21 October 2001 | wmills2
With some money, a less amateurish script and a more experienced director, this could've been a good 'little film'...
"The 'Mekong Dragon' is wrecking havoc in L.A. A psychopathic gang commander in a black hood", "he's executing enemies in a bizarre way. His shadow falls across the city like a blanket of terror. And now, his cold blooded emissaries are creating the worst crime wave ever!"
So, began the text in the earliest of Press Releases for this under budgeted, under written and, sadly, poorly directed piece of... celluloid. "Sadly", because in other hands this could've been a good 'little film', considering that the cast included veteran character actor and consummate screen villain William (Bill) Smith (whose credits could take up this whole page), as well as Robert Z'Dar (Maniac Cop, Tango & Cash). But, the potential for some powerful performances from either was lost in a haze of confusing, painfully slow paced plots, subplots, and stilted dialog primarily delivered by the credited 'stars' of the film: Jimmy Williams, Donna Cherry and Sandy Palm.
Williams plays Tony Baker, a Viet Nam vet who is now an L.A. detective on the trail of the 'Mekong Dragon', assisted by his partner Brian O'Malley. Cherry (stand-up comedian turned actress) plays Baker's token 'love interest'. The film has a few intentionally humorous moments (and many more UNintentional ones) and a few action scenes that work... but, not enough to carry it, or even DRAG it, past it's relentless mediocrity.
The "star" of the film, Jimmy Williams, also (co-)wrote, produced AND directed. Too bad. That is undoubtedly this film's biggest flaw. "Shadow Of The Dragon" ends up a little like a term project for a college film class... one that got a "D minus". Or, classroom materials for the course: "How NOT to make a movie!". (Sorry Jim! Wm.)
(William Mills has been in the 'biz' since his pre-teen years and has worked as an actor, musician, writer, stuntman, audio production tech, voice actor, ADR & Foley artist, special effects tech, make-up artist... and more. He was also ASSOCIATE PRODUCER for "SHADOW OF THE DRAGON" as well as appearing as Det. Pat Carlyle AND replacing the voices of more than 20 actors in the film including 100% of William Smith's dialog!)