HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Great White
Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
   
 
Newest Articles
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
   
 
  Dragonball: Curse of the Blood Rubies Gotta catch 'em all
Year: 1986
Director: Daisuke Nishio
Stars: Masako Nozawa, Shuuichirou Moriyama, Daisuke Gouri, Goro Naya, Hiromi Tsuru, Kenji Utsumi, Kôhei Miyauchi, Mami Koyama, Naoki Tatsuta, Naoko Watanabe, Tohru Furuya, Tomiko Suzuki, Jouji Yanami
Genre: Comedy, Martial Arts, Animated, Science Fiction, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Akira Toriyama's manga creation is one of the most popular of all time. Known in Japan as Dragonball: Legend of the Dragon, this is the first in a series of Dragonball mini-movies that appeared annually for the next fourteen years. Toriyama's premise reworks the classic Chinese novel, Journey to the West, the same story that spawned the live action television hit Monkey (1979). Seven dragon balls scattered around the world are sought after by various pilgrims. When brought together they summon the mighty dragon god, Shen Long who will grant the bearer one wish. Into this scenario Toriyama injects heroic doses of sci-fi, playful surrealism, naughty humour and numerous nods to his hero Jackie Chan.

Evil King Gourmeth is addicted to eating the blood rubies buried beneath his kingdom, even though their curse has transformed him into a bloated demon. His machines tear up the countryside in search of more, while shock troops terrorize the local farmers. When King Gourmeth decides to seek the legendary dragon balls to sate his hunger, a brave little girl named Pansy goes looking for a hero. Meanwhile, deep in a mystical valley dwells Son Goku, an invincible kung fu boy from outer space, who owns a dragon ball. Raised by his late grandfather and living wild amongst talking animals and dinosaurs, Goku is super-strong, wields a magic staff and a flying cloud, but is a true innocent with a big heart. He befriends Bulma, a beautiful gadget-wielding teen-adventurer searching for the dragon balls, but they're left swiftly robbed by Gourmeth's minions, Pasta and Pongo.

Whilst trailing the bad guys, Goku and Bulma rescue Penny from a giant monster that turns out to be Oolong the shapeshifting pig, whereupon they're all ambushed by Yamcha the handsome highwayman (who is secretly scared of girls) and his sidekick Pooal the shape-changing cat (who went to shapeshifting college with slacker Oolong). After an encounter with Kamesennin, the wise, all-knowing turtle sensei, the pilgrims patch up their differences and take the fight to King Gourmeth.

This essentially retells the first few episodes of the television series, but with added tweaks like Penny and the whole King Gourmeth subplot. The story is condensed in a way that might seem bewildering to newcomers, but still races along amiably with frantic action, zany Warner Bros. style gags and non-stop invention. Characters are as lovable as their toothy grins, while the big sister-kid brother dynamic between Bulma and Goku is appealing. Muted in the English dubbed version is the innocent, adolescent sexual curiosity (Goku has never seen a girl before and frequently stumbles on Bulma in the bath) and Toriyama's trademark Carry On style humour (characters often try to sneak a peek at Bulma's bazongas).

Dragonball has everything: mad martial arts, crazy gadgets, transformer robots, monsters, magic and wisecracking animals, plus a joyful boy hero whose kindness imparts a moral lesson or two. Little wonder it held so many kids spellbound across Asia for so many years. Light on plot when compared to the TV series and with better Dragonball movies yet to come, this remains a nifty little taster of what for many Asian kids was a generation-defining phenomenon equal to Star Wars (1977).
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4266 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: