Picks and Pans Review: Knightriders
On the other hand, it is impossible to sit through this movie with a straight face. But it's not a comedy, just awesome in its absurdity. On the surface, Knightriders is a simple tale about a modern-day Renaissance fair featuring knights who joust on motorcycles. There's a king and a queen, a good knight and a bad knight, and they live by ancient chivalric code. Harmless enough stuff. Yet, as the film drones on (and on and on for 150 minutes), writer-director George Romero seems intent on a message, not too cleverly couched in lots of silly existential talk about the evils of today's society. The pretensions get pretty funny. Audiences will howl at what is surely the most unintentionally hilarious, hypermaudlin funeral ever filmed. In a cast of unknowns, most of whom are likely to stay that way, only Tom Savini is memorable as the Black Knight. Romero, best known for his effectively gruesome Night of the Living Dead, has strayed too far from his strength. Symbols keep popping up the way Groucho Marx's duck used to on You Bet Your Life. One that recurs is a forbidding black bird, looking constantly on the verge of saying "Nevermore." Or maybe it's "Never mind." (R)
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