2013, Movies

SAGA – Curse of the Shadow aka Curse of the Dragon Slayer (2013, John Lyde)

This is s special kind of film.

I have seen lots of terrible movies in my time, but rarely have I seen a film as derivative as this one:

  • there are dwarfs (well, one),
  • elves and orcs,
  • and the odd cleric,
  • and it pretty much feels like this is Dungeons and Dragons mixed with Lord of the Rings.

In fact, this film borders on plagiarism, as it contains a Gollum-like character who calls himself by the Royal We and actually utters the word “precious.”

But even aside from the obvious origins of these “ideas,” the whole rest of the script feels stolen from other movies. One scene actually reminded me of the final fight from Spaceballs and you know you are lacking in originality when you are stealing lines from movies made 30 years ago which are supposed to be mocking other movies.

In addition to being derivative, the script is so bad I feel like I could have written it yesterday, had someone only paid me the money. I feel like I know multiple fantasy writers who could have tossed this off in their sleep. I know an actual guy who could write a better script than this if you just gave him 24 hours. It’s just abysmal.

And then there’s the effects:

  • Most of the movie is filtered to make it look like “Not Utah,” despite some shots where it is so obviously the Utah or somewhere else in the western United States.
  • The filters just make the film look bad, and in fact the use of “Day for Night” shows just how ridiculously pathetic the lengths this film had to go to try to set their plot in what feels like a series of US National and State Parks. Honestly, when was the last time you saw anyone use “Day for Night”? 1972? I didn’t even know a digital version existed.
  • The other digital effects are terrible, particularly the “Death God’ at the end but also the blood and the various lights and things.
  • And then there are the plane or helicopter shots. I don’t know whether the filmmakers wasted what little budget they had on these shots or whether they bought them from some kind of stock footage company that specializes in aerial photography, but it seems like every time they needed a segue, we got stuck with another view of a canyon (sometimes the same one).

I could go on and on but I will stop here.

This movie was terrible. Just absolutely terrible.


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