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Knightriders (2009)

Ed Harris , Brother Blue , George Romero  |  R |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Ed Harris, Brother Blue, Gary Lahti, Ken Foree, Tom Savini
  • Directors: George Romero
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • DVD Release Date: December 18, 2007
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000WC38EG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,474 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Knightriders is the story of a troupe of motorcyclists who are members of a traveling Renaissance Faire. Knightriders is the story of a troupe of motorcyclists who are members of a traveling Renaissance Faire. They move from town to town, staging jousting tournaments with the combatants in suits of armor, wielding lances, battle-axes, maces and broadswords. The spectacle of this magnificent pageant soon garners national attention, much to the dismay of the current king of this Camelot. A conflict arises as they try to maintain their fairy- tale existence in a world fraught with corruption. Can they hold on to their Camelot state of mind? This is a finely crafted film written and directed by George A. Romero, who brought us Night Of The Living Dead and Creepshow, and continues in his tradition of visual mastery here with Knightriders. Newsweek said of Romero s talents, "Romero s combination of wit and horror is the best since Hitchcock."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great B-Movie with a fine performance by a young Ed Harris September 22, 2000
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I discovered this film during the early days of HBO, when the mix was blockbusters and movies the networks did not want. George A. Romero's 1981 film "Knightriders" falls into the latter category. This is about a group of free spirits who combine a Renaissance Faire with knights in armor jousting on motorcycles between the good knights and the bad knights. It quickly becomes apparent that the personas of the main characters follow those of the legend of Camelot: the King (Ed Harris), Lancelot (Gary Lahti), Merlin (Brother Blue), and Mordred (Tom Savini), along with a Genevieve, Galahad and even a Friar Tuck thrown in for good measure. After all, this is a symbolic retelling of the tale and if you want to take it literally you are going to be left behind in the dust.
At the beginning there is a good-natured rivalry between the "good" knights and the "bad" knights. The rules of the kingdom say if Mordred and his black clad gang defeat the King or his champion, there will be a new king. However, there are cracks beginning to show in this idealized world. Crooked sheriffs want a cut of the take, the jousts are starting to get out of hand, crowds are becoming unruly, and then a group of promoters come in and want to take over the group. This exploitational commercialism breaks the group apart until they all see the error of their ways. The game has to be played out by the rules, no matter what the outcome.
The heart and soul of this film is Ed Harris as Billy, who takes the fable too seriously. Ultimately this curses his character as much as it ennobles him. Billy's "defeat" is proof of his final victory, that the code he believes in is valid and the world he has created will work, even without him.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One for the B Movie Hall of Fame May 4, 2005
Format:DVD
Occasionally, I discover a B movie that is so off the wall, so cleverly quirky, and so perfectly original that it earns a place in my imagination and in the ranks of my favorite films. `Knightriders' is such a film. After the briefest of runs on the drive-in theater circuit, it moved directly to late night airings on Cinimax in the early `80s, and there earned a small cult following. Now, with this fine DVD presentation, this odd B movie masterpiece should continue to garner new fans.
`Knightriders' tells the tale of a troupe of odd ball outsiders and their low budget traveling Renaissance fair. The main event in this fair is a genuine jousting tournament between armor clad knights mounted on motorcycles. The troupe is composed of a mismatch of hippie types who dig the romance of the medieval mythos, and adrenalin junkies who are only in it for the bikes and the action. The figure who holds them all together is King Billy (Ed Harris), the group's founder and star, who is driven by an obsessive, nearly messianic vision of the importance of their endeavor. The group's idyllic existence starts to fall apart as financial difficulties and trouble with red neck police play havoc with their ability to continue, and they start to split between those who are committed to the purity of King Billy's vision, and those who want to pursue a more practical and commercial direction for their show. A final showdown between those knights loyal to King Billy and the rogues led by Morgan the Black Knight (Tom Savini) who want to go commercial with their act, is decided by a winner take all grand martial competition between the cycle mounted knights.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars REAL LIFE INSPIRES A REAL GOOD MOVIE January 16, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Back in the 1970's, George A. Romero went to an event of the Society for Creative Anachronism This is a group of folks who study and recreate the middle ages, including the art of combat. At this particular event, something happened that caused a large faction to split off and form Medieval Studies and Restoration, a splinter group. According to legend, Romero said to himself "I gotta make a movie about this!" He went to the sudio heads, but they did not think such a film would have commercial viability. Then in a fit of pique he said "allright, supposing we have them joust on motorcycles?" and that's how the movie got made.
The story of this movie is about a travelling renaissance faire that jousts on motorcuycles. There are two factions, one that is doing it for the Arthurian dream of honor and chivalry, and one that is doing it for the action and the money. The group fractures, but the splinter group winds up realizing that they were missing something, and there is a reconcilliation at the end. People who know the real people from the SCA and MSR and the original events can see similarities in some of the characters and situations on screen to the real people and events.
I had known this movie from this perspective for years. Reading the other reviews here, its good to know it can be taken on more levels, even if you don't know the original story. I find that it can be enjoyed both by people who take it seriously and for camp appeal. There are several story elements that were typical for '70's road movies, such as the troubles with the law, the local girl who joins the group to escape her family, and so forth. The action is not the greatest of all swordfighting movies, but is passable. For flat-out motorcycle/automobile thrills, nothing beats "The Road Warrior" but the stunts here are at least well done and convincing. The meaning and spirit behind this film elevate it above an ordinary action film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars But it's a good
Most people don't know about this movie. But it's a good one
Published 1 hour ago by Scott Jenkins
3.0 out of 5 stars A knight to remember
King Billy (Ed Harris) is a leader of a group of entertainers that dress as knights. They joust on motorcycles for the public in quasi-renaissance fairs. Read more
Published 3 days ago by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Movie!!!
I finally have this video in my collection!! The disk is in wonderful shape and the case as well thanks!!
Published 2 months ago by Tawodi Dekanogia
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not for everyone...
But if you like off kilter stories about chivalry and sticking up for your principles, give it a shot you might be surprised.
Published 2 months ago by A. Joseph Orlando
4.0 out of 5 stars Shout Factory does a very nice job presenting a deluxe edition of...
An unusually imaginative b-movie with an A list actor (Ed Harris before fame found him) , "Knightriders" may be a bit of an acquired taste. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Wayne Klein
5.0 out of 5 stars Chivalry in the 20th century
I remember ages ago watching Siskel and Ebert reviewing this and wishing I was 17 so I could go see it; this is one of my ten favorite movies of all time; It's got no special... Read more
Published 3 months ago by John J. Reid
5.0 out of 5 stars Motorcycle Jousting: How Can You Lose?
I have loved this movie since the first time I saw it. The cast is amazing despite the low budget and it's got plenty of mythic resonance emotional depth underneath the sheer joy... Read more
Published 5 months ago by S. M. Vennema
5.0 out of 5 stars Knightriders - Romero's Overlooked Gem
This is for the SHOUT Blu-ray. Knightriders is George Romero's most personal film, and perhaps his best. Read more
Published 6 months ago by M. J. Shire
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely incredible MGM transfer from film master to Blu-Ray!
My multi-year wait has ended! As the only film George Romero ever made that didn't have either zombies or vampires, this 146 minute romp based loosely on the SCA (Society for... Read more
Published 7 months ago by John M Schneider
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon came through!!
This film is by iconic filmmaker George Romero. A very young Ed Harris leads a group of wonderful young actors. Many went on to lucrative careers. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Kristine A. Hess
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