the film: Dungeonmaster aka Ragewar
the guest: Shawn Robare
Today’s episode covers a really strange, dopey, silly, weird, surprisingly short film from 1985 called Dungeonmaster, or Ragewar (depending on how you viewed it). This is a film that sprung forth from the talents of Empire Pictures. Yes, usually films have many more creatives involved than just the director, and unless you’ve lived under a rock since you were born, you know there’s a whole army of folks who bring a film to life. But unless it’s expressly stated that it’s an anthology, rarely is there a film that features the work of seven directors. This is such a film (and indeed it is an anthology, though a sneaky one at that).
Our hero, is Paul (Jeffrey Byron), a health conscious computer hardware and software developer. There are reasons, however silly, for his adventures in what I assume to be “virtual reality,” before there was even a term for such a thing. He’s challenged by a devil figure Mestema (Night Court‘s Richard Moll) to endure seven challenges to free his love, Gwen (Leslie Wing), or forever be a loser. I guess?
What ensues is somewhat amazing, quite often confusing, and always cheap. The challenges feature sword-wielding zombies, cave monster puppets, evil waxworks, a serial killer, a stone giant, a Mad Max-style car chase, the hair band WASP, and lasers – lots and lots of lasers.
Joining me for this episode is Shawn Robare who wrote an article about this movie for his site, Branded in the 80s. (I suggest you click the link and learn more about this silly weird film). Shawn also has a podcast, CULT FILM CLUB, that you should also check out. But here he helps wade through the strange just so you don’t have to – but, depending on your taste, you may want to.