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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dragon Crusaders- Movie Review


Dragon Crusaders represents a major leap forward for home video company The Asylum. Although the film was shot on a low budget, with only a two week shoot, the result was a highly watchable and entertaining romp through a Wales forest complete with dragons, pirates, and gargoyles.

The film opens with pirates raiding a small peaceful village. Dragon Crusaders is a bit bloody, but in the fantasy violence way. Our small band of holy warriors are on a hill overlooking the small village and decide to help. Each of the men have a certain fighting skill, including an archer.

When they reach the village the dispatch the pirates with the help of Aerona portrayed with captivating ferocity by Cecily Fay. Although Fay is rather short, she wields her sword with precision and purpose. The director Mark Atkins mentioned that he put her in the film because he wanted people who already do the action, rather than hiring a series of stunt people. In addition to her sword prowess, and acting ability, Cecily is also a singer and sings some of the tunes used on the movie.


(Above Pic: Cecily Fay as the warrior Aerona, proving that danger comes in small and cute packages!)

After they dispatch the pirates, the holy warriors sail in a small boat to the pirates' ship and board it. Below deck is a woman named Neem, she has put a curse on all who enter the boat, by turning them into gargoyles. Neem's character is played with wistful passion by Shinead Byrne. Shinead really fits the part of damsel in distress and she has a likable innocence to her. The meat of the plot begins with the quest on how to remove the curse.


(Above pic is Neem, portrayed by Shinead Byrne)

The movie was shout mainly outside in Wales, on two Canon 5D still cams outfitted with special lenses. Mark Atkins said the cameras allow for extreme portability, much more so than a tradition digital video camera. In addition to the outside forest shots a real 13th century castle was used, for some interior and exterior shots.

As the movie progresses we see that the wizard that the group seeks to remove the curse has powerful dragons protecting him, along with a stoic warrior Calvain played deftly by Christian Howard. Another interesting aspect of the film is that Aerona seems to constantly be protecting the men with her voracious fighting skills. This was clever, and obvious that all of the actors fighting Cecily in the film were well choreographed. Cecily did the choreographing for her fight sequences, and her fight scenes are top notch, although some of the edits were rather quick.

This is a very good low budget film. All of the acting and action is entertaining to watch and there are no dull moments in Dragon Crusaders. Although there is copious amounts of fighting, the dialogue is pertinent and never drags down the film. The actors all show good emotion, have clear speaking voices, and the character development, although basic, helps the flow of the Dragon Crusaders.

The film has a fun repeat watch-ability quality to it that most low budget movies do not have. I rate Dragon Crusaders a 7.5 out of 10 a definite purchase. In addition to the main film there is a 9 minute behind the scenes, short gag reel, and trailers to half a dozen other Asylum releases.

For more information go to the official Asylum Movie site @ http://www.theasylum.cc

7 comments:

  1. Two weeks to make a movie !?.That spells C-R-AP.

    George

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  2. nice work from vancouver china land of the new asian province thanks to all the pricks that sold us out

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  3. Great review, not seen a decent fantasy movie for a while. I'll pick this one up.

    Thanks

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  4. I cannot believe I sat through 90 min of this. Seriously.

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  5. Complete waist of my time!

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  6. If you are in the UK you're going to have a chance to see Dragon Crusaders as it premieres on Syfy this weekend, Sunday January 22 at 8 pm.

    http://www.whatsontv.co.uk/tv-guide/programme/epg/genre/entertainment-channels/dragon-crusaders/sunday-22nd-january/show/3148381/episode/26452725/ID/244660252/begin/156/page/1

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  7. I just watched Dragon Crusaders on SyFy, and while it is better than most of SyFy's purposefully bad (?) films, it wasn't good. It is one of those films you keep watching to nit-pick and giggle at.

    The scenery was nice, and so were castle and abbey ruins, but they would have been fairly new buildings when the film took place. That bothered me a lot. I can suspend belief that the female warrior is running around in a Zena costume without being accused of indecency, but not with them hanging around a Gothic abbey ruin that would have been dismantled in the time of Cromwell (hundreds of years after the crusades) and then clearly weathered for several more centuries after that.

    The female warrior, Cecily Fay, had me giggling a lot with her sword fights. The choreography was so obvious that it was distracting. "Move left, twirl, lunge, flip sword, turn around, swing, pull back, dramatic pose" There was no fluidity to her sword play at all. A real swordsman would have cut her down during one of her numerous slow moving flourishes.

    The gargoyle and dragon CGI wasn't terrible, but it also had problems. Their size relative to people kept changing. The gargoyles ranged from about 7 feet to 15 feet tall. When the black dragon came out of the cave, it was the size of the entire hill it came out of, then it shrunk down to a quarter of that once it flew off. "How big is it?" "I don't know, how big do you want it to be?" "Eyeball it." "O.K." How do you kill a dragon that is either 40 feet or 200 feet long? With a hand-sized clay grenade filled with chunks of salt peter and a pool of water. LOL

    As fantasy films go, this is one to watch if there is nothing better on and you feel like heckling your TV.

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