You’ll notice that the poster above says “Black Death was only the beginning”. This seems to be a reference to Christopher Smith’s extraordinary film “Black Death”, starring Sean Bean, which is set in the same period. Now, a film that makes such a boast about one of my favourite films of the last decade really ought to be amazing, right?
Almost by definition of it being on this site, I’m afraid not. A group of knights and their priest go on a mission to carry what turns out to be the Holy Grail to…somewhere? It’s never really made clear, or maybe it was and I wasn’t paying attention by that point. Who knows?
Right at the start of their mission, they try and stop a woman from getting beaten up, by killing the guy doing it. The upshot of all this is this entire clan of people decide to go and kill them…and they also have to deal with some gang of people with weird masks on, who may or may not be the same people. Oh yes, and the black death actually turns people into zombies.
Enough with that plot stuff, anyway. One of the characters uses a telescope despite them not being invented for at least another 200 years (this makes the historical woes in the latter Puppet Master films seem like very small potatoes), but without the telescope they wouldn’t be able to see the endless grey expanse the film is set in. It’s the dullest looking film I’ve seen in a very long time, and I presume someone made the (wrong) decision to put some sort of colour filter on the camera. It’s just a long trudge through murky rocky forests which is occasionally broken up by a fight with a group of people who look exactly like our heroes so it’s really difficult to tell who’s who.
There is literally no time in your life when you should pick this film over “Black Death”. If you’ve seen Black Death a thousand times already, or if Sean Bean beat you up once, you should still pick that over this. I felt bad hating this film initially, because of the good feeling I had built up towards “Black Death”, but I got over that pretty quickly, and you should too.
It’s not so much bad as utterly pointless. Why do this? How did such a nothing idea get all the way from page to the screen? Did they look at the rushes at the end of each day and go “yes, this is the best we could possibly be doing”? Eh, never mind any more. Let this film disappear and let our future film reviews at least be moderately entertaining rubbish.
Rating: thumbs down