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Jennifer Jason Leigh,
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A travelling troupe of jousters and performers are slowly cracking under the pressure of hick cops, financial troubles and their failure to live up to their own ideals. The group's leader, King Billy, is increasingly unable to maintain his warrior's rule while the Black Knight is being tempted away to LA and stardom, as they all have to ask why they were here in the first place. Written by
David Carroll <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The fog in the final joust changes between shots. See more »
My king. If you'll allow me, I will fight for you in defense of the crown. These others will challenge...
Shit, I can't talk like that. Morgan's agreed to fight, and if you promise to sit on your ass and stay out of the way, there's still some of us that'll fight for you.
[through his tears]
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The Arthurian legend comes to life. What we all hoped for in a utopian society devoid of comericialisation is here, shining through the darkest horizon of today's popular youth culture. The sheer romance and spirit of this film is remarkable, much like Romero's other works but in other ways completely different, the film brings hope to the disenchanted rather than adopting the usual cynical "we can't change anything so lets conform" attitude of today's society. King William (Ed Harris) is the founder and leader of a group of travelling knights, swapping the horses for motorcycles and allowing the public to get a glimpse on their way of life through jousting tournaments. Marred by the public's dependence on sex and violence the group find themselves crushed by commercial pressure. The audiences want to see blood, and the tragedy of it all lies in their ignorance to Billy's intense dream. it all starts to fall apart when they receive interest from big promoters and their potential as a sellable source of entertainment is recognised.
Romero truly shines through here and the only criticism I can possibly think of this near perfect film lies in the era it was filmed and set it. Had this film been made in the 70's it would have looked a lot better, or even in the 90's, however the 80's was awful for films in general and it comes as no surprise that this film was practically shelved. On the plus side it also proves that the 80's didn't just produce Friday the 13th movies, and that someone had an idea good enough to really make a film like this work.
Tom Savini, Gary Lahti, Amy Ingersoll, Chris Romero and in particular Brother Blue all give startling performances. The love and care that went into this film is outstanding.
However, I must stress ten-fold that if you want to see blood and guts, and don't really care for the dozens of underlying plot lines that revolve in this film to just watch something else. You have to be prepared to try to understand what Romero is trying to show us, and what the film meant in the relevant decade (and still mean today).
This is a truly amazing film that will make you laugh, cry and cheer. Its not only worth watching but is a keeper for sure.
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