Friday, August 15, 2014

Dark Dungeons, the tongue-in-cheek D&D movie inspired by Jack Chick, is out now

So, that satirical D&D movie based on an evangelical Christian's hilariously misinformed mini-comic book is now officially a movie that you can own for less than the price of a craft beer.

Perhaps I should explain...

Way back in May of last year, an interesting Kickstarter found its way online courtesy of author JR Ralls.  The project intended to take the infamous, anti-RPG tract of right-wing hardliner Jack T. Chick - Dark Dungeons - and turn it into a feature film.  Chick's tract took an.... interesting... view of Dungeons & Dragons, claiming that the venerable game could sway people away from Jesus, lead them to devil worship, and - most hilariously - convince them to murder one another over disputes involving their characters.

Dark Dungeons became something of an in-joke with tabletop gamers in the years after Chick inked it up, but Ralls decided - rather intelligently - that he wouldn't aim to openly parody Dark Dungeons with his film.

Instead, he'd play it completely straight and bring the work of the original author to life exactly as it was portrayed in the comic with the help of Zombie Orpheus Entertainment - the company behind the truly excellent The Gamers trilogy.  The comedy, as you'll see, finds its way to the screen all on its own.

Unsurprisingly, Dark Dungeons created a fair bit of controversy leading up to its release because it didn't bill itself expressly as a parody piece.  As a result, some gamers were worried that it was going to be an anti-RPG smear piece by geek turncoats - but that is 100% not the case.

How do I know?  Ralls sent over an email with a link to the first 8 minutes of the film which he so generously put up for your viewing pleasure.  He also noted, with a bit of due pride, that Dark Dungeons debuted to a sold-out Gen Con audience... so, clearly, it's doing something right with its low key approach.

If a so-subtle-it-hurts parody of anti-gamer propaganda piece sounds like something you'd like to watch, you're in luck!  You can download the entire movie for $5.00 (with extras costing an additional $2.50)