HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Host
Nimic
House of Bamboo
Murder Me, Monster
Hell and High Water
Possessor
Flint
Miserables, Les
Ritz, The
Patrick
Cemetery
Girls of the Sun
Princess and the Goblin, The
Skyfire
Upright
Incredible Kung Fu Mission
Dirty Cops
You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist
Son's Room, The
Evil Hits Evil
Agency
Blue My Mind
Thumbelina
Proxima
Aprile
Assassination Nation
Golden Key, The
Image Book, The
On Body and Soul
Unhinged
Eyewitness
Girlfriends
Danger Within
Rent-A-Pal
Battle in Outer Space
H-Man, The
Painted Bird, The
Finding Steve McQueen
Ropes
   
 
Newest Articles
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
   
 
  Merlin and the Sword Campy calamaties at Camelot
Year: 1982
Director: Clive Donner
Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Edward Woodward, Candice Bergen, Dyan Cannon, Lucy Gutteridge, Rosalyn Landor, Rupert Everett, Patrick Ryecart, Ann Thornton, Joseph Blatchley, Liam Neeson
Genre: Romance, Weirdo, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: A time-travelling, Arthurian romance from the director of What’s New Pussycat? (1965)? Um… okay. Merlin and the Sword opens with American tourist, Katherine (Dyan Cannon) admiring Stonehenge when a mysterious force drags her underground into the magical cave where Merlin (Edward Woodward) and his lovely consort, Ninian (Lucy Gutteridge) have been imprisoned for centuries. Seemingly nonplussed about meeting a thousand year old wizard, Katherine babbles about her job making mortality predictions for an insurance company, which somehow convinces Merlin she’s a witch. Imploring her to help set them free, Merlin and Ninian recount the legend of Camelot - despite Katherine repeatedly whining: “I don’t care.” - using their handy mystic portal/television screen and heckling the onscreen action, Mystery Science Theatre 3000-style.

The mystical twosome tell how they met and fell in love when Camelot was ruled happily by King Arthur (Malcolm McDowell) and his devoted Queen Guinevere (Rosalyn Landor). But Guinevere is kidnapped by a shaggy barbarian chief (Liam Neeson) secretly in league with Arthur’s scheming half-sister, Morgan Le Fey (Candice Bergen). The king rides to her rescue but is waylaid, first by a clunking, undead knight conjured by Morgan (“Arthur’s manliness will be his undoing!” she cackles), then by Merlin. Sensing Arthur’s illegitimate son, Mordred (Joseph Blatchley) is waiting to seize the throne, the wizard spirits Arthur back to Camelot and sends two brave knights instead. Sir Gawain (Patrick Ryecart) is distracted by three, comely fairy-princesses (shades of Michael Palin in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)!), but saved by kindly, pig-faced Lady Ragnal (Ann Thornton). Sir Lancelot (Rupert Everett) finally rescues Guinevere, but their subsequent love affair causes the downfall of Camelot. This involves heartbreak, murder, invasion, a man marrying a pig, a rubber dragon chasing Rupert Everett around a poky room, and the once in a lifetime spectacle of Dyan Cannon and Edward Woodward spinning wildly in mid-air engulfed by dry ice and laser beams.

What the hell? This is seriously strange stuff made all the more bizarre by having Merlin, Ninian and Katherine squabble and wisecrack over unfolding events like spectators at a football game. Trippy and dreamlike, Merlin and the Sword races helter-skelter through the Arthurian legend with no room for niceties like logic or characterisation. Clive Donner previously helmed an enjoyable remake of The Thief of Baghdad (1978), but here shoots in a flat, TV-movie style that does no favours for the shoddy special effects. Performances range from the detached (Malcolm McDowell - dreaming of happier days?), unhinged (Liam Neeson growling in Gaelic, after this his complaints about The Phantom Menace (1999) seem overstated), and bloody awful (Rupert Everett as the wettest Lancelot in screen history - except for Richard Gere - and Candice Bergen as an unholy fusion of Jean Marsh and Toyah Willcox).

The starry cast struggle with surreal, nonsensical dialogue (the scene where Gawain tells Arthur he’s marrying Lady Ragnal drags through ten minutes of awkward pauses, conversational detours, and McDowell and Ryecart looking very confused), but the old-fashioned, Saturday matinee romance retains a certain charm and there are three, rather winning performances. Rosalyn Landor essays a very strong Guinevere, although given short shrift by the lacklustre script. Ann Thornton’s snorting, pig-maiden is the most endearing character in the film. Lucy Gutteridge admirably conveys Ninian’s journey from fresh-faced innocence to melancholy middle-age. None of this explains why Katherine holds the key to saving Camelot. Maybe, if Arthur had better insurance coverage…
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 6468 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: