A secret cabal, The Shadow, works to bring about the return of Goth Azul – the Undead God – in the rich world of SAGA, populated by elves, orcs, dwarves and dragons.
In “Curse of the Dragon Slayer”, we are led to believe that we have a movie where our hero fights dragons. The simple truth is, there are no dragons in this movie. Even the cover of the DVD has our hero battling what appears to be a dragon but in the movie’s big finale, our hero clashes with a beast that draws parallels to a demon, not the title’s legendary creature. It’s like advertising an action movie with no action or a horror film with no horror in it, very misleading. In what resembles some sort of a plot, we have a human, Keltus the Wanderer (Richard McWilliams), an elf, Nemyt Akaia (Danielle Chuchran) and an orc, Kullimon the Black (Paul D. Hunt), all sworn enemies who, very reluctantly, team up together to try and stop the God of Darkness from surfacing and wiping out the entire planet.
There are sword fights, battles, good and evil sorcerers, bearded dwarfs, huge monsters, hooded beings on horseback that shriek loudly and I’m sure that J.R.R. Tolkien is turning over in his grave. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if his estate sued the producers for copyright infringement. I mean they don’t even try to hide the fact that they are obviously ripping off “Lord of the Rings” with the elves and dwarfs and orcs looking and sounding exactly like they do in Peter Jackson’s far superior epics. In one scene, a character resembling Sméagol before he reaches his final state as Gollum, even has the audacity to utter the word “Precious”. For God’s sake people, if you want to pay homage to a film or a writer, then do so admirably, don’t steal the names and looks and overall tones of previous works, especially when they are renowned the world over and have made billions of dollars.
We even have the quintessential aerial shots of beautiful mountainous terrains and snowy peaks and while some of these are indeed spectacular, you can’t help but feel cheated by the entire movie. One thing I can’t do however, is fault the three lead actors. Danielle Chuchran who plays Nemyt the elf, does so with great enthusiasm and temperament. I saw her before in a small indie film called “Storm Rider” in which she gave a wonderfully understated performance. In this movie, even in make-up, she has the rare ability to emote triumphantly and generate sympathy for her. New fellow Irish actor Richard McWilliams, as the film’s human lead Keltus, is comparable to Viggo Mortensen in “Lord of the Rings”, he is brooding and full of charisma and with the right material, could make for a great action hero.
Paul D. Hunt as the orc, Kullimon, brings humor and endearment to a character that, in other similar movies, is always accredited as the bad guy. He is evocative of Worf, the Klingon in Star Trek, whose people have always been the villains. He even sounds like him too. The three work well together and it’s just a pity that the film is a carbon copy of other more successful movies that have come before it. If none of the “Lord of the Rings” movies existed and this movie was released, I would have given it a much higher rating for originality. Director John Lyde creates an overly conventional movie with not even the tiniest fragment of inventiveness and with an apparent decent budget on display, that’s a sorrowful waste of money.
On VOD and DVD May 20th