The Last Dragon Tribute - Keeping The Glow Alive

RIP Denise Matthews Jan 4 1959 – Feb 15 2016


Sadly the rumours are true. Denise Matthews, the evangelist formerly known as Vanity, passed away February 15th at the age of 57.

Since becoming born again in the mid 90’s Denise distanced herself from her “Vanity” rockstar persona of the 80’s (and the drugs and sex that went with it) but to fans of The Last Dragon she was always seen as the sweet, lovely & charming Laura Charles and one of the most beautiful women of all-time! 

She had dealt with almost daily kidney dialysis and 23 surgeries since her kidneys failed due to a 1994 drug overdose. According to family she had recently been diagnosed with  an inflammation of the small intestines known as sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis.

It’s a misconception that her 94′ near death experience lead to her finding God. According to an April 2015 interview with AJ Duggar III she actually turned to Jesus about a year prior. Regardless of when she found the church, it ultimately led to her cleaning up her act and changing her life. She toured around the country speaking at churches and would pray for or with anyone she met or who reached her through social media.

TMZ reported that she was in church on the evening before she died and told the congregation she was “ready to go home.”


The initial reports started coming in through social media the first we saw was this from @ArtofMusic

Our Facebook page was one of the first places to confirm the talk circulating on social media was true. I spoke with someone close to her before posting this to ensure it was true.


Soon after, Sheila E and TMZ confirmed it as well.


In one of her last Facebook posts on Feb 10 2016, she explained why she no longer wanted to be known as Vanity:

Denise Matthews explains why she no longer wanted to be known as Vanity


The Canadian-born actress, model and singer was best known for her roles in the 80’s classics The Last Dragon and Action Jackson as well as being Prince’s protege and lead singer for his all girls group Vanity 6.

Watch this touching video tribute in memory of Denise Matthews

For more on Denise Matthews check out our in-depth article about The Life of Denise “Vanity” Matthews


RIP Denise "Vanity" Matthews Feb 15 2016


Many will remember her as Prince’s Protege, “Vanity”, but to the fans of The Last Dragon you will always be the sweet, charming lovely lady Laura Charles… say hi to Julius & Leo for us.

Denise "Vanity" Matthews as Laura Charles in The Last Dragon by Harvey Cahn

Denise Matthews Last Dragon art Tribute by Harvey Cahn

Recent Photo of Denise "Formerly Known as Vanity" Matthews

Recent Photo of Denise “Formerly Known as Vanity” Matthews

RIP Denise Matthews



Craig Sutton | @thelastglow


———————————————————————————- is a blog dedicated to The Last Dragon fan community with the aim to Keep The Glow alive! It was started by a fan for the fans. Follow us from the links below for your daily dose of the Glow!

The Last Dragon Awakens? Boyega to Star in The Last Dragon 2? (Plot Leaks – Spoiler Alert)


Bruce Leroy has Vanished…

This one’s for all the people that only read headlines. A fake Star Wars news site called is reporting that a sequel to The Last Dragon directed by the Hughes brothers is in the works. It even includes a hilariously detailed plot leak of a story that combines the original The Last Dragon with Star Wars the Force Awakens and The Crow.

Taimak and Denise “Vanity” Matthews return to play Bruce Leroy and Laura Charles but the star of this one is their son “Brandon” Leroy Green III, played by John Boyega (Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens).

John Boyega as Brandon Leroy

Brandon Leroy?!?! Brandon Leroy?!? Yeah, that’s right, they call him Brandon Leroy. Of course playing off the fact that Brandon Lee was the son of Bruce Lee but also because in the movie he walks around in Brandon Lee’s costume from the Crow.

John Boyega The New Last Dragon??

Denzel Washington as Sho’nuff

The Shogun of Harlem, Sho’nuff returns; this time around played by Denzel Washington.

Denzel Washington as Shonuff



Steven Segal as Sho’Tuff

Sho’nuff partners up with 90’s action movie icon Steven Segal, who plays a tough guy named Sho’Tuff, to fill the role of the main bad guys.

Steven Seagal in The Last Dragon Remake or Sequel


Ariana Grande plays the Love Interest

Ariana Grande rounds out the cast playing young Brandon Leroy’s love interest.


Ariana Grande in The Last Dragon Remake?


All in Good Fun

Other than the kudos it gives The Last Dragon for being a “funky cult classic with an arsenal of awesomeness” the article is completely fabricated but it is very creative, laugh out loud funny and definitely worth the read… hit the title below to check it out on…

Boyega to Star in The Next Last Dragon? Sho’nuff!

ohn Boyega to Star in The Last Dragon Sequel


some images courtesy of the original article

Let us know what you think? Comment here or Facebook,  Instagram or Twitter.


Craig Sutton | @thelastglow


———————————————————————————- is a blog dedicated to The Last Dragon fan community with the aim to Keep The Glow alive! It was started by a fan for the fans. Follow us from the links below for your daily dose of the Glow!

Chris Brown’s Last Dragon Inspired Video is Fitting: He was going to be Bruce Leroy in Planned 2008 Remake


Chris Brown’s new video for “Fine by Me” is clearly a nod to Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon.  This is fitting because back in 2008 remake producers RZA and Dallas Jackson talked about him being  the next Bruce Leroy. Maybe Brown is trying to show us that he is still ready to play The Last Dragon’s iconic Kung Fu superhero with the Glow.


Can you see Chris Brown as Bruce Leroy in a remake of The Last Dragon


Check out Chris Brown’s Fine by Me Video and see if you can spot all The Last Dragon references…

Homages to The Last Dragon in Chris Brown’s Fine by Me Video

Chris Brown The Last Dragon inspired Kung Fu Battle in Video Fine by Me


Bruce Leroy’s Ninja Sneak

At the 1:18 mark Brown is seen sneaking into an empty nightclub wearing ninja slippers looking for his girl – much like Leroy creeping into 7th Heaven in the same type of footwear to find Laura Charles.

Chris Brown enters the night club like Bruce Leroy in Video Fine by me

Bruce Leroy sneaking into 7th Heaven The Last Dragon



Once inside- a massive video screen, to the surprise of the hero, suddenly comes to life with the giant face of the Villain -all Eddie Arkadian like…

Eddie Arkadian Like Villain in Chris Brown Last Dragon inspired video Fine by Me

Eddie Arkadian - LEROY - The Last Dragon


A Guest List Compiled to Go Out in Style

Again with an laugh reminiscent of Eddie Arkadian the villain welcomes Chris and introduces him to a variety of crazy looking bad guys.

Chris Brown Last Dragon inspired fight scene in Fine by Me Video

Leroy 7thHeaven Fight Scene - surrounded by bad guys - The Last Dragon

Evil Fighter inspired by The Last Dragon in Chris Brown Fine by Me Video

Bad Guy Fighter with Mask in The Last Dragon 7th Heaven Fight Scene


The Glow

Then we get some impressive acrobatic Kung Fu Dancing the likes of which we haven’t seen since Zack the Black Power Ranger’s Hip-Hop Kido. Chris even uses the Glow to defeat the evil cast of characters.

Chris Brown using The Glow like Bruce Leroy in Fine by Me Video

Bruce Leroy Glowing Jump Kick to Sho nuff - The Last Dragon

The Last Dragon inspried Glow like Bruce Leroy - Chris Brown in Video Fine by Me

Bruce Leroy vs Shonuff Glow vs Glow Blue Sparks


The only thing that’s missing is Johnny Yu, Ernie Reyes Jr and Sho’nuff!!


What do Last Dragon Fans think about this?

Check out what Preston Knight had to say on Instagram



What do you think? Comment here or Facebook,  Instagram or Twitter.


Craig Sutton | @thelastglow


———————————————————————————- is a blog dedicated to The Last Dragon fan community with the aim to Keep The Glow alive! It was started by a fan for the fans. Follow us from the links below for your daily dose of the Glow!

The Last Dragon 2: Leroy Goes to Hollywood a Fan Film by Dated Future


The big studios never made a sequel to The Last Dragon (did you know The Last Dragon 2 was planned in the late 80’s?) and all they do is talk about a remake but thanks to Dated Future Productions we now have a second chapter in the adventures of “Bruce” Leroy Green. It’s a fun light hearted fan film that pays excellent homage to the 1985 cult classic Kung Fu comedy Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon.


The Last Dragon Fan Film- Shogun of Hollywood Poster


The entire 25 min film is posted below. Check it out and let us know what you think in comments section here, or on Facebook or Twitter.


The Last Dragon 2: Leroy Goes to Hollywood


About The Film

Dated Future Productions made the short for The Last Dragon 30th Anniversary Screening and Fan Film Contest at the 2015 Urban Action Showcase in New York City. It Premiered on Nov 7th, 2015 at the AMC Times Square.


The Last Dragon 2-Leroy Goes to Hollywood Premiered at The 2015 Urban Action Showcase



Leroy heads to Hollywood to visit his girlfriend, Laura Charles, and his old friend Johnny Yu. Laura is filming her new 7th Heaven show on the west coast and Johnny has has opened up his own dojo. After meeting up with Johnny and taking a tour of the town, Leroy finds that trouble seems to find him no matter which coast he is on. First in the form of 3 punk thugs (the new version of the Sum Dum Goy boys) who try to push Johnny around and make fun of  Bruce Lee (I would not do that if I were you)!  Then by a gang leader who goes by the name of Fo’Sho, who aspires to become the Shogun of Hollywood. Too bad for Fo’Sho, he did not plan on a martial arts master like Leroy standing between him and total supremacy.


Leroy and Johnny - The Last Dragon 2 Fan Film


Director: Sophano Van
Writer: Danny Chiang

Producers: Danny Chiang, William Christopher Ford , Richard Haywood  and Sophano Van

Directors of Photography: Adam Eurich, Sophano Van

Sophano Van - DatedFuture Productions


Evan Copage as Leroy Green
Anthony Kiyoshi LePage as Johnny Yu
Jujo Ballo as Fo’Sho
Vivian Noeung as Laura Charles
Denise Woelpern as Sasha

Richard Haywood  as Jamal
Apachi Key as Wrecker
Victor Noeung as Russel
William Christopher Ford as Fury 1
Du Au as Fury 2
John Michael Amon as Thug Lead
Dontae Mosbey as Thug Jive
Adam Eurich as Thug Cooley
Richard E. Haywood as the Security Guard



Jujo Ballo as Fo Sho in The Last Dragon Fan Film

Watch The Trailer


Craig Sutton | @thelastglow


———————————————————————————- is a blog dedicated to The Last Dragon fan community with the aim to Keep The Glow alive! It was started by a fan for the fans. Follow us from the links below for your daily dose of the Glow!

Did Critics Really Hate The Last Dragon Back in The Day?


The Last Dragon is often referred to as a cult classic that is loved by fans but hated by critics.  One of the first lines on The Last Dragon’s Wikipedia entry says “The film was a critical disappointment but a financial success, and is now considered a cult classic.”

The Last Dragon on Wikipedia


It’s score on Rotten Tomatoes is another great example. Just look at the discrepancy between the “experts” rating (33% liked it) and the audience score (86% liked it)


When The Last Dragon first came out back in the 80’s the consensus seems to be that most critics weren’t impressed but over the years the film was elevated to cult status. Let’s look back to 1985 to shed some more light on this and see if critics really hated The Last Dragon when it came out.

Here are a few Throwback reviews that tell a different story.

1985 Review of The Last Dragon

Here’s a picture from a magazine of a review of Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon just after its March 1985 theatrical release. I’m not sure which magazine this is but the reviewer is movie & music critic Ian Cranna and he clearly loved The Last Dragon.

1985 Review of The Last Dragon by Ian Cranna

1985 Review of The Last Dragon by Ian Cranna: “Charming, Funny, Genuinely cheering and not to be missed.”


Highlights from The Review:

  • “Happily the dragon in question here is not the fire-breathing monster variety but instead the final stage in Kung Fu mastery. And if a martial arts movie made the head of slick Motown Records (Berry Gordy) sounds even worse than the mythical kind, then you’d actually be completely wrong The Last Dragon is in fact HUGELY enjoyable.”
  • “It could all be horribly corny were it not for the fact that it’s done with a wit and general smartness entirely lacking in brainless youth exploitation movies like Footloose
  • “Apart from the revolutionary concept that all main characters are convincing, there are loads of good laughs, clever send-ups and role reversals throughout– like the innocent Leroy begging his streetwise kid brother Richie (brilliantly acted by Leo O’Brien) for advice on girls, or the 3 jive-talking, break-dancing Chinese guys, meeting up with the Oriental mannered black hero.”
  • “The spectacular fight scenes are pretty ace – (even though the reviewer is admittedly not a fan of Kung-Fu fighting) and the final fandango builds into real audience participate time with everyone whooping or wincing with the action.”
  • “You’d have to have a heart of stone not to fall for it.”
  • “The Last Dragon is ace – charming, funny, genuinely cheering and not to be missed.”


you have to have a heart of stone not to fall for The Last Dragon


Siskel & Eberts’ 1985 review of The Last Dragon

Remember At The Movies with Siskel and Ebert? No? Well when I was a kid they were THE movie critics. The late great iconic Gene Siskel gave The Last Dragon a thumbs up! They both talk about how much fun the movie is, love Julius Carry as Sho’nuff, rave about his movie theatre entrance and the chemistry between Bruce Leroy and Laura Charles.  That being said, Robert Ebert, in a close call couldn’t give it a thumbs up due to not liking the Eddie Arkadian – Angela Viracco – Gangster sub-plot:

“The Last Dragon turns into a funny, high-energy combination of karate, romance, rock music and sensational special effects. It’s so entertaining that I could almost recommend it – if it weren’t for an idiotic subplot about a gangster and his girlfriend…” ~Roger Ebert

Listen to the great things he had to say about Taimak as Leroy:

“The hero is played by Taimak, a 20-year-old karate student who has not acted before, but who has a natural screen presence…”


Vanity (Denise Matthews) as Laura:

“Vanity, let it be said that she has the sort of rapport with the camera that makes us like her instantly; she has a sunny smile, and what can only be described as a sort of inner happiness, and in the middle of this plot about gangsters and night clubs and bloody fights, she floats serenely, a joy to behold.”


and Julius Carry as Sho’nuff:

“There’s another engaging actor in the movie, a man named Julius J. Carry III, who describes himself as the Shogun of Harlem, and who presides over a hilarious early scene where he marches into a movie theater full of Bruce Lee fans and threatens to fight everyone in the house.”


Check out the original review for yourself its starts at the 10:19 mark:

video courtesy of

TV Guide’s 1985 Review of The Last Dragon

TV Guide The Last Dragon Review

The TV Guide had these kind words to say about The Last Dragon:

“THE LAST DRAGON has a certain sweetness about it that is engaging. Leroy is a truly humble, quietly heroic character who possesses an admirable spirituality. The film stresses family values, friendship, self-respect, discipline, and romantic love, while presenting it all in a wholly entertaining format with little foul language or sadistic violence.”


What’s the Consensus Critic’s Opinion on The Last Dragon?

Expert reviews for The Last Dragon will always be mixed, not everybody gets it like its cult following, but clearly there are some critics who get it like we do.



Craig Sutton | @thelastglow


———————————————————————————- is a blog dedicated to The Last Dragon fan community with the goal of keeping The Glow alive! It was started by a fan for the fans. Follow us from the links below for your daily dose of the Glow!