ENTER THE DRAG DRAGON: 3 ½ STARS FOR FANS OF KITSCH. “psychotronic cinema.”
Over on my bookshelf is a book called “Cult Flicks and Trash Pics” edited by Carol Schwartz. Contained within are descriptions of the kind of wild-and-wonderful B-movies theatres usually only show after midnight. Schwartz presents schlock films like “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” and “Dismember Mama” as though they were “Citizen Kane” or “Breathless,” cinema classics of the psychotronic kind.
It’s rare these days to find a movie that feels like it could earn a place in this book, perhaps wedged between “Eegah! The Name Written in Blood” and “Elephant Parts,” but “Enter the Drag Dragon,” a new flash-and-trash flick from Ottawa filmmaker Lee Demarbre, and now in limited release, just might make the book’s next printing.
Billed as the “world’s first ever drag queen, martial arts, comedy,” the movie is a no-holds-barred, extreme indie action-adventure flick starring Jade London as Drag Queen and part time detective Crunch. He lives with best friend and food delivery entrepreneur Jaws (Beatrice Beres) at an abandoned movie theatre owned by their friend Fast Buck (Phil Caracas). Together they use martial arts to solve cases, but will that be enough to fight off the undead guardians of their biggest score ever, the Aztec Mummy treasure?
Add to that some musical numbers, deadly nunchakus made of sex toys and some very elaborate hairdos and you have a singular film that would make b-movie legends Lloyd Kaufman (who makes an appearance in the movie) and Ed Wood proud.
“Enter the Drag Dragon” knows who its audience is. It is an anarchic, queer gorefest that owes a debt to everyone from Bruce Lee and Russ Meyer to Luis Buñuel and RuPaul. Demarbre is obviously a student of Midnight Madness genre, and delivers, for better and for worse, a movie that simultaneously pays homage to the form while reinventing it for a new generation.