Main      Site Guide    
At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Dungeonmaster (1985)

(aka: Ragewar)



Reviews and Comments

I watched The Dungeonmaster soon after I viewed the wretched Wizards of the Lost Kingdom and Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II. After watching those two, I entertained the possibility that they were actually the worst movies I had ever seen in my life, although at least they had the decency to be entertaining about it. Now, after screening The Dungeonmaster, I feel foolish for having given the notion a moment's thought. The Dungeonmaster is deplorable in every way, shape, and form. By comparison, the Wizards of the Lost Kingdom duology might as well be the pinnacle of artistic achievement in all human history. I have never in my life been so astonished at the depths to which filmmaking can sink. This isn't a failed effort. This is no effort. A ten year old with a disposable camera could make a more coherent and engaging flip book.

The story, such as it is, involves a computer nerd who has a pair of glasses that can cause traffic lights to change when he gets near them. His girlfriend is jealous of his computer. At night, an evil demon wizard sorcerer demon steals them away, chains the girlfriend up, and instructs the guy to face a bunch of "challenges." The nerd is powerless to refuse, but they stand there amidst some fire and have some really stupid dialogue about it anyway. Then the nerd gets zapped into a series of different worlds. In nearly every one, he wins the "challenge" by shooting lasers out of his wrist computer band thing. Poof, he's in a cave with gooey monsters. Zap, zap, zap. Poof, challenge over. Poof, he's in a glacier with frozen gooey monsters. Zap, zap, zap. Poof, challenge over. Poof, he's in a rock concert. Zap, zap, zap at the band members. Poof, challenge over. The scary part is that each of these challenges was filmed by a different director -- I have no clue how seven directors were grouped together without any one of them having any talent. You'd think someone with a brain would have made the list by accident if nothing else.

At the end of all this, the guy finally issues the demon wizard sorcerer demon a challenge of his own that essentially boils down to, "C'mon, fight me without your powers, what are you scared, c'mon!" Then they have a three second fist fight, and the demon wizard dies. Movie over.

I'm not kidding. The movie is that simple, only dumber. The acting is an effective way to induce vomiting, and the dialogue is worse. The extent of the set design is a murky cave with fire. Nearly all the monsters consist of people with glop on them. I won't even talk about such things as "plot" and "characterization," because using those words in conjunction with this movie, even just to say there isn't any, seems to be giving it too much credit.

The film runs barely over an hour. Thank heaven the filmmakers didn't see the need to pad it out any further. If this is the substance they came up with, I'd probably spontaneously implode if I ever saw what they might have considered filler.