Alien Lightning Dragon (Review)

Alien Lightning Dragon

aka 외계 번개용 aka Oegye beongye yong aka Alien Thunder Dragon 2

1988
Written and directed by Bang Sun-deok

You can smell the toxic fumes decades later…

It’s Wacky Korean Kiddie Flick Time! Today’s installment is the fabulous alien rock star women kidnapping children to turn into frozen popsicle dinners. Alien Lightning Dragon is filled with the usual Korean kiddie film tropes: “funny” fat guys, animated tokusatsu action sequences, annoying children, copyright infringement, and ridiculous costumes.

At TarsTarkas.NET, we know what we’re getting into when we delve into a Korean kiddie flick. And we also know that these films are barely watched by anyone, and deservedly so. But they are fun to gawk at, even if they are one of the worst cinematic genres on the planet.

Oh, honey, that’s not how you put on eyeshadow…

Gangs of space goons lead by rejects from the Jem and the Holograms cartoon invade various schoolyards and day care centers, kidnapping children and creepy adults who are playing children. The kids are destined to become dinner, and no one seems to care except a rag tag group of heroes and relatives of kidnapped children. Luckily, they also find a good Jem reject and her Alien Lightning Dragon megazord/costume/robot/whatever that can fight these space cases and save the day.

If this is a direct rip off of an actual property, then I feel sorry for whatever property it originally is. But what we get looks so generic and bad that I wouldn’t be surprised if this was all original and written just to reuse sets and costumes that are churned out on a production line, as there are literally dozens and dozens of these kid flicks.

The town had insulted Spider and Renegade, so they had to pay. Berry lead the charge, as always, and by sunrise every home was a burnt out cinder. Maple Falls never recovered.

Alien Lightning Dragon is an in name only sequel to Alien Thunder Dragon, made one year after the original. It looks like the only thing that made it to the sequel was the dragon costume and the animation. Like many of these films, there were cheap toy tie-ins and other merchandise, though most of it (except for a Making Of book) looks like it is based on the original film. The first film features a cadre of evil space ladies, and this sequel also features evil space ladies, so they at least aped the formula.

Wait a second…. This film has a secret underground compound where children are kidnapped? Is this a North Korean allegory? Do the wild flashy costumes of the evil space women mirror Kim Jong-il’s love of flashy Hollywood? Is Alien Lightning Dragon something larger than it appears at first? Probably not, but you never know…

Forget the Jem jokes, it’s time for some Go-Bot jokes!

Here at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles, and it’s not like knowing what the heck is going on would have made this film any less stupid. So enjoy the made up names, they’re probably better than the real ones. Even reading a synopsis I found only answers some questions:

Aliens are kidnapping the children of earth to use as frozen food. Kyung-ah and Hyung-cho use the Spirit Robots to go rescue them. Kyung-ah’s team finds the children, Hun and Young-mi, who are toys for the alien princess. But the alien queen finds out and is furious. She ends up capturing Kyung-ah’s team as well. At this, Prof. Min, Princess Aran, Yong, and Dung-bo recharge Lightening Dragon’s energy and go to rescue the children. A fight between the Dragon and the queen’s men is inevitable. Just as Lightening Dragon is nearly conquered, Dung-bo and the children blow their harmonicas. The queen who wanted to conquer earth is touched by the music and she repents all her past evil deeds.

The synopsis seems to think some minor characters are the real stars, and the main characters are barely mentioned.

We’re gonna track down Jerrica Benton and take her out!

Goofy Hero Guy (Jeon Young-rok) – The hero who keeps trying to save the day and also does some random pratfalls. According to the synopsis, he is Dung-bo. Jeon Young-rok is a famous singer, and his daughters are also in singing groups.
Crazy Mad Scientist (???) – Crazy mad scientist who finds Good Jem and the Alien Lightning Dragon, then fixes them both up so they can fight the Evil Jems. According to the synopsis his name is Professor Min.
Bald Goofy Guy (Cho Chun) – A goofy child care center employee who is drafted into the battle against the invading aliens when they attack his center. According to the synopsis, his name is Yong. Cho Chun appeared in more of these Korean Kiddie flicks than is probably healthy.
Good Jem (???) – The heroic good controller of the Alien Lightning Dragon, and also spends her time unconscious in the woods. According to the synopsis, her name is Princess Aran
Alien Lightning Dragon (???) – Good Jem’s costume/device/dragon that she controls and uses to fight the forces of evil.
Rescue Girls (???) – Two girls who wander around with a robot in search of their missing younger children. Despite being random kids, are more competent that all the heroes except the Professor. Judging by the plot synopsis, the girls are named Kyung-ah and Hyung-cho and their missing siblings are Hun and Young-mi. Carry a robot with them.
Their Robot (???) – The robot that the Rescue Girls carry around with them, who gives them information and clues and orders. According to the synopsis, the robot is a Spirit Robot, but the synopsis refers to them in the plural even though there is only one.
Queen Jem (???) – Leader of the evil alien invaders, who is very hungry for frozen children.
Jem Jr. (???) – Believe it or not, Jem Jr. is a girl and is the daughter of Queen Jem, and gets two kids as pets. Being close to the children makes Jem Jr. realize humans shouldn’t be eaten.
Bad Guy Goons (???) – The evil troops of the invading space women! Dumb as a box of rocks. Have very long tongues.
Looks like these films have a bigger body count than I thought!

Behold the power of my evil pancake hair!

A motorcycle gang lead by a disco costume party lady drive up to a schoolyard. The gang is decked out in spaceman outfits that look like the Spaceballs trooper uniforms, while their bikes are dirt bikes with a bunch of random crap glued to them to look all space alien futuristic. The surest sign of an advanced alien race is having a bunch of extra random junk on their technology.

Luckily this schoolyard features several boys in their twenties (who must have been left behind about a dozen years!), and they attempt to fight the space guys. They lose. At one point a space guy stomps on a soccer ball and there is a tiny explosion. I don’t even know. All of the little kids on the playground decided that instead of fleeing, they’d bunch up and sit down while calmly watching the fight. This turns out to be a tactical error as the baddies snatch a few and ride away.

Crazy Mad Scientist finds the Alien Lightning Dragon in the forest, also an unconscious space disco girl.

Even alien stormtrooper dudes can do the wave
Far less disturbing than it looks. I hope!

Another motorcycle gang led by a different space disco girl attacks a day care center where Bald Goofy Guy works, but first there is an embarrassing sequence where the baddies are a bit too into the music playing at the day care center and can’t resist dancing with the awful wacky adults. Their space disco girl squad leader (Who has a red hair and a red cape) gets angry that her men are being such idiots. This devolves into a pseudofight when Goofy Hero Guy arrives to help and Bald Goofy Guy also fights back. I say pseudo because it’s not really fighting, just some cartoon slapstick stuff. At some point one of the baddies rips the short shorts off of an 8 year old kid. Yep. Space perverts.

The baddies only manage to grab that one kid and his sister and ride off, with Goofy Hero and Bald Guy in hot pursuit. The hot becomes cold quickly as they crash after being shot at. Surprisingly, neither are killed in their helmetless motorcycle crash.

We learn the terrible secrets of the Jem and the Hologram rejects: They are all the squad leaders for the Grand High Jem and the Holograms Lady (who I’ll just call Queen Jem!) and are bringing in children for her diabolical dinner scheme. Also Queen Jem has a daughter, Jem Jr., who is given the young boy and girl recently captured as pets. All the other children are frozen in tubes.

Sieg Heil, Mein Gartenerdbeeren!
Look, I’m the truly outrageous one, not that tramp Jem!

The Good Jem found in the forest wakes up and proves she’s actually good by forcing Bald Guy and Goofy Hero to fight each other. I like her already. Mad Scientist works on the Alien Lightning Dragon.

Jem Jr. is taught to play the harmonica by his pet kids. He then learns that pet kids don’t eat live mice after he eats one in front of them, so he takes the kids out of the secret underground compound to eat some berries (and punches out a guard to do so!)

What this film needed is more characters, so we got some in the form of two middle school aged girls who are the older sisters to the two kidnapped pet kids. They also have a tiny talking robot that tells them where to go to locate the two missing kids, and have been wandering around for a few scenes until they just stroll into the secret underground base. This is some very advanced tiny talking robot technology. The Rescue Girls and Robot stumble into the chamber where all the captured children are frozen in place, but as these kids are bad actors they’re all wobbling and wiggling while they’re supposed to be frozen.

The sad truth of how alien probing works
When cosplay goes bad…

Bad guys then shoot at the Rescue Girls and they run. The Rescue Girls then knock out two bad guys and steal their uniforms to disguise themselves in. When the helmet is taken off an alien guard, it exposes a disgusting Halloween alien mask monster underneath that sticks a huge long tongue out and then jiggles it’s head a bit. It’s pretty gross, but they die quickly. No one notices the large height difference of the fact they’re carrying a tiny robot until they steal an alien motorcycle, and then we have a motorcycle chase! The pursing alien motorcycles blast their lasers at the girls, who then drive off the side of a cliff and fall into a lake! The Rescue Girls then find Jem Jr. and his pets, aka their missing siblings, so it’s family reunion time!

The bad guys attack Mad Scientist’s house and lay the pain down on the two comic relief characters, Goofy Hero and Bald Guy. Go aliens! But Good Jem uses her psychic powers to stop them. Another squad of bad guys captures the Rescue Girls and their siblings. Queen Jem is mad at Jem Jr. for letting her pets get out!

Mad Scientist fixes the Alien Lightning Dragon thanks to him and the comic relief guys getting electrocuted. Sadly, not fatally. Good Jem hops into the Alien Lightning Dragon and takes off…amazingly it suddenly turns into a cartoon dragon flying in the air! The comic relief guys get in a cartoon car…the car from the Thundercats, the Thundertank!!! They just stole the animation model! They even call it the Thundertank! Holy lawyers, Batman!

Tobor, the robot you control!
Without hands, how can Blast-O ever love??

The baddies send a bunch of animated robots to fight! I’m sure half of this animation is ganked from other Korean films and all of the models are ganked from Japanese shows. Even with all that rampant theft, the robots are no match for the animated Alien Lightning Dragon or the Thundertank.

The Alien Lightning Dragon then enters the cave to fight the women, switching from lame animation into awesome live action rubber suit, complete with googly eyes! This is the best rubber dragon suit in the history of cinema!!!

They light a sparkler in the suit’s mouth and have that be the weapon attacking the stormtrooper guys. Then real fire flame breath spews out at the enemy, and also dangerously close to the kids pretending to be frozen while in flimsy plastic tubes. Surprisingly, none of the children are burnt to death, and if there were fatalities, it did not make it to the final edit.

Copyright infringement is on the loose, Rampant theft is loose!
Death to Synergy!!

The alien Jem rejects come out to fight, Queen Jem blasts Alien Lightning Dragon with circle beams. The comic relief guys are also punching people, while the freed kids go to rescue Jem Jr. The Jem reject’s tactic of running around in a circle begins to work, as Goofy Hero gets dizzy and falls asleep.

Massive explosions!!!


The day is saved when Jem Jr. plays harmonica music and that somehow convinces Queen Jem not to slaughter the entire planet. You mean this all could have been avoided if Blues Traveler had more airtime on the radio? Quick, dust off those Blues Travelers CDs! I know it will take a long time to get all the dust and cobwebs off of them, but we got a planet to save!!!

Dang it, Stormer, why do you always ruin our evil deeds??
No one messes with the Starlight Girls, sucker!!

Everyone is happy, and everyone dances in a circle around the Alien Lightning Dragon robot suit. The end!

Wow, what garbage! What terribleness! I can’t wait to watch more of these awful awful awful films!

Jem and the Holograms 2099: After the Fall of Truly Outrageous
More like Alien Napalm Dragon!

Rated 4/10 (robot, robot, robot, six year old!?!?!)


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Animated at 10 frames per hour!
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Okay, we’re stopping with the Jem jokes!
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And the day was saved when the Jem jokes stopped…but for how long?
Alien Lightning Dragon will be back in Barbie: Magic Fairyland Adventure!

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Written by Tars Tarkas

Tars Tarkas

Runs this joint!