge role in Dolph becoming the Babe Ruth of the DTVC Hall of Fame.

Bridge of Dragons takes place in some kind of post-apocalyptic future, I guess, where people are recreating 1930s Eastern Europe, maybe, and the royal family consists of an Asian woman. The only other Asian is Tagawa, and he's planning to usurp the throne by marrying the woman. She escapes, and it's up to Dolph, Tagawa's enforcer, to get her back. Did I mention she's a hot Asian woman? Dolph loves that, and instead of bringing her back, he joins the resistance against Tagawa. Finally, at another wedding after she's been recaptured, Dolph takes Tagawa outside and beats him like a rented mule, and then he blows up.

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I don't know where to start. The two random Asians might be a good place. We have no idea why two Asians have so much power in this Eastern European society. Also, they're the only two Asians in the film. I don't know, your guess is as good as mine. That's not the only thing that makes no sense about this future. We have no idea why it's constructed the way it is, who the players are, and what their motivations are: they just show up, and we're supposed to accept it all as it comes. And I'll be honest, I like it. I know what Dolph's motivation is, and that's enough for me.

This is pure Lundgren. In one scene he kicks a flaming table at people, and a string that you can barely see lifts the table high in the air. It's the kind of thing you'll rewind a few times because it's that funny. Tagawa plays a guy named Ruechang, and when Dolph says it with his Swedish accent, it sounds ten times cooler. One of my favorite scenes is where he pulls a Three Stooges in the Haunted Mansion routine where he hides under a jeep and pulls a guy by the legs from underneath. Oh yeah, and his running is great.

There's plenty of hilarious bad action. When guys get shot, their bodies react in weird ways. They get pulled violently by zip chords and whatnot. Again, this makes for some very funny scenes. When Dolph fights Tagawa at the end, he does this kick that sends Tagawa unnaturally to the ground. One of the best things I've ever seen.

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The woman in this is hot. According to the movie credits, she's Rachel Shane. According to imdb, her real name's Victoria Chow. In terms of Dolph eye candy, I'd say she's up there with the Silent Trigger woman and Tia Carrere from Showdown. Kylie Bax in Storm Catcher wasn't bad either. That's one thing I appreciate from Dolph. Unlike Van Damme, who feels the need to show us his buttcheeks all the time, Dolph supplements his own natural hotness with something for the hetero guys. He's an equal opportunity film maker, and it's refreshing.

This is a cornerstone in my bad movie collection. I can't imagine anyone who likes bad movies not having this in theirs. I may have only paid $5 for this, but it's at least worth ten, maybe fifteen. That's right, I said it, fifteen. Maybe. A big maybe. How's this, if you can get it for $5, you'll feel like you bought fifteen bucks worth of bad movie.

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  1. This was great! How ridiculous was this setting?! A kind of hybrid 1930's WWII Europe combined with 1800's china and 1400's England! I couldn't stop laughing the whole way through it was so strange. Army guys in jeeps and helicopters chasing princesses on horses and gangs of Robin Hood types.

    I particularly loved the swishing and swooshing sounds during the fight scenes, a staple of 70's kung-fu movies. Dolph was on fire too. Brilliant!

  2. Yeah, this is one of my all time favorite movies, so I'm glad you had a great experience with it too.