A return from his more structured thrillers like “Angel Dust” and “Labyrinth of Dreams” to the punky kinetic anarchy of his early work, Japanese maverick Sogo Ishii delivers a wild ride with the hourlong B&W feature “Electric Dragon 80,000 V.” Stronger on frenetic energy than narrative coherence, this mind-bending jolt centering on the rivalry between two urban warriors, both electrocuted as children, combines high-octane comicstrip action with an acid trip, metallic aesthetic that should serve it well in latenight fest slots and specialized video release.
Punctuated by elementary inter-titles and propelled by urgent drum beats and wailing electro-rock, the story doesn’t bear close examination. The shock he received to the reptilian part of his brain that controls emotion and desire enables rage-prone guitar freak Dragon Eye Morrison to communicate with lizards. But his electromagnetic power represents a threat to similarly wired Thunderbolt Buddha, leading to a violent clash on the Tokyo rooftops. Cut at breakneck speed and shot with convulsive, multiangle dexterity, the film is light on dialogue, driven mainly by its thrashing imagery and intricate soundtrack of layered noise and music.