I was surprised that Carelzebub
could not watch D&D past the first 15 seconds. Possessed he is, sick
of humor, appropriately cynical. Nicely equipped I’d say to rip a film
like this to shreds faster than you can say, flying hefty bag. When
asked, all he could say after the third try was that there was much too
much askew with D&D. Alas, our very own silver bulletproof
sycophantic cinematic Satan was overwhelmed. So, he passed on the task.
The e-mail said something like,
"… take the Dungeons and Dragons challenge." More
importantly, the Movie Club webmaster promised a high quality chocolate
prize to the idiot who could get through the entire movie and live to
write the review. So, glutton that I am for both punishment and cocoa
laced confections, I watched the whole thing.
Speaks for itself.
Set in God-knows-when, and doubtless rife with insider D&D humor and
hidden gags, Dung-eons and Drag-ons takes place in a world were darkness
and fog permeate the environment and threaten to entomb the steel
plated, Cinderella’s castle style, magic school in its cottony gray
grip for forever.
There is a strong air of class envy as two distinct casts of Sumdall
denizens struggle either for power and dominance over the prevailing
political agenda or to steal for their living. There are at least six
sub-plots going on at once with characters and effects borrowed from the
full spectrum of second tier Movie Club film archives.
Representing the bad guys is a limp-wristed
government official with a strange but wonderful penchant for
overdramatizing the way the folds of his flowing cape waft about on the
breeze he creates by walking briskly down the nearest set of stairs he
can find so that he can make his flowing folds flutter. He may also have
been drying his nails. His name is Profium. Maybe it should be
Prophylactic or Ibuprofium. Who knows? I wouldn’t want to touch him
and he does cause headaches.
Elwood has bad manners and Napoleon complex to boot.
Ibuprofuim surrounds himself with some colorful folks/henchmen. The most
striking of these is a guy who can hold his breath for 107 minutes. You
can tell because his lips are blue – all the time. Damodar is his
name. Maybe it should be Dumbadar or Damnitdar. He’s an asshole, he
cries and his character’s claim to fame is that living carnivorous
linguini comes out of his ears and he wears the most inappropriate shade
of gay blue lipstick.
Aside from Dumbass, I mean Damodar, there are a
few trapist monks charged with operating the torture chamber gadgets in
the dungeon. They become dragon-bait early on in this film and as such
are really irrelevant except that I get Godivas for writing about them.
Representing innocence and good is sweetness
and light herself, borrowed from a cheap knockoff of the Loveboat
version of the Starwars prequel, quintessentially, sickeningly
idealistic princess of an empress who’s name, Savina, is well worth
mentioning except that I was too busy noting the deficiencies I found in
the first five minutes of D&D to catch it.
Don't get too close to Norda
The gang that saves the Empress’ royal bacon,
her political agenda and thus the world, sort of accumulates during the
course of the movie kind of like a dung beetle’s prized possession.
This ball of s_ _ t of a sub-plot includes a pasty skinned red bearded
dwarf with a thyroid condition, a bad taste in his mouth for injustice
and horrific table manners. He’s 5 ½ feet tall he’s a Capricorn and
his name is Elwood. His turnons are, sorry, I digress. I kept looking
behind him for Jake the Dwarf but he must have been busy in another
Then, there is an elf. She’s nearly six feet
tall, black and has can openers for ears – the old-fashioned churchkey
kind – and doesn’t much cotton to humans. And wait ‘till you get a
gander at her breastplates. If you wanted to ditch an elf wearing a suit
of armor like that you’d shove her boobs first into the side of a dark
ages barn. She’d stick like a rusty lawn dart. I think she was mis-cast.
She should have played Dr. Spock’s cheating alcoholic wife in Loveboat
goes to Vulcan. Her name is Norda, but I think Norad would fit her
better. After all, she’s packing a couple of potent looking missiles.
Norplant works too.
Taking a little target practice before the civil war.
There’s another girl in the hood. She’s a
Mage (what the f - ?) from the magic school. As always, somebody needs
to play the love interest so that there can exist class hatred generated
sexual tension between she and the hero. That’s our girl. Marina is
her name, a real dreamboat (oh shut-up, you knew that was coming). You
know her character as the little lost valley girl who is forced to
consort with ne’er do well’s in a bad neighborhood to survive –
and survives to kiss the last noteworthy member of the group she nearly
pisses, whines, moans and bitches to death. He’s a philosophical thief
with a conscience that metastasizes into an epiphany. He’s accompanied
by a trash-talking-with-a-New-York-ghetto-accent kleptomaniacal sidekick
from In Living Color named Snails.
His name is Ridley, the hero’s that is. Yes,
there is a line in this movie that goes something like this: "So,
you really are talented (insert blatantly obvious pregnant pause here)
Mr. Ridley." This line was perpetrated upon Ridley by Prophylactic.
It happened during an exercise in filmatic fencing futility stolen from
the Matrix movie playbook titled: "Superfluous Super Slow-motion
This photo has not been retouched in any way.
Prophylactic really sports blue lips
So, while Ibuprophium fusses with Damnitdar,
his blue-lipped henchman, to get him properly motivated to kill all the
good guys, and our princess of an insanely naïve Empress has less than
seven days to fight off the Clingon-esque high council’s attempt to
overthrow her in the interest of maintaining the evil status-quo, and
Ridley the reluctant hero turned no-longer-naughty thief with the
bumbling sidekick (Snails, eew), a hostile elf (Norplant), a badly
dressed dwarf (Elwood) and a PMS-ing Mage (Marina) in tow labors under
his heroic burdens, they all share one common goal: Find the RODDD
(Really Overemphasized Dragon Divining Device).
The plot line works something like this: If you
can picture a helpless ovum in a Swarofski petri dish surrounded by
steroidal spermatozoa strung out on speed set somewhere in pre-Dick
Clark time, you can begin to gain a sense of the organizational
logistics involved in suckering you in to watching D&D – I mean
writing this screenplay.
Hoplessly optimistic. But can the Princess Savina's helpers save
When our characters in all of their glory finally converge on the magic
school and are within reach of their goal, to capture and possess the
RODDD, it’s chaos, mayhem and flocks of flying dragons for most of the
thirty minutes it takes to bring this movie to a merciful (for the
Funny, the one detail the producers of D&D
left out was a badly needed (yeah, right) piece of comic relief. Snails
should have been hit with some flying-dragon droppings. But he gets
killed instead. Mistaking him for the errant droppings, Damnitdar,
fastidious bad guy that he is, tosses the poor bastard out of a high
baaaaaaaaaaaaad mutha -..., Snails
Movie Clubbers, this one has it all. There is
just too much of it. It has futuristic wrist lasers, holes in space
through which one can jump (naturally the bad guys can follow you when
you forget to close them fast enough), a miniature minion that looks
suspiciously like one of the little guys making coffee in the Men In
Black movie, headquarters kitchen scene, computer generated flying
dragons, lipstick wearing bouncers, glowing castle rocks, a RODDD, an
obvious political and social message, holocaust cloak with gigantic
hoods wearing criminals who escape from their captivity through a town
square filled with completely oblivious non-holocaust cloak with
gigantic hood wearing Gymkata extra rejects and Ridley.
I think Ridley is related to Kurt
Thomas of Gymkata infamy myself. And I think Kurt’s parents are
related too, if you know what I mean.
Marina the love
interest, annoyance and Mage
Run, don’t walk to your nearest video store
and rent this movie! If you can’t watch it then you can at least do
what Carelzebub likes to do with movies such as this – rent it if for
nothing else than to keep it out of the hands of others who might be
trying to do the same.
But beware. To mock the devotion
of dedicated D&D game fans in pursuit of tearing this movie a new
one, is to live the rest of your life looking under your shoulders for
those pallid little basement computer room dwellers who’s wrath you
have incurred. Check out the web. These guys love this movie. Norad is a
Goddess to them. Elwood is a supreme being. And the golden dragons…
It’s really rather scary.