Posts Tagged ‘The Dungeonmaster’

After the hit documentary  Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films , we  present you another promising B-movie documentary– produced and directed by Daniel Griffith covering a very interesting company- Charles Band’s  Empire Production! Now, even if you don’t remember the name I’m sure you’ll remember some of their hits.


Empire Pictures started with limited released such as Swordkill and Dungeonmaster, followed by a string of actual theatrical hits like Reanimator and Ghoulies and also Trancers.

EmpirePictures“2,000 movies by the year 2000!” Well, not really…

Unfortunately it all came crushing down just 5 years later after a scandal with their main financier Credit Lyonnais (a French bank  that was outed for it’s predatory lending practices and actively trying to conceal Empire’s pile of debts from other creditors). It all ended in a mess of lawsuits, and the company was bought out by newly founded Epic Pictures Entertainment with Band leaving to found Full Moon Entertainment which is despite a break of some years still active!

You can enjoy the trailer right here.


You can check out the successful Kickstarter campaign here  and also follow them along  on facebook.

Ah one of the movies dedicated to the techboom era (apart of Weird Science) who glamour computers as a almighty machines capable of changing even a space-time continuum. Also, this one is from back in days when Charles Band still made great *cough* movies. Ok to be honest, Charles Band here had a help of pretty much everybody he is worked with that has some directing skills. But more about that later.

And many more to comeAnd many more to come

On the very start we see nerdy Paul Bradford (played by bulky Jeffrey Byron), a self-proclaimed Xerox machine A-class troubleshooter who is able to diagnose a malfunction with just plain looking at machine through his futuristic glasses (which looks the same as just any other nerdy thick glasses). Paul, like any other nerd, watches over his physique so he starts jogging after his work hours. Somewhere along the way he meets a flower girl and decides to buy a bouquet. The fact that his wallet is completely empty (not even a personal documents in it) doesn’t concern him because he has glasses! A couple of seconds looking into ATM machine is enough for hacking it and taking amount of money enough to buy a flowers. And for whom is that flowers? For his girlfriend Gwen (played by Leslie Wing) of course, because every nerd has a girlfriend fitness instructor. When Gwen comes home he asks her to marry him. Normally, that is not a reason for a girl to go mad like Gwen did but these are not an ordinary circumstances. The reason why she got pissed off is that that marriage proposal suggestion came from Paul’s experimental computer named Cal. Paul listens to and talks to his computer much more often than he should have. Anyway, Gwen and
Paul go to bed earlier that night and that’s mistake they shouldn’t have made. Because while they were asleep they got teleported to another dimension through Paul’s glasses! Just like that! A moments later Gwen gets captured and Paul finds himself running through the wilderness wearing a medieval clothes, Then a mysterious wizard appears in front of him and reveals that he is responsible for teleportation. Why? Because he believes that Paul is worthy opponent for him. Wizard introduces himself as Prince of Darkness Mestema (played by Richard Moll), who is impressed by “magic” of machines and holds Paul as a master of technology. He also places 7 challenges which Paul must pass in order to release Gwen from captivity. For that Mestema had granted Paul all time access to his computer, by placing chips onto Paul’s arm. So basically, it is a never-ending fight between magic and technology.


Before he could get what’s going on Paul got teleported (see the picture above) to his first task. He wakes up in wilderness and finds that funny looking dwarves have stolen his strap-on arm computer. He follows them to some cave entrance when he finds his machine left by dwarves. Suspecting nothing he takes and turns his back to go away. But it was a trap! A huge stone giant who was sitting above cave entrance come to life by ridiculous, cheesy stop motion. Giant starts chasing Paul through the jungle. After couple of minutes Paul got bored of playing hide and seek with giant so he destroys him by plain shooting
laser beam to red crystal located above giant’s eyes. First challenge completed.

Much worse stop-motion than Harry Hausen was doing in 1950s

Paul is back to original another dimension. There he engaged into verbal fight with Mestema eventually accepting his game (though it is not he has any other choice). Puff (by which I am referring to more of poor animation and effects) and he is teleported to his second task. Now he is in cave where he meets the caretaker of the dead. Dead people here look more like retarded horned orcs (a reason more why you should try to stay alive as long as possible). Anyway, Paul easily finishes with this challenge with a help of more cheesy stop motion, animation and laser beams. Ok back to Mestema.

This is who awaits you when you dieThis is who awaits you when you die

Time for intermission after second round, Location: Mestema’s dimension. Also it is first time where we have displayed powers of both technology and magic in one scene. To cut the story short below you can enjoy this masterpiece of animation:

After a short discussion with Mestema about musical tastes Paul gets puffed to his third challenge. Now he finds himself at performance of death metal band named Wasp. They also got Gwen tied up on a stage and, like any other metal band, they want to sacrifice her during their performance. Ha what a showmen they are! Cannibal Corpse eat yourself! Of course, Paul doesn’t like the idea of his girlfriend being butchered in public so he disintegrates them using a high frequency sound (!?).

This is how  you  can fight vs death metal musicThis is how you can fight vs death metal music

The 4th challenge takes place in some sort of vex museum. Every criminal in the world is there. Genghis Khan, Jack the Ripper, werewolf, Einstein… It starts snowing in that room and, like you could guess, every figure comes to life. Logically, Gwen has been taken by Jack the Ripper (no surprise there – she is dressed like a slut). Paul had some problems fighting with Genghis Khan but he slipped away and destroyed entire gang by throwing a crystal Albert Einstein held in hand. Makes sense, since old Albert is clearly a criminal mastermind.

Not fair! They didn't have electro shocks back in Genghis Khan daysNot fair! They didn’t have electro shocks back in Genghis Khan days

After this Mestema’s belief in victory got shaken a bit. So he offers Paul a freedom and piles of gold in exchange for letting Gwen to stay in his dimension. Paul was dumb enough to reject this offer without thinking about it (I would take the gold and walk away). With such self-confidence boost (which came from his own stupidity) Paul had managed to beat the rest of the challenges consisted of escaping the police after being accused of series of murders of women, wrestling a demon and fighting with nomads tribes in Mad Max vehicles on a post apocalyptic warfare. He even managed to beat Mestema in 1vs1 fight by throwing him to volcano despite the fact that the Prince of Darkness is much larger than him and possesses dark powers. Paul and Gwen get teleported back to their own dimension just in time for their wedding so we get a happy end worth every judging.

And for all you nerds out there  these are a kind a chicks you are entitled onAnd for all you nerds out there  these are a kind of chicks you are entitled on

Conclusion: Yup, nothing can stand in a way of technological progress. Not even a demonic wizard with strange and mysterious powers. That would be a message this movie sends to it’s viewers. Plot is so imaginative that it took 7 directors and even more writers to build it. That’s probably the reason why it gets incoherent from time to time. On account of acting I can’t be too harsh since we were actually able to see occasional decent acting. Unlike the costumes though. Those probably were stolen from some kid’s Halloween house party and from other movie sets. If you love excessive doses of 1980s cheese then this is the movie for you because that’s what will you get while watching this. 70 minutes of cheap, cheesy fun, bad special effects and poor attempts of stop-motion. Just don’t expect any Dungeons & Dragons involving here.