I’ve been sick at home for the past few days so have been spending some time movie watching. Not feeling like anything overly heavy, and indeed something that I could pick up the plot of again if I fell asleep, I gave the Mythica series a go seeing as I had the DVDs lying around.
It was cheap and cheerful. Think Dungeons and Dragons or some other ‘sword and sorcery’ form of popular culture. All the standard tropes were there: A rag-tag band of heroes seeking to save the world; an ancient evil to be overcome; standard character class mix (á la DnD Dragonlance series) – a warrior (Caramon?); a half-elf rogue/ranger (Tanis?); a magic user (Raistlin?); and a priestess (Crysania?); characters learning to trust each other and work together; endless journeying across wilderness and in caves and tunnels (Tunnels and Trolls anyone?); lead character (Marek) being tempted by the “Dark Side”; and an ancient mentor (Kevin Sorbo hamming it up) passing on his mantle to his apprentice
There are five films in the series, with the first four having the heroes attempt a quest and each time being thwarted by the villain seeking the ancient evil, and then the last film there’s the final clash between good and evil and everything works out.
The Mythica website bills the movies as “Mythica is the most ambitious indie fantasy project ever undertaken. The series is comprised of five feature films, shot over two years on location in Utah, USA.” A portion of the films’ financing came from Kickstarter too, and the films represented original content created for the ConTV network which serves content to the Comic Con audience.
You can get a feel of the films from the trailer.
It unashamedly feels like the Hercules or Xena TV shows if they had better special effects and longer story arcs. The acting is passable – thought uneven, the effects show their budget, and the villain lacks motivation, but the characters are willing and if you are prepared to take it as ‘cheap and cheerful’ it’s a fairly enjoyable, if somewhat predictable, romp playing to its fanboys and fangirls. You will be yelling a lot at the screen though.
However, my most enduring thought through the films was that it was like a movie version of the mid-80s video game ‘Gauntlet‘ where an elf, warrior, valkyrie and wizard team up in ‘hack and slash’ adventures to raid dungeons, defeat the bad guys, collect treasure and build experience. I half expected a voice to boom out in the movie, “Elf, your life-force is running out,” which would be appropriate as the elf character tends to get pincushioned by arrows and bolts in every movie.
You can find more on Gauntlet here at: https://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=7922