I just purchased an indie movie created on a very modest kickstarter, you can check it out here: darkdungeonsthemovie.com. The movie is a fairly accurate recreation from a comic series created by Jack Chick, warning of the evils of fantasy roleplay. Jack Chick has given full permission for the creation of this movie, without that permission it would have been impossible to bring this popular comic strip to life. Sure, there have been copycat movies, but this one looks like the real deal. I am very excited about this movie because the comic it is based on is an iconic cornerstone of roleplay history. Whether you are into table top roleplay, CCGs or computer games, the strong message of the Dark Dungoens comic is for you.
A Brief History
I first discovered fantasy rolelplay in the 80s. It was a tough time for roleplay as there was a huge stigma attached to anything to do with Dungeons and Dragons and similar fantasy works. Organisations such as BADD (Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons) were shining a harsh light on the evils of roleplay. Roleplay was accused of everything from the promotion of Satanism through to teen murder and suicide. In three years of high school I seen it banned twice, with all books confiscated on sight.
Dark Dungeons was a forerunner in clearly defining the terrible dangers of any sort of fantasy roleplay. It depicted how people could be spiritually corrupted, and how games like Dungeons and Dragons serve as training manuals for the casting of real spells. It made fascinating reading. The works of Jack Chick have never been more relevant, especially with the rise in popularity and availability of fantasy works such as the Harry Potter books, Pokemon, and pretty much every MMO. The release of this movie version of Dark Dungeons could not have been more timely, especially as it strives so completely to remain true to the original comic.
Some people have accused this movie of being a parody or satire of the comic. If you go to the movie link provided at the top of this article, you will clearly see that these issues have been addressed. It’s simply not possible for this movie to be a work of parody or satire as it doesn’t mock the comic, it aspires to reproduce the comic as much as possible within the movie structure.
If you watch the trailer, you will clearly see that the passion of the actors indicates they truly believe the message of the movie. These dedicated artists managed the near impossible to produce this movie within the very limited budget. I would guess that many of the actors worked for little to no pay, because they believed in the importance of the message in this movie. I highly commend their dedication and work.
Value for money
I have no reservations in paying for this movie. The creator, JR Ralls, gained permission from Jack Chick himself to create this movie. I seriously doubt this project can ever be attempted again, so this will forever be the penultimate movie recreation of the comic. History may forget the original comic, but I firmly believe that this movie will remain. Friends of gamers will share this movie, preserving its message and passing it on. I’m happy to pay to be a part of this legacy.
Watch the trailer; if you are an avid roleplayer or even just a fantasy gamer, you should be able to clearly see the message of this movie. If you don’t see the very real message, then move on, there is nothing for you here. I can only speak for myself. I really admire what JR Ralls is doing here. I am really looking forward to seeing this movie and, if possible, I will be sitting down to watch it with other gamers. I truly hope they see the powerful message I see in it.