So what we have here is a bonified, fo reels, new category on the old Boony & Buckles resume. You see we have a rule here... finding merit in a film. Perhaps a film doesn't tickle our fancy, but we try to find pieces of awesome, and review on its standing as a film. So that those who might appreciate it need not be turned away by our genre prejudice. Hence our two rating scales. And the fact we respect the right to keep the plot mostly under wraps so that you might check it out if so inspired.
In other words we don't simply bash a film because it will never be on our personal shelf space. However...
However... sometimes there are simply films that are so bad... either in one aspect, or all... that it simply overrules that focus of calm and clever wit, over rant and rage... So here and now, I Charles B. Boonsweet (and on behalf of my equally awesome cohort, Ken K. Bucklesworth), debut for you... the film faithful, a new category meant to highlight the absolute worst that we come across. In short - the very very bad. The horrid. The painful to watch... the must be ranted on... The Crap!
And now, here, the film that brought this lovely new special into being...
TALES OF AN ANCIENT EMPIRE (2010)
Long ago in the 80s sword and sorcery was everywhere. Knights, and warriors, and barbarians, and warrior queens, and nude barbarian queens... and one film stood out amongst them... ok.. no, no that is a blatant lie - one film marginally held its head to the same level as the rest "The Sword and the Sorcerer". Over the years it has developed a certain following. And why not it had it all... A smooth talking hero. Boobs. Extreme violence. Demon King. Of course it also had one of the most unbalanced scripts ever, some very, very uneven acting, some horrid sets... but... dammit it a three blade sword didn't just balance all that out. Did I mention the hero "Talon" could shoot the blades? Yes. So very yes. I enjoyed this film, and at the end as many of the old adventure films did... there was a message
Talon will return in Tales of an Ancient Empire.
So, original film 1982... sequel... 2010. Confused, ya me too. But then I saw that it had the original actor that played Talon in it, and Kevin "why isn't Hercules on Bluray" Sorbo himself. So ya, worth checking out I thought. I understood the risk. I knew it was a B movie. I knew Sorbo was in it. So my expectations where for indie cheese, horrible effects, and charmingly awesome dialogue.
I was so wrong so very wrong.
The film opens with a title claiming Tale #1 ... blah blah. Some robbers resurrect a demon/vampire chick. Why is there a demon vampire chick? No idea. It would seem they thought the sorcerer in the first film was actually... a... sorceress, and um... a vampire. Ok. Then a couple minutes, Tale #2 blah blah, and there is a castle under attack, and then a princess must be whisked to safety. Several tales later, Vampire Queen has killed princesses sister and she is off to find a way for revenge. Tale whatever and some former good chick is now a vampire and having a neck suck threesome with her bodyguard/lover/oldmanstalker? Don't know. Then Sorbo shows up and is awesome. Really, and even more so than usual as he dwarfs all around him. Did I mention that the princess is like a super ninja, and the daughter of Talon? I think. And Sorbo is her brother... and then they gather a whole bunch of siblings to battle the demons.
Here is the thing this movie could have been awesome. Well, like B movie awesome. But why are there title chapters? Might I add why are there title chapters that occasionally forget to exist. No freaking idea. The nudity, the little there is is shot I think by a teenage boy, who has never handled a camera before... or seen a real breast. Here is one of those rare occasions where I can say, hands down, the director destroyed this film. The constant pointless cuts. The laughingly intense close ups... that close no laughter only eye rage. Um, here's an idea, buy knives with a retractable blade. They are at most dollar stores. You press them into the gut, and you have red come out. You know, one of the oldest tricks in the filmmakers guide to the galaxy. That way you won't need to zoom in on a square of fabric That is held tight and punctured with a blade, then cut to a character holding their stomach. While we're at it why are so many people stabbed in the abdomen?
What more, wanna know why this film inspired us to create this segment? Oh there's more Booniacs. The color for example. Picture a wet mess of of stone and black and then drop a neon convenience store sign on the scene (while of course keeping your camera one to two inches from the subject). The fights, are not fights, they are images that want to coexist but keep running into each other - repeatedly. Oh and then Talon shows up, or well the actor that played him, and makes out with one of Talons daughters...? Whaaaaaaaaa....
Oh right because Talon shows up at the end, after all the heroes have um, suddenly been incapacitated and our lying at the fight of the Vampires. Then there is Talon, in a cloak, and holding his giant three blade sword... So wait, what the hell was the point of having Lee Horsley even in this thing? None. No reason what so ever. And does the man in the cloak reveal himself? Nooooooo of course not... he fires his sword, in a dazzling display of CGI the likes of which this world has never seen. By dazzling I mean - stupefying. By likes of which this world has never seen I mean - thankfully. And by CGI I mean - give me and my laptop 5 minutes and I can do it better. Yes, 1982 did it better. No joke. Then um, two vamps die, one flies away screaming it isn't over, and um... that's it. And I realize, a moment before it is done... it's not done. Nope. To Be Continued. You see at the beginning it said there were like 47 tales... and we only got through 9, 12, ah who cares....
This is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. And folks, I have watched things that late night drive in channels avoid lol... Quite possibly the worst film direction you will ever see. Sorbo you gave it your best, and the lead actress... she was cute, and had a few moments... and it was hard to appreciate her what with the lens inches from her face, and cutting across the room every 3 to 3.7 seconds...
Also, Worst fangs Ever!
Movie scale 0.5 out of 5 stars
Sword and sorcery scale 1 out of 5 stars.
Why even call this film Tales of an ancient empire... why have Talon in it? Why CGI the three blade sword. Why Sorbo... why....
Chuck Boonsweet... concluding CRAP #1.
Hope you guys enjoy the new segment and we got ourselves a twitter... brand new... fresh for all you Booniacs and Buckleheads... so check it out to stay in the loop... @BoonsBuckles