If you’ve ever thought to yourself that Indiana Jones should be a bit more like James Bond, or that Uncharted’s Nathan Drake isn’t enough of a bastard, then Dragon Force X, a new web series from director Stuart Simpson (Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla) may certainly scratch that itch.
A crowdfunded collaboration between Lost Art Films and Monster Pictures’ online branch Cult of Monster, the series sees the wonderfully monikered Maddox Montana (Simpson again, under the pseudonym Stuey Chu), hired by mysterious benefactor Nolan Matiess (Glenn Maynard), to track down the mythical Amulets of Fire. It’s the stepping stone to what is essentially a nostalgia fuelled trip into the kind of ‘80s action series you may remember watching as a kid. Albeit with a decidedly more adult ozploitation feel to it.
From the four episodes that we got to see, despite each one’s short running time, the show manages to pack in a hell of a lot. There’s over the top violence, outrageous stereotypes, iffy rear projection and, yes, you guessed it, a brief moment of coordinated nightclub dancing! (Why wouldn’t there be?!) All of which is seasoned with a knowing side eye from Simpson and team that never feels like they’re overzealously prodding you to get the joke.
Aside from the blood soaked, what-the-hell, frivolity of it all, what also impresses about Dragon Force X is the sheer scope of it all. Location shooting in India and New Zealand gives the series a cinematic depth it perhaps wouldn’t have had, had there been an overreliance on green screen. It certainly helps that the scenery looks gorgeous to boot.
Insane, gory, and extremely funny, if the series can keep up the momentum of what we’ve seen so far, Dragon Force X looks set to be a full-on assault to the senses. Fans of cult series Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place will certainly feel right at home.