Dragon Storm (2004)
Japan, South Africa and the Middle East including Egypt)
made-for-TV movie about dragons from outer space set in the dark Middle
Ages is guaranteed to cause motion sickness.
So either keep a supply of
Dramamine handy -
or even better: just don't watch it in the first place!
I just knew within five minutes of this Sci-Fi Channel
(obviously made to cash in on Lord of the
that I was in trouble because I was beginning to feel physically nauseous
and watching what should simply have been a bad low-budget movie became an
act of physical endurance.
You see, director Stephen Furst (who? sources other than IMDb -
the DVD cover - supplies his name as being Steven Feuerstein) belongs to
the Michael Bay school of filmmaking, which dictates that even when
nothing exciting is happening, you must edit your movie as though there
is. Thus quick edits and swirling camerawork without any breathers
whatsoever throughout the entire movie. Dragon Storm
is strictly amateur hour stuff: an average
shot doesn't last longer than two seconds (I kid you not - I timed them).
Furst (or whatever his real name is, I'd also be too ashamed to have my
name coupled with this movie) has no sense of flow, no idea how to stage
an action scene or even a normal scene. The action scenes just have the
actors standing around awkwardly, not knowing what exactly to do. Three
quarters through the movie I was feeling so seasick that I stopped the DVD
for a while and washed the dishes and did some other house chores simply
to gain some balance and equilibrium. The last movie that affected me this
badly was the 2002 Impostor. Not even
The Blair Witch Project's infamous hand-held camera work made me feel
as sick as these two movies!
the beginning of the movie we see meteorites hurling through space
straight towards Earth. The meteorites turn out to be dragon eggs which
hatches, and out pops some CGI fire breathing dragons which promptly
attacks and burns down a castle for no apparent reason other than to
kick-start the plot.
The king of the castle (played by John Rhys-Davies, the only actor you'll
recognise because he had a bit part as Sallah in the Indiana Jones
movies) entourage escapes and makes their way to the neighbouring rival
king's castle. Their kingdoms can't be too big because it doesn't take
them too long to reach it. Along the way they enlist the services of a
named Silas (Marner?), who is supposed to be our hero and a
sort of lovable rogue type, but just turns out be somnambulant (Silas is
played by Maxwell Caulfield of Grease 2 "fame", and looks like a
bearded Three's Company's John Ritter).
The two kings decide to team up and quickly put together a team to slay
the dragons. Halfway through the movie a subplot about the one king
wanting to backstab the other one simply drops in from nowhere -
a movie has alien dragons just drop out of the sky, one shouldn't be too
surprised if irrelevant subplots also drop in out of nowhere.
of things in this movie just happen for no apparent reason. One has the
impression that maybe the movie made sense in a rough cut, but that
sadistic editors felt that the running time was just too long and simply
Anyway, breakneck epileptic seizure inducing editing aside, Dragon
Storm suffers from a minute budget
(US$1 million reportedly)
which manifests itself in an embarrassingly sparsely populated castle and
lack of extras. The acting and dialogue is also terribly wooden
throughout. This movie needn't have been so bad: some of the settings used
(Bulgaria!) are quite atmospheric and apt. Also, the CGI-generated dragons
themselves aren't too bad. It's just a pity that everything else in the
Even by the rotten standards of movies made especially for the Sci-Fi
Channel. Dragon Storm is a
dud. It would have made perfect fodder for
Mystery Science Theater 3000 - but no! The Sci-Fi Channel had to go
cancel what was probably the only decent TV show they ever produced! (Then
again watching Mike and his 'bot pals throw up in their pop corn because
of the bad editing and camerawork throughout the entire movie wouldn't
have been a pretty sight.)
Things we should be grateful for though: (a) At
least it doesn't feature a techno soundtrack (Uhm.
That's about it.)
WORTH IT? Have you been reading this review at all?!
RECOMMENDATION: Dragon Storm
probably proves once again that there has never been a good movie with the
word "dragon" in its title. If you can think of one, then feel free to