Curse of the Dragon Slayer (Blu Ray/DVD Combo)
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Three adventurers form an unlikely team in order to stop a death cult from summoning its vile demigod into the mortal realm... not a bad story overall, but I gotta say it's the beautiful elven bounty hunter (Danielle Chuchran) and the spirited orc warrior (Paul D. Hunt) that really make this movie rise above mediocrity. Not to mention: the lush cinematography highlighting some lovely scenic locations, excellent costumes and makeup, thankfully short on CGI and using more conventional FX (looking fine in full sunlight shots and HD) and typically well choreographed fighting sequences (particularly when the central characters are involved). I will admit that the scoring is nothing spectacular and occasionally the extras far from the heart of action tend to mill around a bit but please be aware that this movie is absolutely NOT cheesy nor low-budget, the dialogue is effective and not pretentious (a common pitfall of fantasy) while the acting is sincere and engaging.
I think it's interesting to note that this was produced by Jason Faller who was also the exec. producer of the real-time strategy MMO "Saga" (the world this movie is taken from) in conjunction with Phase 4 Films (a studio rapidly gaining momentum in the movie industry), and if you do a little research you'll find this direct to DVD flick has additionally been titled "Saga: Curse of the Shadow" and "Dragon Lore: Curse of the Shadow".
OK, so maybe it ain't Peter Jackson but neither is it Syfy or The Asylum and given the mediocrity or cheesiness so endemic to this genre I feel compelled to lavish praise on this flick, and here's hoping Phase 4 will continue to bring us adventures from the world of Saga! :o)
This low budget fantasy manages to overcome some poor writing or dialog to create a modest story and some interesting visuals that can carry the show for the right fan. Don't worry about reviews that try to draw too many comparisons with other epics. This movie happens to have orcs, elves and dwarfs, but the quest is really not specifically like any other movie. The dialog borrows a few devices briefly reminiscent of other shows that probably wasn't even necessary. I took a chance on this show with low expectations and felt it was a terrific upside surprise.
THE PLOT (no spoilers): The flow is really quite simple. Not particularly inventive, but absolutely not a knock off of any other show in my opinion. It centers around a conflict of light and dark. The Order vs. The Shadow. The hero Keltus teams with a beautiful, butt kicking bounty hunter elf named Nemyt, and a deposed Orc leader to search out something called the vessel. This small carved ivory looking device holds the power to resurrect an evil entity and enslave their world. This is the goal of The Shadow. A special mark is placed on recruits (or conscripts) to The Shadow and after time they succumb to a curse which makes them convert. Nemyt is cursed with this mark after hunting and killing an Orc shaman for bounty at the very start of the show. It is transferred to her unwillingly. Part of the conflict in this story is her resistance to the curse and completing the quest before she succumbs.
Special effects are limited to a small amount of CGI and the entire movie is shot through a tinted, filtered lens (yea, that's about it).Read more ›
Though in honesty, a majority of the time these gambles rarely play out favorable to my taste.
This film was QUITE a welcome surprise, and really shows that a good entertaining fantasy offering can be produced on a small budget with strong direction and a talented staff.
If you're open to fantasy film or television offerings, definitely check this film out. It deserves some purchase applause and financial success recognition.
I would love to see films like this influence small production studious interested in similar projects, there is just entirely TOO MUCH time & money spent on movies that could offer much more with the right creative staffing, and this release proves it.
As a public service announcement, let's clear up any confusion right here:
(original title) -- SAGA: Curse of the Shadow
UK (English title) (DVD box title) -- Rise of the Shadow Warrior
USA (alternative title) (English title) -- Curse of the Dragon Slayer
USA (alternative title) (English title) -- Dragon Lore: Curse of the Shadow
USA (English title) (new title) -- SAGA: Curse of the Shadow
World-wide (alternative title) (English title) -- SAGA: The Shadow Cabal
If I were feeling cynical this evening I would say a crafty filmmaker changed the name around to cause absentminded geeks like me to purchase the same flick twice. Maybe it was changed to have "dragon" in the title because "dragon" is a choice marketing term for this genre, but then they got sued by somebody and changed the name back to something about shadows?
Below, I'm just going to refer to it as "Curse" (short for "SAGA: Curse of the Dragon Lore Slayer Shadow Cabal," or alternatively, "Curse of the Many-named Movie").
So is it worth watching? That depends on your viewing needs. Here are some details:
OUTSTANDING. Somebody cut their teeth with Curse, and Hollywood may take notice and scoop up the talent involved. Granted, Utah is intrinsically beautiful, but it still takes talent to scout out the perfect spot and to use camera angles that will make the most of natural splendor.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wasn't the movie I was looking for, but it was an okay movie.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
arrived in good time, wrapped well, in great condition and just a great movie. a great buy and noooo problems!Published 5 months ago by crystal angels
Eager for some new low-budget high fantasy, I ordered a Blu-ray version from Amazon's UK site for dirt cheap. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Frosty Cold One
This was a delightful surprise for me. The three main characters, the Orc, the elf, and Keltus made a great team. Read morePublished 7 months ago by GRA Sales