The Blood of the Dragon Peril
Starring: Bruce Lai, Chui Man Fooi, Robby Ban, Eddie Wang, Judy Suh
Director: Rocky Man
When the Japanese occupy Manchuria the country’s only hope is the Doll Bride Mask! The Japanese forces are constantly outsmarted by the Doll Bright Mask: he blows up their munitions, steals secret maps, and gives the people hope to fight their oppressors.
Liu, a Manchurian, assists the Japanese in their military endeavors to support his family. Although Liu’s father, a leading martial arts teacher, committed suicide rather than cut his hair, Liu’s brother seemingly went crazy over his father’s death and wanders the town asking for money to buy rice cakes; Liu is still determined to capture Doll Bright Mask, get a promotion, and serve the Japanese. When a long lost student of Liu’s father shows up, Liu suspects that he is working for the resistance and that he maybe the Doll Bright Mask. Liu sets a trap for him then Doll Bright Mask shows up to rescue the man, Liu understands he is dealing with something much more powerful than one man.
The Japanese send Lieutenant Yashida to take care of Doll Bright Mask and secure Manchuria once and for all. Yashida, an expert at swordplay, mistrusts Liu and suspects he is Doll Bright Mask. Yashida humiliates Liu’s brother by having him lick his boots to earn money to pay for medicine for Liu’s sick mother. Yahsida then confronts Liu’s mother and kills her. Doll Bright Mask has a showdown with Yashida and his men in the forest. As Doll Bright is killing Yashida, Liu shows up and shoots Doll Bright. Liu follows Doll Bright and discovers that his seemingly crazy brother is Doll Bright Mask.
After Liu finds out Yahsida killed his mother, Liu’s brother explains his motivations for assuming the identity of Doll Bright Mask. Liu promises his dying brother that he will become Doll Bright Mask and avenege his family and free Manchuria from Japanese rule. Liu returns to the Japanese headquarters with his brother’s body and reveals that his brother was Doll Bright Mask.
The General congratulates Liu and gives him a medal. Shortly after, Doll Bright Mask shows back up, kills the general and blows of the Japanese headquarters. Liu reveals himself as the new Doll Bright Mask and pledges to fight for Manchurian independence as long as it takes.
The fight scenes in this movie are interesting to say the least. For fans of quick camera cuts and multiple shots of someone jumping and flipping this movie will satisfy you. I am not a fan of these type of editing tricks in fight scenes. What I did find entertaining about the fights were the crisp tae kwon do style kicks and the intensity of the actors when fighting. Overall, however, the fight scenes were not that good and I was disappointed in their quality.
Blood of the Dragon Peril is a kung fu film that reminds me of a pseudo-superhero film. As a kid, I really was intrigued by the Doll Bride Mask. As an adult, I find some nostalgia for the character and still find the mask itself intriguing and the theme music that blares when Doll Bride has a fight scene. The plot of this movie is somewhat lacking and the reveal of Liu’s brother as Doll Bride is anti-climatic. You won’t be disappointed if you miss seeing this movie.