Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Secret of Cinema Steel aka Sword & Sorcery 17'

Back in March of 2016 the New Mission Alamo Drafthouse in San Francisco held what they called Cinemapocolypse. This event was a 5 mystery movie marathon, each film being selected by a programmer from a different Alamo. All films were in 35mm and presented as a kind of oddity film with no restriction other that it was a sight to be seen. The films shown (in order) were Carnival Magic, Conquest, The Ying and Yang of Dr No, Lady Terminator, and Boarding House. After the screening I couldn't have been more excited to talk about one of my all time favorite films Conquest with other genre film fanatics and friends I made frequenting the Alamo. Everyone's reaction seemed to be one of surprise after being met with a very stylized vision of a nightmarish fantasy landscape. And it wasn't because they were unfamiliar with the director Lucio Fulci or his approach, but simply because there was a fantasy film other than Conan the Barbarian that had some cinematic value. I was slightly offended by the reactions of most, as fantasy has long been a loved genre of mine, but I'll be the first to admit that finding anything more than a Conan money grab is hard to do. It's not like the horror genre which has had many throw their hat in to try making a quick buck for little money. Fantasy films cost A LOT to do right, I mean how much does a fucking horse cost to rent for a day?!

I can't help but find it hypocritical how many "film" fans turn their nose to an entire genre. I mean Conan the Barbarian is a slow paced action film set in a desert that managed to capture people's imagination in such a way that it's still a household name. Was that because of Arnold? Or the character license? Or maybe because the film visually plays like a Western? How come there hasn't been another fantasy film considered great until the Lord of the Rings trilogy? And why does a genre referred to as Fantasy have the most strict parameters?

There are so many questions a cinema adventurer may have about the Fantasy genre, so instead of trying to answer them all, I've enlisted the Overlook wizard, Math Mage to help me create a version of the Vow of Chastity for Fantasy... The Vow of Iron Chastity! And instead of having film makers follow the rules while making a film, we will take our 10 commandments and apply them to existing films, thus weeding out fairy tales, family friendly adventures, and false fantasy across the board.
Join us if you dare, as Lord Battle and Math Mage brave the hordes of Conan cash grabs, best the waves of brutal CGI behemoths, and transverse the cinema landscape in search of lost fantasy films which have tapped into the Secret of Cinema Steel!

The Secret of Cinema Steel

(Monster) : A fantastical beast must make an appearance, be it help or hindrance

(Non Epic) : The World must contain more than just one story

(Characters/Adventuring Party) : Multiple protagonists are needed for a proper adventure

(Treasure/Magic Items) : With fantasy risk there better be fantasy reward

(Classes/Multiple Races) : Class and Racial tension is great for storytelling, adapt it to fantasy

(Spells/Curses) : Solutions and obstacles must sometimes surpass realities limits

(Dungeons/Traps) : True adventurers are greedy beyond reason

(Choreography/Violence) : Heroes and beasts must look good fighting and dying

(Adult Themes/Nudity) Misogyny isn't for children

(Costumes/Setting) : Characters should look of the land and vise versa

-Lord Battle

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