Directed by: "Philthy" Phil Phillips
Starring: MC Kung Fu, John Williams, "Philthy" Phil Phillips, Kathy Barbour, Fawn Reed, Millicent Ally, John J. Haran, Leo Fox, and Deva
Ray (MC Kung Fu)
is a carefree rapping lothario who is also adept at martial arts. He
spends his time rhyming everything he says and hanging out with his two
“Home Dogs” Rick (Williams) and Philthy (Phillips). When not chatting up
the ladies at the local dive, he’s getting into fights with people of
various ethnicities. His life changes when he meets Tina (Barbour), a
“fly honey” of the first order. He gives up his womanizing ways after he
falls in love with her. There is a problem, however: Tina’s abusive
ex-boyfriend John (Haran) isn’t prepared to let her out of his iron fist
and he wants revenge on Ray. You know he’s evil because a. he’s white,
b. he beats Tina and c. he doesn’t even rhyme everything he says. What a
chump. As you’ll see, John gives new meaning to the term “insanely
jealous”. Amidst all his many problems, will
Ray be “dope” enough to come out on top?
City Dragon is really
something. Yes, it’s shot on video and everything from the acting to the
editing and everything in between is incredibly amateurish and
incoherent...but that would be missing the point entirely! Philthy Phil Phillips,
a multi-talented man, actually made this movie and got it into stores. Sure, the movie isn’t
technically perfect, but you must see it to believe it. Ray/MC Kung Fu
is like some sort of out-of-control cross between Saturday Night Live’s Fred Armisen and Wordsworth the cat from the old Heathcliff cartoon. And where did they find the guy who plays Rick (the self-described “wigger”)? Presumably this isn’t the same John Williams who composed the score to Star Wars (1977)
Although we’re still not entirely sure. With his bug-eyed, super-fast
rhyming style and whiteness, he predates Eminem by many years. But where
Williams’ millions of dollars and record deal? Injustice I tell you. Injustice.
clothes are phenomenal. Ray’s wardrobe alone is amazing. He mainly
wears a barely-existent muscle shirt in his daily life (which he is
constantly taking off and doesn’t even bother to pick up off the ground
after his fights, he must have a closet full of them), but when he
really wants to hit the town and look classy, he simply puts an
oversized silver sport coat over his black tank top. And that’s just one
But what’s really unusual about City Dragon (besides
everything I’ve just described) is how the plot moves from upbeat
rapping and fun to become a family drama which tackles many serious
themes: gangs, violence, domestic abuse,
family strife, abortion, workplace harassment, blackmail and all manner
of racial animus. Not to mention how you shouldn’t step on someone’s
miniature ice cream cone or spill their soda unless you are
looking for grievous bodily harm. Why Philthy would think audiences wanted to see MC Kung Fu’s domestic and workplace issues remains unclear.
saga of Ray makes for a one-of-a-kind movie. You may love it, you may
hate it, but you can’t ignore it. Well, you COULD, but you shouldn’t.
The “home movie” style may grate on some viewers, but the movie is funny
and unique. Plus you can usually find it for a dollar or less on DVD.
Unfortunately, the alcohol you will probably want to go along with the
movie is sold separately.
For a movie that makes Cool As Ice (1991) look like A Clockwork Orange (1971) don’t hesitate to make yourself an unofficial “Home Dog” and watch City Dragon.
Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty