I was scouring the Amazon Prime Dungeon for anything watchable when I came across this comedy-fantasy.  Still riding high off the thrills of Scorpion King IV, I’m willing to give it a shot.  As a bonus, it features recognizable actors, Luke Perry and James Marsters. I’m game, so let’s check out out.


This movie has a weird Buffy The Vampire Slayer connection as Luke Perry was in the theatrical film and James Marsters played Spike in the TV series.  We’re also in bad green-screen land for 90% of this movie.  That can’t possibly be cheaper than filming on a hillside in a park, but what do I know?

Luke Perry plays a dashing Warrior.  He slays a wingless dragon and rescues a partially dressed princess but, in a running joke, any time two people get smoochy, a passable CGI dragon swoops out of the sky and chomps them.  So in quick order, the princess is incinerated and Luke Perry is dragon chow.  Perry’s five minute cameo is clearly a budget casualty.  The real hero is Ramicus, the kind of character I usually enjoy.  He’s a Madmartigan-style boastful swordsman who’s only into rescuing princesses for the loot.  But Ramicus is played by a total jackass who is such a bad actor, it kills most of the joy in the movie.  There’s still some entertaining stuff, but with Luke Perry’s winking performance and charisma, it would’ve been a much better movie.


Cue the Game of Thrones rip-off credits and then cut to a blonde-wigged barbarian running in slow motion.  He is Camilan, played by Maclain Nelson, who is also the writer/director of this thing.  He is wisely cast as a humorless egotist who has a bloodlust for dragons and the movie wisely makes fun of his unlikeablity.  He is Ramicus’ brother and together they are tasked with saving a princess, or something.  That’s about it for the mundane plot and it’s disappointingly sparse for such a long movie.  Dragons need to be slayed and princess needs to be rescued from the evil Necromancer Lord Tensley )played by Marsters) and, except for a battle with goblins and an attempted dragon capture, there is precious little incident.

What I don’t understand about all of these no-budget sword and sorcery movies I’ve seen lately is that there is no apparent love and fondess for fantasy films.  Mostly they seem to be treated with embarrassment and contempt, and the filmmakers feel the need to mock them.  It’s like they are saying, “these kinds of movies are stupid, but nerds love them so let’s take their money.”  And believe it or not, there are fantasy worlds other than Tolkien Land.  There is a hundred years of fantasy literature to draw on, why not take a good, original story, with vivid characters and make a good movie, instead of a parody of a bad one, which through film-making incompetence and shoddy production values becomes merely a bad movie?   Once again, the filmmakers are making a “comedy” where they haven’t written any jokes, nor do they have the talented actors to make this tired material funny.


Almost immediately we get the other convention of direct-to-video fantasy films, a rubber-faced Lord of the Rings orc.  The orc attacks Ramicus, and there’s a wrestling match with the orc grabbing Ramicus by the nuts.  But surprise, the orc is Ramicus’ lackey who speaks in mumbling orcish.

Later on in a “hilarious” scene, the fat guy drinks a magic potion and “kung fu”s an army of goblins in slow-mo.  Of course they go hurling through the air like actors jumping off a trampoline.  This is another movie where, in order to save money in blood and sword choreography, they just do a bunch of badly orchestrated kung fu moves in slow motion.  Because it’s “funny.” Then there’s an extended 300 parody as the actors disgustingly eat and spit food in slo-mo.

Then late in the game, Ramicus and Camilan have a falling out over whether or not they can kill the dragon they just captured.  This infuriates me because I know it’ll take 20 minutes for them to come back together again to finish the damn movie.  The pay-off is amusing as the manly men share a tearful apology, but it’s a lot of plot complication to get to that mild joke.


But damn, this movie is dull.  It feels like a week has passed when we finally get to the inevitable battle with Spike.  Spike is about to marry the princess, of course, because why not rip off The Princess Bride while we’re at it, when Ramicus shows up.  Ooh, cool, there’s an ogre.  Then the ogre takes one wild swing at him and falls off the goddamn mountain.  Damn you, movie, for killing any fun and pleasure I might have had.

We have a duel where Marsters uses magic to give Ramicus slaps, flicks, and a wet willy.  Marsters flies Ramicus up to the sky then plummets him to his death, then stabs him with a spear.  He is dead as crap.  And then he’s promptly brought back to life with the Power of Love.  No Huey Lewis, however.  Boo!

Spike is promptly dragon-chomped, and there’s a wedding and all eight affordable actors get a happy ending.  Whew, two hours of my life are spent, but I made it through Dudes & Dragons.  And oh, dear god, because this horribly boring movie wasn’t long enough, there are credit outtakes.  Credit outtakes are the dregs of “wacky” low-budget films.  Unless Jackie Chan broke his neck on your movie, I don’t want to see your goddamn outtakes.  It just shows how smug and self-satisfied and, frankly, delusional the filmmakers are about how awesome they believe their crappy movie to be.


This is a dull slog of a “comedy.”  The filmmakers decided to fade out all the colors and it’s mostly set in front of grim and grey computerized scenery.  Really, some random hillside somewhere would be cheap to film and add some much needed fresh air and colors.

With barely adequate dragon effects and fight scenes played as jokes, there’s nothing else to recommend.  Once again, I beg low-budget fantasy filmmakers to try a little harder and create their own fantasy world that wasn’t done a million times better by Peter Jackson.  There really is no reason you need to see this one.

By Channing Kapin

I am a professional writer living in Van Nuys, CA. I have spent the last 20 years honing my sarcasm writing for the internet. I have two cats, a dog and an imaginary hairless mole rat.