|Medieval Movies That Aren't as Good as Season of the Witch|
|Written by Ivan Radford|
|Wednesday, 13 April 2011 08:40|
With Your Highness in cinemas this week, I found myself in the middle of a discussion about medieval movies over the weekend.
The perfect film for drunken adults and immature teenagers alike, Your Highness sticks firmly to its principles of swear first, ask about characters later. It's dumb and puerile - in a good way. Granted, it doesn't make the most of its talented cast and features way too much Danny McBride, but can you name another medieval fantasy film to feature a severed minotaur's winkie? No? Ok then.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
"I'm going to cut your heart out with a spoon!" "Why a spoon, cousin?" "Because it's DULL, you twit. It'll hurt more." It really is hard to beat Alan Rickman in full Sheriff of Nottingham mode. Kevin Costner was topped decades earlier by Errol Flynn as Loxley's charming outlaw (his accent is crap) and Hadrian's Wall gets a cameo that defies actual geography, but Morgan Freeman's sidekick and Rickman's pantomime villain keep the tone light and the action satisfying.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Killer rabbits, animated monsters, black knights, enchanters, a duck... The list of good things in Monty Python and the Holy Grail is endless, mainly because it's one of the funniest films ever made. It also features a staggering amount of elements present in every medieval film since, from giant wooden rabbits to model castles. It's got a cast on top form, a superb range of visual and verbal gags, and a ridiculously high laugh-per-minute count. "Must be a king." "Why?" "He hasn't got shit all over him."
The Princess Bride
Without a doubt the greatest medieval fantasy film ever made, Rob Reiner's The Princess Bride is a wonderful little gem. Based on William Goldman's novel of the same name, it's narrated by Columbo himself and combines post-modern humour with witty set pieces (hello left-handed sword fights) and a great array of characters. Will there ever be a film that can rival Cary Elwes' Dread Pirate Roberts, Billy Crystal's Miracle Max, Peter Cook's speech-impeded priest and Andre the Giant? As criminal genius Vizzini himself would say: "Inconceivable!"
Season of the Witch
The greatest medieval movie ever made? Not quite. In fact, completely the opposite. This bonkers outing comes complete with Nic Cage, Ron Perlman and a winged demon who sounds like a Rastafarian. It's a daft pile of drivel with just about enough brains to come up with the worst CGI wolves since The Day After Tomorrow. The really stupid thing? It's so bad it's good. In a really, really wrong kind of way.
Verdict: Entertaining crap - but it's no Princess Bride.