Knightriders 1981 R CC

Amazon Instant Video

(65) IMDb 6.4/10
Available in HD

The members of a traveling Renaissance Faire, who saddle up on motorcycles instead of horses, ride from town to town to stage medieval jousting tournaments with combatants in suits of armor and wielding lances, battle-axes, maces and broadswords.

Ed Harris, Gary Lahti
2 hours 27 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.


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Product Details

Genres Drama, Adventure, Action
Director George A. Romero
Starring Ed Harris, Gary Lahti
Supporting actors Tom Savini, Amy Ingersoll, Patricia Tallman, Christine Forrest, Warner Shook, Brother Blue, Cynthia Adler, John Amplas, Don Berry, Amanda Davies, Martin Ferrero, Ken Foree, Ken Hixon, John Hostetter, Harold Wayne Jones, Randy Kovitz, Michael P. Moran, Scott H. Reiniger
Studio Shout! Factory
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Really like the movie, thought it would be hard to find.
A. M. Rodgers
It is filmed beautifully, taking full advantage of the scenic landscapes of Western Pennsylvania, where director Romero does most of his work.
Theo Logos
This, quite possibly, may be my favorite of Romero's films.
Grigory's Girl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 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 By Theo Logos on 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 By Zorikh Lequidre on 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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