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Mazes and Monsters (1982)

Bound together by a desire to play "Mazes and Monsters," Robbie and his three college classmates decide to move the board game into the local legendary cavern.

Director:

Steven Hilliard Stern (as Steven H. Stern)

Writers:

Tom Lazarus (teleplay by), Rona Jaffe (from the novel by)
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4,553 ( 140)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hanks ... Robbie Wheeling
Wendy Crewson ... Kate Finch
David Wysocki ... Daniel (as David Wallace)
Chris Makepeace ... Jay Jay
Lloyd Bochner ... Hall
Peter Donat ... Harold
Anne Francis ... Ellie
Murray Hamilton ... Lt. John Martini
Vera Miles ... Cat
Louise Sorel ... Julia
Susan Strasberg ... Meg
Chris Wiggins Chris Wiggins ... King
Clark Johnson ... Perry
Tom Harvey Tom Harvey ... Hayden
James O'Regan James O'Regan ... Paul
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Storyline

Bound together by a desire to play "Mazes and Monsters," Robbie and his three college classmates decide to move the board game into the local legendary cavern. Robbie starts having visions for real, and the line between reality and fantasy fuse into a harrowing adventure. Written by Rone Barton Lokarr <sandbox2@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Danger lurks between fantasy and reality.

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and mild violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 December 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dungeons & Dragons See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is clearly a social commentary on the Dungeons & Dragons controversy occurring during this period. See more »

Goofs

It is unclear when this story actually takes place. During the opening sequence, Robbie Wheeling and his parents drive by a cinema playing 'The Empire Strikes Back' which would place the film in 1980 or 1981. At Jay Jay Brockway's "Brigitte Bardot" party, Jay Jay makes a remark regarding the bottle of wine he is given by Robbie as "1987". Throughout the film, there are numerous signs in the dorm that refer to the year 1982, yet the calendar in Kate Finch's dorm room shows November 1983. See more »

Quotes

Daniel: What do you guys think happened?
Lieutenant John Martini: One of the players Robbie played with got carried away and killed him.
Daniel: That's kind of far out.
Lieutenant John Martini: Mazes & Monsters is a far-out game. Swords... poison... spells... battles... maiming... killing!
Daniel: Hey, it's all imagination!
Lieutenant John Martini: Is it? I'll be talking to you.
See more »

Connections

References The Slayer (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Friends in This World
Music: Hagood Hardy
Lyrics: Judith Lander
Performed by Judith Lander and Cathal J. Dodd (as Cal Dodd)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Blurs the line between fantasy and stupidity
9 August 2001 | by constructionbobSee all my reviews

I didn't even know this was originally a made-for-tv movie when I saw it, but I guessed it through the running time. It has the same washed-out colors, bland characters, and horrible synthesized music that I remember from the 80's, plus a 'social platform' that practically screams "Afterschool special". Anyhoo.

Rona Jaffe's (thank you) Mazes and Monsters was made in the heyday of Dungeons & Dragons, a pen-and-paper RPG that took the hearts of millions of geeks around America. I count myself one of said geeks, tho I have never played D&D specifically I have dabbled in one of its brethren. M&M was also made in the heyday of D&D's major controversy-that it was so engrossing that people could lose touch with reality, be worshiping Satan without knowing, blah blah. I suppose it was a legitimate concern at one point, if extremely rare-but it dates this movie horrendously.

We meet 4 young college students, who play the aptly named Mazes and Monsters, to socialize and have a little time away from mundane life. Except that M&M as presented is more boring than their mundane lives. None of the allure of gaming is presented here-and Jay Jay's request to take M&M into 'the real world' comes out of nowhere. It's just an excuse to make one of the characters go crazy out of nowhere also-though at that point we don't really care. Jay Jay, Robbie, Kate and Daniel are supposed to be different-but they're all rich WASPy prigs who have problems no one really has.

But things just continue, getting worse in more ways than one. The low budget comes dreadfully clear, (I love the 'Entrance' sign and cardboard cutout to the forbidden caverns) Robbie/Pardu shows why he's not a warrior in the oafiest stabbing scene ever, and the payoff atop the 'Two Towers' is unintentionally hilarious. Tom Hanks' blubbering "Jay Jay, what am I doing here?" made me laugh for minutes on end. Definitely the low point in his career.

Don't look at it as a cogent satire, just a laughable piece of 80's TV trash, and you'll still have a good time. That is, if you can stay awake. The majority is mostly boring, but it's all worthwhile for Pardu's breakdown at the end. At least Tom Hanks has gotten better. Not that he could go much worse from here.


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