Blame Kickstarter for this one.  Dudes & Dragons is a almost non-budget comedy that attempts to spoof Dungeons & Dragons but fails on pretty much every level: humor, action, special effects, and storytelling.

Dudes & Dragons has basically two plots that merge into one.  Archer Camilan (Maclain Nelson) is in love with and engaged to the elvish princess Larec (Claire Niederpruem).  However, his parents are opposed to the match; and if they marry his family will lose its lands and castle (for reasons that are never explained).  So Camilan sets off with his friend/henchman Samton (Jake Van Wagoner) to ask a favor of his brother Ramicus (Adam Johnson).  If Ramicus gets married, the family can keep their lands.  But Ramicus is a happy bachelor, looking down on being tied down and happy working as a bounty hunter -- and hanging out with his orc roommate Shokdor (Erik Denton, who spends the whole movie grunting and wearing a rubber mask).

Enter storyline #2.  The kingdom lives in terror of a dragon who attacks people in love.  (Seriously.)  This is because it is controlled by the necromancer Lord Tensley (James Marsters), who wants to destroy all love in the kingdom unless the captive Ennogard (Kaitlin Doubleday) marries him -- which she doesn't want to do, since he's both evil and her cousin.  (Again: Seriously.)  So she sends out a distress message (parodying Star Wars: A New Hope), promising her lands, her soul, and her body to whoever rescues her.  Oh, and the dragon attacks and injures Larec, and the magical healer conveniently needs a talon from the dragon to heal her; and it has to be within a certain timeframe, setting up the movie's ticking clock.

And there's a pre-credits appearance by Luke Perry.

I don't know if there's a decent sword and sorcery parody or comedy out there, but Dudes & Dragons sure ain't it.  The movie is painfully unfunny, whether it's a goblin in drag, parodies of 300 and Titanic, or yet even more slow motion scenes.  The acting is quite bad throughout the movie (what are you doing in this, James Marsters?) and all of the special effects -- from the monsters to the backgrounds -- are so terrible I had to check to make sure this wasn't made by the Asylum.  You'd be better off making your own filk songs than sitting through the drek that is Dudes & Dragons.  (DVD extras are pretty standard: deleted scenes, behind the scenes features, etc.)

Overall grade: F
Reviewed by James Lynch

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