- Rev Horror
Yellow Dragon's Village
Dir. Yugo Sakamoto (2021)
Ordinary college students dropped by a strange village on their way to their camp. Persuaded by a seemingly friendly villager to stay over, brutal killings occur the following morning.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
No matter where you are in the world, be it in America or Japan, a flat tire is never a good thing. If you are unlucky enough when searching for help, you may find yourself in a remote town/village with strange customs. Unluckier folks may find that this strange place is home to a cannibalistic cult, and perhaps a rare few will find themselves smack dab in the middle of a revenge-driven Kung-Fu murder spree. You may or may not be surprised to find out that this is exactly what happens to the characters in the Japanese film Yellow Dragon Village.
I thought I knew exactly what I was getting when starting this movie. I read the synopsis, looked at its short runtime of 67 minutes, and promptly concluded that it would be just another episode of “Oops! I accidently spent the night in a town full of cannibals”, and boy was I wrong. I will say in no uncertain terms that this movie is completely bonkers.
When the group of Japanese teenagers show up to a remote village after a sudden flat tire, it's pretty clear that something isn’t quite right. Seasoned horror fans will likely point at their screen yelling “Cannibal!” well before one of the characters asks what kind of meat they are currently eating. After this, the movie becomes much less predictable as characters begin dying in unexpected ways, even characters we are led to believe may have a chance at beating their captors. Half way through the movie, the tone of the film takes a complete 180 and turns into a Japanese martial arts film with shotguns, flying fists, wacky deaths, and samurai swords. It even manages to bring in some supernatural elements into the mix
One of the most interesting parts of the film is its cinematography. It constantly jumps between different styles. The movie is packed with found-footage elements, slow and ominous shots, sudden montages, shaky cam fight scenes, and the list goes on. Even with all of these elements, the film still seems cohesive and is easily digestible, feeling like the movie is just long enough without overstaying its welcome.
Who this movie is for: J-Horror Fans, Slasher fans, Kung-Fu enthusiasts.
Bottom line: Yellow Dragon Village is a great way to spend an hour. Anyone who thinks that the movies they watch are too predictable or want something new and original ought to give this one a shot.