Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
So I've jumped in my time machine to revisit the movies of the legendary Cynthia Rothrock.  That's good and all but we did make the critical mistake of starting our visit back in time with the Rothrock classic 'Undefeatable', arguably the greatest bad movie ever made, which means we have nothing to build to and as such we're kind of stuck watching Cynthia's also-rans.  Like today's movie 'Lady Dragon'.  True enough, while 'Lady Dragon' is no 'Undefeatable'… 'Citizen Kane' is no 'Undefeatable… it still has enough of bizarre lunacy and unintended comedy that we've come to expect from Ms. Rothrock and our trips back in time.

Today Ms. Rothrock is Kathy Gallagher and Kathy is in love.  Kathy often flashbacks to her and her man rolling around the grass laughing and kissing and hugging and doing all the fun stuff that people in love like to do.  She also likes to flashback to their wedding day, when he said 'I Do' and then got casually gunned down while the wedding party watched on in a mix of awe and disinterest.  Now Kathy is sad… and has a taste for REVENGE!

Who did this awful thing to Kathy?  That would be international bad dude Ludwig Hauptman, a very German name as played by the very Australian Richard Norton.  Right now Hauptman has setup shop in some Asian nation doing his bad dude thing, but unbeknownst to Hauptman is that Kathy is right down the street engaging in ultimate fighting street battles, much to the dismay of her dead husbands ex-partner Gibson (the late Robert Ginty) because somehow this is going to get her closer to Hauptman.  We don't know how either so don't ask us.
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Right about now is where 'Lady Dragon' descends into the abyss of its lunacy as Kathy puts on a disguise for some unknown reason, confronts Hauptman, gets raped for her trouble and then gets tossed out of a moving car.  This is followed by her getting picked up by a Mr. Miyagi type old dude and his cute grandson where they will heal her and teach her the ways of the dragon.  Even though I think she was already dragon-like when she got there.

Regardless of all of that, all healed up, Kathy needs to get close to Hauptman to get her revenge.  Yes, we know she was pretty close before when got raped and stuff, but this time is different.  This time she's using Hauptman's girlfriend Susan (Bella Esperance) to get close to him because Susan hired Kathy as a secretary.  Even though this secretary doesn't work at any of Hauptman's businesses.  Not that this is kept this wacky plan from working.

Regardless of all of that… and this is about the time this movie turns to gold… eventually Hauptman and Kathy will have a pre-showdown chat, Hauptman realizing that Kathy, without the disguise this time around, is that dead dudes wife.  He proclaims that he's going to have his way with her, Kathy says 'not again!' Hauptman is like… 'Oh snap!  That was you I raped?  Damn…'  Recognizing that Cynthia Rothrock, brunette or a blonde, with her unique body type, looks pretty much the same.  This dude rapes so often that he can't keep track of who he's raping.  He is not a good person.

Regardless of all of that… after a thrilling chase, the real showdown will take place where a 6'2" 225 pound dude cut from stone will punch a plushie 5'3" 125 pound lady in the face over and over and over again, and still somehow lose the fight.  Because that Lady is a Dragon!

True enough while director David Worth's film 'Lady Dragon' probably can't be considered a good movie, and what low budget straight to VHS 1990's port starring Don the Dragon, Gary Daniels, Wincott, or Thomas Ian Griffith was ever really good, we still have a soft spot for all those guys and all the movies they appeared in.  Plus, while 'Lady Dragon' started off a little suspect, it was so consistently maniacal from start to finish it eventually grew on me.  There are a number of reasons for this I imagine, such as Cynthia Rothrock's phenomenally limited range as an actress, which is a good thing as it puts us in a comfort level for knowing what we're going to get from the tiny asskicker from role to role, or maybe it was actress Bella Esperance's beauty combined with a range that was even more limited than Cynthia's, but more than likely we can attribute my affinity for this movie to the plethora of pretty decent actions sequences and a high level of unintended hilarity and the performance of Richard Norton. 

Mr. Norton and Ms. Rothrock have made quite a few movies together, including one slated to come in 2013 titled 'Double Fury' that we're praying to the Z-Movie gods above that it actually gets made, but most of the time they are on the same side.  I like Richard Norton better as a bad guy because this cat knows how to chew up a scene.  My man found the top and then went above and beyond that top as he enveloped Ludwig Hauptman.  And if you want to see some skin, and that skin doesn't have to belong to a woman, then Richard Norton comes through for you there as well.  Not for me unfortunately as seeing Richard Norton's bare ass was near the bottom of the things I would like to see in a movie, but there it is.

Cynthia Rothrock was a busy girl back in the day so it is highly unlikely that we will get to revisit all of her filmography from those glorious times, but 'Lady Dragon' is a solid entry into the pantheon of Rothrock lunacy.
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