Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Knightriders (1981)

Knightriders is not a horror film, but the legendary George Romero [Night of the Living Dead, Creepshow] wrote and directed it so that’s why it’s here. Think of Nightriders as a Renaissance fair gone bad. It’s all about knights on motorcycles who joust and fight for paying spectators until someone gets hurt. Leading this family of Camelot misfits is none other than Ed Harris [Gravity, The Abyss] in one of his earlier roles. He is this group’s King Arthur, who goes by the name of Billy, and seeks to maintain harmony and order within the community. But Billy has a dark side which makes things interesting.

Billy’s nemesis and threat to the throne is Morgan, played wonderfully by special effects guru Tom Savini [Dawn of the Dead]. This movie proves that Savini is not only good at guts and gore, he’s a fine actor as well. The two of them duke it out among a cast of merry misfits who try to make a living doing what they love.

Romero’s script is smart and while it taps into universal themes, it still feels fresh and original. His direction is spot on as well and the action scenes are quite effective. Look for a fun cameo from Stephen King who was working with Romero on the script for Creepshow while Knightriders was being filmed. It’s great to see Romero make good use of this serendipitous occasion.

The only negative thing I can say about Knightriders is that with a run time of 146 minutes, it’s way too long for the story it tells and should have been edited down to 120 minutes or less. If you like action films with lots of drama, then Knightriders will be an enjoyable movie to watch. If you’re a Romero fan and you haven’t seen this one yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? I believe it showcases the talents of a creative and visionary director and stands as one of Romero’s best films.

RATING: Very Good.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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