Hidden Gems of Netflix: Curse of the Dragon Slayer

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The Ministers are back with another obscure gem worth checking out.  Sword fights, Orcs, Elves, hot ladies, evil cultists, mermaids, Dwarves with funky medieval firearms, both great and bad special effects, quick pace, and a killer soundtrack to boot.

Curse of the Dragon Slayer is a low-budget fantasy epic.  But don’t let the low-budget fool you.  The cinematography in this movie is stellar.  Excellent filming locations, more reliance on costumes than bad CGI, brilliant color effects, great camera angles, etc. all work together to make CotDS quite appealing visually.  The only drawback is the, at times, less than stellar fight choreography, but the film quality and slow-mo shots more than make up for it.  This movie takes a lot of ques from LOTR.

maxresdefault (1)The story is about unlikely allies banding together to stop ‘The Shadow’ from resurrecting the god of the underworld.  The opening monologue will immediately make you think LOTR— so much that you might wonder if the story started as LOTR fanfiction.  Everything seems inspired by LOTR, right down to the way the Orcs look, move, dress, and talk.  That being said, this movie is a lot of fun.  The pace is surprisingly fast for the genre.  Each main character is introduced with a fight scene, which this writer certainly approves of.  And the fight scenes abound so much that the timing of some even seem silly.

The characters are likable, and surprisingly deep to boot.  Keltis the Wanderer, ambassador and warrior for the Light;  Nemyt, the female bounty hunting Elf who winds up bagging the wrong target; Kullimon the Black, leader of an Orc horde until the Shadow corrupts a usurping underling; the characters will surprise you, I think.

This movie is serious in tone but doesn’t take itself too seriously, which always plays well in low-budget fares.  The acting is varied, the main characters are consistently stellar, but a few of the side-characters were pretty laughable.  That doesn’t bring down the fun of the film though.  If you like indie films with high production values, definitely check this out.  If you like the fantasy genre, you should love it.  If you like B-movies, give it a shot.  There’s plenty to love in CotDS.

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~ Joseph Hawkins ~

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