Season of the Witch   2 comments

Yeah, we're lost. I think we should have turned left at Vienna.

It’s hard to get good swords and sorcery in the movies, but every once in a while they do it right.  This is that once in a while.    This is the tale of two disillusioned Crusader knights who get pressed into service by a Church they no longer believe in to transport a girl accused of witchcraft to an isolated monastary high in the Carpathian mountains. 

You have to admit that touring through Hungary on horseback beats rotting in a church oubliette.

Well, actually, that’s not the real story.  The real story is that of an altar-boy who wants to be a knight, and sees his chance to earn his spurs by accompanying and helping the knights on their mssion.  It is a little known fact that any knight can make anyone else into a knight.  It doesn’t have to be some lord.  Considering that it is the altar boy who actually performs the mission and lives to see the end of it, then actually he is the hero, and it is his story.

But, wait, that’s not the real story either.  This is the story of an innocent young woman who is accused of witchcraft.  She is beaten and tortured by the medieval church, then thrown into an iron cage and hauled for hundreds of miles across a plague-stricken landscape to undergo final judgment and purification at a remote mountain monastary.

I didn't know what would happen to me when I asked for the economy fare.

No!  Hold on!  That isn’t the real story either.  This is the tale of a being from another world.  It is trapped on Earth, a planet hostile to its very existence.  Fanatical churchmen are on a mission to destroy this being, so it fights for its life, and finally it gets the chance to defeat the enemy by destroying a rare book–then these crazy Crusader Knights get in its way.

Not the demon in the film, but you get the idea--ugly, nasty, evil, tough.

I guess the story depends on your point of view.

In any case, I like it.  Nick Cage and Ron Perlman were incredible as disillusioned Crusaders on the run from a dominant church.  The plague-stricken countryside was truly horrifying.  The scenery was magnificent.  The acting by all  involved was very good.  The special effects were great.  With all these things going for it,  you’d think the movie would be a big  hit.  But, it won’t be.  It will be lucky to make a profit.  Give it a couple of years and it may become a cult classic like Ladyhawk. 

Living under a curse is for the birds!

 Those of us who love dark fantasy will appreciate it.  Most people, and most people aren’t my readers, wouldn’t recognize dark fantasy if it bit them, won’t go to see it.  They won’t think about it, and they won’t remember it.  But, if you play any form of Dungeons & Dragons.  If  you play Tunnels & Trolls, or The Fantasy Trip, or Runequest or any fantasy rpg, then you should see this movie.  It is great for helping you really visualize and describe those castles and crypts that are in your own games.  It is also a pick them off one by one movie.  Who will die next, and how?  As Game Masters, isn’t that what we love to do with our players?

Atroll says the Season of the Witch is a masterpiece.  This review is late, but see it if you possibly can.

End

I have no reason to put this picture down here, but it captures the essence of dark fantasy and I like it.

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Posted January 29, 2011 by atroll in Uncategorized

2 responses to “Season of the Witch

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  1. Your review may be “late,” but I haven’t seen the movie yet, and now I think I should . . . when it comes to DVD. Thanks for this post!

  2. I’m glad you liked it — I liked it alot too. It would be great to see Cage and Perlman in sequels (in an alternate world perhaps?!?).

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