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creature feature: Dragons

In honor of the latest Asylum feature to enter post-production, writer/director Mark Atkins' Dragon Crusaders, I thought I'd dedicate a creature feature to the mythological(?) beast at the center of that and three other Asylum films, as well: Dragon, Dragonquest, and Merlin and the War of Dragons, the latter two of which were also directed by Mr. Atkins. The former was written and directed by Leigh Scott (Invasion of the Pod People, The Hitchhiker, The 9/11 Commission Report, The Beast of Bray Road).

Dragons are among the oldest legendary creatures in the world, factoring into the mythology of nearly every significant early culture. Traditionally, there are two breeds of dragon: the European variety, distinctly reptilian, and the Chinese variety, whiskered and with a dash of canine to its serpentine form. 

All dragons featured in Asylum films are of the European distinction. Furthermore, while dragons can be winged or flightless, all Asylum dragons totally fly. And hell yes they breathe fire. What's the point, otherwise?

In Dragon, the titular beast is a singular, daunting trial in a chain of daunting trials our Medieval heroes must survive in order to escape a haunted forest and save the kingdom from an advancing horde of dark elves. In Dragonquest, there are 2 dragons, one evil, summoned by a warlord, and one good, awakened by a young man undergoing a series of perilous quests. In Merlin and the War of Dragons, young Merlin comes of age trying to thwart the tyrannical plans of an evil wizard and his army of flying dragons, And though the exact details aren't known yet, in Dragon Crusaders the beast will manifest as a "wizard-dragon," which I pray to god involves a dragon with a wand.

So as you can see, whether alone, in pairs or traveling in flocks(?), The Asylum has taken a decidedly "violent dragon" standpoint. And rightfully so. Nothing good can come of bat-winged, fire-breathing, dino-sized lizards known to cavort with evil wizards and warlords. 

However, that said, if The Asylum's ever looking to do another Princess and the Pony-esque family film, my vote would be for a story about a friendly dragon - Poof, maybe, or Greg - and the ragtag group of preteen misfits who find and end up protecting him from nasty grown-up types; think Monster Squad meets Mac and Me, with dragons, natch. But don't worry, I'd keep the fire.

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