REVIEW: Twin Dragon Encounter (1986)

twindragonencounter

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Martin and Michael McNamara, Canada’s “Twin Dragons”, made their debut with this pioneering Canadian martial arts action film.

Mic and Martin are twin brothers who run a martial arts school in Toronto. Deciding to take a much needed vacation, the duo invite their girlfriends Nancy and Tessa on a camping trip in a small island the brothers occasionally head to when they need a break. En route to take the road that will lead them to the island, they are besieged by some local truckers who are looking for trouble. After easily taking out the gangsters, the four head for Twin Island.

However, upon their arrival, they find themselves in the midst of a rival by the name of Jake, who has decided to take over the island as a training ground for his new mercenary army. Mic and Martin decide to ignore Jake and go on about their business. As Jake and his men decide to constantly run into the brothers, the mercenary leader decides to take drastic measures when he kidnaps Tessa and Nancy. When the brothers discover their girlfriends are missing, they decide to go into action and unleash a barrage of their martial arts skills against the mercenary gang.

Since opening their first school, aptly named Twin Dragons Kung Fu Club in their native Toronto, Michael and Martin McNamara had gained national attention in their homeland of Canada. The Irish-born brothers are identical twins and also skilled experts in martial arts. In the 80’s, during the boom of American martial arts films, the brothers took it upon themselves to make their first film.

It is clear that the brothers are clearly having fun with this film, even spurting out classic one-liners such as “Confucius says when fighting truckers, nail the suckers” after dispatching of the truckers. In addition, in the climax of the film, the brothers don garb that look like something you would expect on the level of future action sequel No Retreat, No Surrender II before looking like a pair of Rambos with moustaches.

The truckers fight scene is all slow motion and that wasn’t exactly necessary, but the rest of the fights make up for the film with again a group fight being shown in unnecessary slow motion. Plus, when you have the actor playing the villain known simply as “B. Bob”, who looks like he can pass for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles villain Rocksteady, then you know you’re going to be in for a cheesefest like no other. The film would produce a sequel entitled Dragon Hunt in 1990 and the brothers retired in 2012, having closed down their martial arts academy.

Twin Dragon Encounter is a definitely B-movie film that truly ranks with a MS3TK honor, with the distinction of casting Michael and Martin McNamara as themselves in an adventure that turns them into kung fu Rambos. If you can track this down, definitely check it out.

WFG RATING: C

Manesco Films presents a Twin Dragon Productions Ltd. Film. Director: Paul Dunlop. Producers: Gary Hart and Michael McNamara. Writers: Gary Hart and Michael McNamara. Cinematography: Paul Dunlop. Editing: Glenda North and Darren Casual.

Cast: Michael McNamara, Martin McNamara, Carol Nawrocki, Monica McKenna, B.Bob

The film is available to purchase through the Twin Dragons website store but be aware it is Canadian Dollars.

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