‘City Dragon’: This Indie Drama Doesn’t Know It’s a Kung-Fu Video Game

As I roll into another year as a 1-900-HOTDOG columnist, I’m starting to notice that the bulk of my accepted pitches are the DVDs or even VHS tapes that I bought as bootlegs in comic book stores more than half a lifetime ago, sprinkled with the occasional e-book I saved to mock back in the ’00s. Today’s latest offering was a street purchase around 2007 with the thought that I might send it to Seanbaby for him to work his genius on. Funny little world that it’s 2022 and now I’m taking a comedic look at City Dragon at long last under his employ. I think after years of sitting on this, I finally watched it in 2017? Good lord, life accelerates the more mass it acquires.

And yet with all that time–ten years to watch it (oops) and five to think about it, this was one of the hardest pieces I ever put together. There is so much insanity outside of the usual constraints of a low-budget action film. I exploded my word count, then refined EVERYTHING, and I think I spent almost a week alone working on the GIFs. To contemplate City Dragon is to become City Dragon and lose all perspective on it.

As proof, I make the case that the movie itself is actually a side-scrolling martial arts video game that gets infected by one of those “life is bland but hard” indie dramas for middle-aged people to smirk at thinking it’s witty even though nothing about them feels clever or amusing. The retrovirus rewrites the creative product into a host vessel for itself, until City Dragon becomes City Drag-On.

I will not recant my pun. I am infected by the brain-virus myself. If you want my good punchlines, you’ll have to pay for them by subscribing to 1-900-HOTDOG. I swear a lot in this article, so I can make all the dad jokes I want here.