For the entire month of April, Cinefessions will be locked into The Asylum, reviewing films released by the famed studio. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday throughout April you will get another review on a film released by The Asylum. April’s podcast will also be devoted to films from The Asylum, and you can decide which three will be reviewed right here. Today, Chris steps into an enchanted forest and finds Leigh Scott’s Dragon.
As I dive deeper into The Asylum catalog, there is one thing I must admit: nothing has been truly awful yet. It’s B-films through and through, but I haven’t wanted to rip my eyes out. For my third film, and third genre, I’ve picked Dragon, which was released in 2006. It’s The Asylum’s answer to Ergaon, which was so bad that it really doesn’t need to be mocked any further.
Dragon has us following Princess Vanir as she ventures out into the woods with two of her best soldiers. Inside this haunted forest she encounters a Necromancer, some dragon slayers, dark elves and a dragon, obviously. Do she and her new friends have the power to save her kingdom and slay the dragon?
The plot doesn’t really matter. It’s a fantasy story so they can just make stuff up as they go along. There’s a large amount of character development, mostly due to the low budget the film had. I actually liked most of the characters, with the Necromancer easily being my favorite.
The costumes are pretty much Halloween party quality, and the make-up is pretty rough around the edges. It just adds to the film’s charm. What I find really distracting is the filters they used, which are often a purple hue, and just don’t work. I’m not sure why Dragon and Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies used such odd filters. There’s one scene that really sticks in my mind where it is raining, and they use a darker filter to make it seem stormy. The fake water starts casting rainbows in front of the actors, though, which made me laugh.
As soon as the dragon shows up I was hooting with laughter. The CGI is pretty terrible. Then I realized the film is 8 years old, so I was okay with it. It doesn’t look the least bit real, and there are terrible edits to try and make it work. Speaking of edits, Dragon has about 5 moments where the film cuts to black for an awkward amount of time. At one point I thought the film ended with a cliffhanger because the blackout was so long.
Dragon isn’t a great film, but The Asylum’s focus is on low-budget B-movies that cash in on Blockbuster films, so I really can’t expect a whole lot out of their small budgets. With that said, Dragon is my favorite Asylum film so far, made so by the likable characters and decent acting. Plus it’s a mockbuster of Eragon, which is easily bested.
Chris was raised on horror films, which gave him a deep love for the genre, especially its most quirky and offbeat titles (like A Nightmare on Elm Street 2). This love quickly turned into an obsession for cinema in 1997, when he decided he needed to see every major theatrical release. Video games (JRPGs), reading (anything but fantasy), and reality television (Survivor) are just some of his other passions. He’s been with Cinefessions since 2013, and has been writing reviews all over the internet for the past twelve years.