REVIEW: Chasing the Dragon II – The Blood of Angels and Demons (2006)

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2006, Z Productions Limited/Reel Asian Films

Director:
Dr. Zee Lo
Producer:
Dr. Zee Lo
Writer:
Dr. Zee Lo
Cinematography:
Charlie Chang
Editing:
Chris Odell
Mihoko Odell

Cast:
Dr. Zee Lo (Himself)
Eva Glasure (Erica Roberts)
Roderick Kong (Rocky)
Tony Chan (Himself)
Professor Leung (Taoist Master Leung)
Lisa Su (Angry Lady/Gypsy)

In this sequel to Chasing the Dragon, Dr. Zee Lo attempts to capitalize on his local success yet he finds it is not an easy road as nightmares begin to plague him.

After making his autobiography Chasing the Dragon, Dr. Zee Lo has lived his dream to become a martial arts action star. Many locals in the San Francisco area know Lo for his other film, Martial Medicine Man: American Hwang Fei-Hung and even call him “Master Hwang”. Dr. Zee continues to teach martial arts in addition to capitalizing on his local success by coming up with a possible television series.

The films attract the attention of local reporter Erica Roberts, who knows a good thing when she sees one. As Dr. Zee attempts to find his way to make his next dream come true, he begins to suffer from horrific nightmares in which he experiences death at the hands of numerous masked ninjas. This convinces Dr. Zee to find Taoist master Leung. As Dr. Zee slowly discovers the truth about his nightmares, he soon finds himself having a revelation about his life and his career and what can happen when he pushes himself too hard to make a dream come true.

Dr. Zee Lo is quite the interesting figure with his self-financed martial arts action films. However, one of his best films is actually a film about himself, Chasing the Dragon, which while shot on video, journeys to his life as we learned about his dream to become a martial arts star, which resulted in Martial Medicine Man: American Hwang Fei-Hung. This sequel takes up to Dr. Zee’s attempt to capitalize on his local success of the film, which begins with the release of Chasing the Dragon.

One thing that Dr. Zee has come to know is that you can’t please everyone. There are scenes in which there are detractors who will find Dr. Zee’s film not exactly blockbusters and cheap. They include a group of young people who eventually become Dr. Zee’s martial arts students and a local punk gang who make fun of him by writing on his poster. However, Dr. Zee’s determination is great and he intends to make the right connections to continue his dream. Yet he tends to sometime push himself to the point where he begins to suffer nightmares involving masked ninjas who constantly fight and ultimately kill him. This seems to have been influenced by the “Demon” nightmare scenes from Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. There are also technical issues in terms of dubbing as if one is watching a classic kung fu movie of the 1970’s. It is unclear if this was an intentional thing or not.

There are as many action scenes as his other films, as most of the “action” focuses on Dr. Zee training and the only technical issue is with the nightmare sequences, which suffer from bad lighting. There are a few scenes which prove to have a bit comic relief, such as Dr. Zee punching a basketball only to get berated by an elderly lady played by Martial Medicine Man’s Lisa Su. A decent fight scene involves Dr. Zee taking on three goons who disrespect Bruce Lee at an autograph signing, prompting him to go beyond what he ever expects as a martial artist.

Chasing the Dragon II: The Blood of Angels and Demons is well, like many sequels, not as good as the original. While the moral of the story is there, the nightmare sequences could have been done with better lighting and it could have done without the dubbing effect. Other than that, it is not exactly a totally bad film but an okay follow up.

WFG RATING: C

This film is available to buy on Dr. Zee Lo’s Reel Asian Films website. You can order the film here.

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