The Dungeon Masters
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Oh, I started out as a fan. A documentary about Dungeon Masters, the premiere organizers of Dungeons & Dragons games...what could go wrong?
Like the fan documentary A Galaxy Far, Far Away, The Dungeon Masters explores a fringe culture by spotlighting its most extreme elements. It follows the paths of three subjects: Richard Meeks, Scott Corum, and Elizabeth Reesman.
Richard Meeks is a national guardsman who walked out on his Florida gaming group and his family to start a new life. Meeks' players revolted when he killed off the entire party with a sphere of annihilation trap. In Dungeons & Dragons, death is impermanent - there are plenty of means of returning to life. But spheres of annihilation are different. "Any matter that comes in contact with a sphere is instantly sucked into the void, gone, and utterly destroyed. Only the direct intervention of a deity can restore an annihilated character." For gamers spanning multiple years, this is serious business.
Meeks' reputation as a "Killer DM" that he clearly relishes is reinforced by his reunion with the players, wherein he summarily dismisses the group once more. The Dungeon Masters portrays Meeks' gaming style as the kind that players spend several pages on forums ranting about - the uncompromising, my-way-or-the-highway jerk that makes gaming so unpleasant for so many. As if that weren't enough, Meeks is also a nudist (a random point, since we're not sure exactly how he exercises this proclivity other than to chat at the camera nude). And in case you're wondering...he's not exactly fit either.Read more ›
I have been playing dungeons and dragons since i was a kid and i hate to see a game with so many positive traits be viewed so negatively in society. The game has been always been viewed as the epitome of childhood dorkiness, only for those who are so dissatisfied with their current lives that they have to make up fake ones. It's a game of social interaction, of creativity, and logic. No cable, no internet connection, just you and a bunch of your friends sitting around a table having fun on a Thursday night. When a movie like this comes out the average DnD player suffers. I'm not asking for much either, just a piece of pop culture that shows a normal guy playing a normal game of DnD.
Richard Meeks reports in online interviews that when the director and producers first approached potential subjects at GenCon, they secured cooperation by claiming their goal was to portray Dungeon Masters "as normal, everyday people" - to CORRECT the insulting way role-players are often misrepresented in the mainstream media. This pattern of approaching vulnerable people who were abused and/or traumatized as children or in marriage, telling them "I know you've been abused in the past, but I'm here to FIX that abuse, to HELP you! You can TRUST me!," being welcomed into their homes and lives for months at a time, then betraying that very trust -- it's not just the everyday dishonesty of politicians and television commercials. It's profoundly abusive. It's cult-leader abusive.
Some examples of McAlester betraying trust/bending facts:
* The documentary opens with subject Scott Corum describing why he loves role-playing. Then, after he is clearly under the impression the filmed interview has ended, after we see him walk off-camera, we hear him ask about dinner plans. Corum clearly believes that filming has ended and does not intend his dinner question to be part of the film, but McAlester not only leaves it in without his subject's awareness or permission, he uses it as the definitive tone-setting moment immediately before the film title.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie has practically nothing to do about D&D and being a DM. It follows 3 different people who happen to DM but does not really go into the gaming world. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Antonio Portela
I am not a gamer - I just love comedy. Woh, this doc is so good, it is so funny that I thought a few times - is this a mockumentary? Read morePublished 13 months ago by ConstantReaderNYC
Documentary about role playing games. Represting gamers as "people with serious problems." it has the same value as a documentary about politics that features only... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Judge ADGG
A very depressing story, Documentary style movie that follows 3 individuals in their sad real life troubles whose only common thread is that they are all involved with role playing... Read morePublished on June 15, 2014 by J. Kocur
It is a lovely movie with great acting! Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes dark and mysterious. Thank you for making this movie, it will truly change my life forever.Published on February 22, 2014 by AD
I really love geek culture movies such as Monster Camp and even the Brony documentary. However this move mainly followed the people playing DnD and not really involving DnD much in... Read morePublished on January 11, 2014 by seismicGASBAG
What can I say, it's like watching a train wreck happen before your eyes. I caught wind of this on Vudu when searching through the documentary genre and watched the preview. Read morePublished on April 26, 2013 by jay