Monday, July 20, 2009

Strange Beginnings In The Middle Part II

Okay speaking of fun, the second film is simply just a huge goof for all involved and if I ever get the chance to ask anyone who was involved in this epic blunder of a film, I will certainly not hesitate to ask.

Knightriders, directed by George A. Romero, yes of Night of the Living Dead fame, is a rather strange tale of fantasy and fiction. It's star lead is a very young Ed Harris, who though he had hair was showing signs of the trademark receeding hairline. The story is about a troop of traveling performers who joust on the backs of iron steeds. Okay, let me say this with as straight of a face as possible. They get dressed up in armor, and joust like in Medieval times, on armor plated dirt bikes. Not sure who the target demographic was for this film, or even if they even had one specifically? But this is not something you could get away with bringing to the table of a major studio today, without a large pile of cocaine involved!

Now granted I am a geek, I love Renaissance festivals, and motorcycles. So obviously I am a bit jaded. But how George Romero got roped into doing this movie is beyond me? And if you pay close attention you notice that Stephen King also appears in this film. Somehow, I can't help but feel someone lost a bet and was taking all their buddies down with them.

But never the less the film's only real other brand name star in this is Tom Savini, Hollywood's original bad boy! He plays Morgan ( which is sort of the Mordred) to Ed Harris' "Billy" (which is obviously meant to be seen as King Arthur). The film is basically about stuntmen who have a desire to pretend they are knights, jousting for honor and glory. Which is fine, but the story ends with Ed Harris sort of becoming lost in the part. That is to say he takes the whole "pretending he's King Arthur" just a little too seriously.

Meanwhile this film is backdropped against small town America as the troop travels across the mid-west doing carnivals and impromptu shows. Ironically meeting up with some awnry bikers along the way, that think they are a bunch of idiots. But righteousness prevails, and the ability to hold a lance while riding a dirt bike as well.

Again I am not sure how anyone was sold on this being worth the trouble to shoot? I am sure Ed Harris will not be happy that I am bringing this film up. But from a retrospective look back at what passed for entertainment in the early 80's, it's kind of a hokey goof to watch this film. And lord knows there are plenty films that were way sillier than this. I am certain Lea Thompson and possibly Tim Robbins are trying very hard to forget "Howard The Duck"! What a fowl movie that was!

But again "A" for being uniquely weird, and helping to epitomize what a weird time the 80's was film making. And as a small side note it also stars a very cute under rated actress named Patricia Tallman, who got her main notoriety in the showbiz game as a stunt women. She is of course well known by the sci-fi geeks for her various roles in the Star Trek franchises and her big role in Babylon 5 as the lovely Psi Corp telepath Lyta Alexander.

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