Sunday, January 30, 2011

RPGore: Knight Chills

Role-playing with a vengeance!  Honestly, I couldn't come up with something funnier than this- the actual tagline to the movie!  The Producers were so proud of this word-play that they slapped it on the front of the DVD itself.  That gives you an idea of what kind of quality to expect here, don't you think?  This 2001 horror film is about a group of role-playing gamers who end up bringing an evil and angry spirit down upon them.  The reason for all of this is extremely-silly, so it makes for a fun review- at least, I hope so.  It's a very low-fi production value, but still looks like Avatar compared to tomorrow's film!  On the plus side, you may actually get some joy out of this film if you like bad acting and pacing that's slower than a sloth in the car-pool lane.  Put on your coat, since we're experiencing...
The film begins with a group of young adults meeting up for a role-playing game session.  My God- it's the work of The Devil, Charles Band and Tom Hanks!  The group consists of a jock (why is he here?), a stoner guy, his girlfriend, a generic girl with no character traits, a normal guy with a goatee and one guy who's a bit too into the game.  You see, he has a bit of a problem separating reality from fantasy.  He portrays a Knight in the most generic D&D-style campaign imaginable.  Not only that, but he often refers to himself as his character name.  Yeah, you might be just a bit insane.  He also has a thing for the stoner guy's girlfriend.  The part that's actually weirder than the knight guy, however, is the fact that the D&D-style game is run by the group's former-History teacher.  They spend Saturday nights in their ex-teacher's basement (which has wallpaper designed to look like stones)?  To the movie's credit, this is actually a plot point...which amounts to nothing.  In one intense moment, a fight nearly breaks out between the jock guy and the knight based on an in-game incident.  Scary?
Eventually, the Knight guy makes a play for the girl he likes when she has a fight with her boyfriend.  Yeah, it doesn't go well.  On the way back, the kid snaps and crashes his car into a tree.  The car even explodes, the tree was made out of C-4?  The two police officers in the whole city question the teacher about the kid's death- see, I told you so- but this just ends in him being suspended.  They imply that there was some earlier incident with the game, but this is another plot thread that goes nowhere.  The group goes to his funeral, whereupon the stoner guy (who's now the lead) discovers a rose on the Knight guy's grave.  You see, the rose was the guy's signature, since he was from the Order of the Rose or some crap.  That night (no K), the movie actually lives up to what it was supposed to be.  Oh good- you're only half-over!  The jock guy is bitched out by his dad before he goes out to collect more trees.  By the way, this film is set on Christmas- I wished I'd known earlier!  Anyhow, an armored man appears in the clearly-sprayed-from-just-off-camera mist and kills him.  Similarly, the generic guy (who's not our lead) goes to take the trash out back at his Convenience Store and is killed the same way.
The police officers are a bit suspicious, given that both guys were killed with swords and in the same D&D-style game.  Their plot thread is pointless, however, since they never solve jack shit.  The generic girl is worried and talked to at her office, some lady.  She gives the woman a long speech about how evil the D&D-style game is and leaves.  You can guess what happens, right?  In a mildly-interesting twist, the girl of our Knight's dreams is attacked by a mugger, only for the Knight to appear and slay the man.  The teacher and the stoner guy finally meet up & figure out the gist of what is going on.  The teacher, by the way, is freaked out when he finds a map of his house made up like a dungeon map.  They meet up at the teacher's house, since they figure that the house is the next target.  The teacher leaves to go check on his wife for a bit and eventually returns.  He discovers that the stoner guy is dead (killed off-camera- lame) and he hears footsteps upstairs.  He finds the Knight with his son, whom the former is trying to take as his 'squire.'  He tries to talk the kid out of it, but he appears to be possessed.  The Knight and his new squire walk through a now-open door, another dimension.  They don't say, so why can I?  The End.
Botch roll!  The plot of this movie has potential, but the low-budget and bad pacing ruin it.  The killer Knight idea could certainly make for an interesting movie...if someone else made it.  Here, the movie takes half of it's runtime just to set up the plot and characters.  When it finally gets going, most of the kills are over in two seconds and uneventful.  The most gore you get is indirect- when the blood of the mugger ends up on the girl. There are two things that can distract people from how bad your movie is: breasts and blood.  This movie has none of the former and very little of the latter.  As a result, the stilted acting and bad writing are on full display throughout.  I wanted something decent from this thing, as I love silly premises and D&D-style gaming.  This movie wasted both and I wish that I could recommend it.  It's just too hard to do so.  I'd have to roll at least two or three Natural 20s to do so.  That's not happening, so let's just move on.
Next up, Project Terrible brings you another movie.  This one features zombies, lots of driving and a budget of roughly $5.  Stay tuned...


  1. I need to support it just for the fact that it tried to involve some sort of role-play. MUTANT CHRONICLES didnt do it as literally, but Simon Hunter cleverly incorporated aspects of the role-playing game into the action and violence of the film.

  2. Note the use of the word 'cleverly.'

    This one just has a bunch of people playing not-D&D and then a Knight killing people.

    I guess it is more accurate than 'The Dungeonmaster' was though.