Giant Dragons vs. Giant Snakes
August, 2007: Dragon Wars: D-Wars (yeesh, that’s redundant), a Korean movie about giant dragons and snakes returning from the past to crush buildings like so many bags of potato chips, was a smash hit at the box office, making over $75 million snakeskins.
December, 1953: “The Big Snake” appeared in the Tales of Horror #8 comic book. It sold for .25 cents a copy and made considerably less than $75 million.
Judging from the art direction, Dragon Wars owes some royalties, due to RIPPING OFF Tales of Horror. Did Korea think we wouldn’t remember that far back? OK, I can’t remember what I drank for breakfast – but I can remember my comic books. I’m about ready to call the Justice Department for some action on this matter.
I sent an e-mail to Korea, which I have yet to get a reply. Note to East Asia: I don’t care if you can make products at less than one-third of what it would cost to make it here in the States – I will not rest.
The Big Snake was a story about just that, a big snake getting loose in Manhattan, baffling scientists and flicking its tongue at the military’s attempts to turn it into one million pair of boots. Pretty cool for five decades ago.
Dragon Wars was a cool giant monster movie, but not a good giant monster story. Observe…
About a half-thousand years ago a young Korean girl wakes up to find she has a Yeouijoo inside her. Hold your jokes – this means when she’s ripe, she has to be sacrificed to the Good Imoogi. Sucks to be her. A guardian sent from Heaven is supposed to protect her, but all he wants to do is smooch upon her pre-sacrificial face. So when the Dark Imoogi – led by that dickhead Buraki – comes to get the chick, the guardian and the sacri-girl jump off a cliff, killing themselves in the process. This way blows as she was supposed to sacrificed the procedural way to allow for the return of yackety-yack, yack, yack.
Leapfrog 500 years into today’s modern society where sacrifices are usually done on the internet. The reincarnated souls of the lovers turn up as a hot chick and a handsome TV news guy. But Buraki is also back, trying to sacrifice the chick first so the Dark Imoogi can turn into a giant dragon before the Good Imoogi does. What is with those two anyway?
Buraki unleashes a horde of army guys that emulate the look, style and feel of Orcs from Lord of the Rings. These guys have dragon elephants with surface-to-air missile launchers affixed to their backs. Also included is a fleet of gargoyle dragons and a snake dragon that measures the size of several football fields.
The backstory of why everybody is doing what they’re doing is the stuff used to make hot air balloons float. The dragon special effects, though, are ridiculously incredible. The way that snake chases the reincarnated lovebirds through the city and up to a rooftop will fill your face with happiness. If you saw Transformers, this downtown fight ranks up there with those rock ’em and/or sock ’em robots.
The final scene pits the bad snake dragon against the good snake dragon for a war that’s biblical in its epicnicity. (I’m campaigning to have that word added to the dictionary. Won’t you help me?) They could’ve lost me at any point the dragons started to look fake. But that never happened. Also what I never thought would happen is me rooting for the Dark Imoogi. I learn something new about myself every day.
Regardless of my choice of teams, Dragon Wars was a fun face feast. Watch it and then call me up (not really) to tell me what a damn Good Imoogi I am.
P.S. Old comic books rule.