By: Henry J. Fromage (Six Pack) –
Remember the movies you see in the discount bins at your local video store (you know- back when we had those)?The cover art was cheap, the plot was some lame fantasy or action bullshit, and the stars were nobody you ever heard of.All you could do is wonder how they got made in the first place.Well, somehow one of those flicks got Mr. Tax Troubles Nic Cage on board, and avoided a straight to DVD release.Bravo.
Uwe Boll’s built an entire career out of it
Some of the shooting locations in Hungary were pretty sweet.Oh, and Ron Perlman head-butts Satan.
The movie really doesn’t even try.It begins with a montage of cheap 300 knock-off battle scenes with names the scriptwriter either made up or dimly remembered from the fourteen references to the Middle East that he’d been exposed to in his life.It’s even snowing in one scene.The costume designers also had Cage spending the entire time sporting the stupidest tin-pail helmet you’ve ever seen.
After twelve years of raping and pillaging, Nic Cage and Ron Perlman get around to developing a conscience, and basically just quit the Crusades.As they’re making their way back, they stumble upon a seemingly deserted farm.Inside they find two corpses that look straight out of Se7en’s reject effects bin, but (make way for a spoiler, like y’all care anyway) one of them opens her eyes!The very next scene is them leaving with the farmhouse on fire in the background… leading you to believe that they just decided to burn the sick lady along with her husband’s corpse.
Our heroes come upon a town, only to be incarcerated when they’re recognized as deserters (although, nobody even tried to stop them when they left their army… argghh!).They’re offered a deal- their freedom if they transport a witch who’s apparently caused the plague that’s been oppressing the land to a monastery where her powers will be taken away.Cage and Perlman, who’ve already established that they’re not the sharpest knives in the drawer, think this over while locked in the dungeon, then apparently JUST WALK OUT and find the priest to agree.A hideously disfigured Christopher Lee plays the lord of the place, which seems to indicate that he’s also blown all his cash on blow and hookers.
The obligatory posse full of quirky characters is assembled, and as they start their journey they find an altar boy who wants to join them to prove his mettle.Perlman tries to discourage him with a swordfight, but the plucky young lad shows his stuff in one of least impressive performances with an edged weapon ever put to film.At one point, and I must stress that I’m not making this up, he fights with the sword UPSIDE DOWN, holding the naked blade with his hands and swinging at Perlman with the pommel.Was this entire production one huge practical joke to see if the director was paying attention?
I could go on and on here, from the community college video game developer special effects to Cage’s girlish locks and extreme indifference to the whole affair.This flick is minor league all the way to the entirely unnecessary voiceover epilogue.Saying that they were half-assing it gives it too much credit.They were one eighths-assing it.
Save some money and root through the fine one-dollar selection of movies at your local Wal-Mart.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a drink: whenever you hear the world “witch”
Take a drink: each time you wonder where the 40 million they spent on this went
Drink a shot: when Ron Perlman does something awesome