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Mazes and Monsters – Episode 158

33 Responses to “Mazes and Monsters – Episode 158”

  • Chris:

    It’s funny that you referenced Chick Tracts; I rarely hear people talk about them outside of ex-fundamentalist circles. If you haven’t already, check out “The Death Cookie”; it’s Jack Chick’s anti-Catholic rant. It’s so bigoted and misinformed it borders on parody, but Chick is definitely sincere.

  • Steve3 in 3D:

    Great review Cecil, I would only add that in my experience, D&D is also a very effective form of birth control…

  • mogens:

    there is also the dragon master vhs tape

  • Cristiona:

    RIP, DAT.

    I swear… the craziest thing about the religious backlash against D&D is the vast number of people who first played D&D in… church youth groups.

  • Dar:

    Maybe the reason why JJ wears all those hats is because he’s embarassed of his jewfro?

    Also, the hat he’s wearing at 6:20 is a girls hat, I’m sure.

    —-

    This looks quite bad, which is surprising since tv movies from then tended to be quite good.

    Check out the “Blade Runner” poster at 8:20! That thing’s worth much today. I checked and this movie is Warner bros., so this may have been cross-promotion. The film was shot likely just when “Blade Runner” was being for rental.

    • Cecil:

      Good point, although its funny to think of Blade Runner being a crosspromotion in a made for tv movie about the “evils” of D&D

  • Sychodemus:

    As kid born in early 70s, I was introduced to D&D during the era of BAD&D, book-burnings and Jack Chick’s ‘Dark Dungeons’ comic (I am looking forward to the movie this summer.) Once, when I attended a church meeting at the time and admitted to playing D&D, I was asked by the parishioners if it was true that we had to sacrifice a goat before we played. People actually believed this stuff. The same fear still existed into the 90s and onward. Just crazy, but a lesson on how hysteria and misinformation can take on the most bizarre forms.

    M&M is a rather laughable movie with all the misconceptions and over-the-top acting expected of it. And yet, I find myself watching it every now and then, perhaps out of nostalgia.

    Great review as always.

  • jack:

    Talk about a misleading DVD cover that looks like a an awesome 80’s fantasy flick like The Labyrinth.

    I seen other films that have re-released films on DVD like Red Surf that have big stars in them before they where famous like Red Surf that are obvious photoshop big head images of them when they were older included on the cover.

    Original VHS cover

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dh7BOOpE-rQ/Ub4U2xmxUJI/AAAAAAAADHU/_l7Y2ulEGxQ/s1600/Red-Surf.jpg

    DVD cover

    http://www.critcononline.com/images/red%20surf%20british%20dvd2.jpg

    A satanic elitist globalist secret society that recruits people through a role playing board game corrupting society through They Live style secret manipulation with satanic imagery embedded in popular media so they can resurrect the devil for hell and establish a satanic NWO on Earth does sound like an awesome premise for a movie.

  • The Viewer:

    “Mazes and Monsters are far out”… “Is he a doper”… This IS Dragnet (the old TV show, not the cool parody).

    My only real complaint about this movie is that it’s kind of dull most of the time due to the low TV budget and often pedestrian direction. Hanks is the most somewhat interesting thing about it. Even Mulder’s dad isn’t interesting here.

    Speaking of LARP, have you seen Knights of Badassdom, and what did you think of it? The always high Peter Dinklage (intentional in-joke?) + Summer Glau + cool soundtrack make it worth watching. And you can definitely see the enthusiasm of the main guy. And the low budget practical special effects are really well done. If only the story was better.

    By the way, did you finally see Dragnet and what did you think of it? I agree with Josh, a classic 80s comedy. And that catchy “rap” song only adds to the 80s flavor. 🙂

    • Cecil:

      Haven’t seen Badassdom but I’m happy its finally out. Haven’t seen Dragnet yet but I have it on my Netflix Q.

  • I not only own the DVD for this one(yes,with the giant floating Tom Hanks head),also read the book more than once. The TV movie version is pretty faithful to the novel(with some minor excepts due to being on network television) and yes, it did tap into that whole ridiculousness about the “evils” of D&D but to be fair to Rona Jaffe(who wrote mostly women’s fiction such as Class Reunion and The Best of Everything,plus started a foundation for aspiring writers), she was probably just trying to stay current with the times.

    The actor who plays JJ was a bit of a child star,if I recall correctly-his face popped up in a lot of sitcoms and other hokey projects. Have to admit this movie is a guilty pleasure and my favorite line is “But I walk with Glacia the fighter!”

    Oh,and love the Dragnet reference:)

    • Roy:

      Chris Makepeace,, who was in a previous episode of GBF, “The Last Chase”.

      As for the review, nice work and you told the truth, Cecil. Youth culture, from dime store novels to video games (I know every gamer hates ex-lawyer Jack Thompson with righteous anger), has been the target of narrow-minded, God-fearing dopes. If more kids were encouraged to have an imagination, we wouldn’t be in so much shit-ball trouble today.

      Funny and eerie that Tom Hanks’s character almost killed himself at the old WTC, then comes “Extremely Large and Incredibly Close”. Also, funny that CBS okayed “D&D: The Animated Series”, a year after airing “M&M” (the movie that melts in your brain, not in your hand. HA!)

      Steven Hillard Stern also directed the big truck action feast, “Rolling Vengeance”.

      Hope you see “Zero Charmisa” (I haven’t seen it yet but it looks good), dug “Escape Plan” (smart thriller with Sly and Arnie) and remember…God forgives…the Brotherhood doesn’t!

    • Cecil:

      Thanks!

      The kid was Chris Makepeace who was the chosen “nerd” actor at the time probably best known for My Bodyguard.

      • Roy:

        With Adam Baldwin (“Full Metal Jacket”, “Chuck”), and future Oscar nominees Joan Cusack and Matt Dillon. Makepeace was also in the first “Meatballs” and “Aloha Summer” with Tia Carrere and Sho Kosugi.

  • buck:

    Great review. My mom made we watch this when I was younger. I’d been playing Paranoia, a role-playing game with my teenage brother. This film and the news reports made her concerned about the effects those types of games could have on a kid. It was such a strange thing because we aren’t religious at all. It was the media that convinced her that this might be dangerous. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    • Cecil:

      Thanks!

      My mother was friends with a hyper religious nut for a short while and made life hell because every frikkin thing I like was considered evil. Thankfully they had a falling out and things went back to normal. I did lose some stuff that she destroyed because the church group said they were tools of the devil. (mostly D&D books, concert tee shirts and board games that had anything medieval in them)

  • Arturo:

    I remember this movie, it was shown on sunday school in the 90s by my church to teach kinds the risk of this kind of game and other “satanic” stuff (anime, rock, the simpsons, etc.), I never really cared about this games, but i changed my mind after watching this movie (joke is on them :3) .

    The purpose of this movie is quite opposite to the effect it had on me, im not sure if the film makers were tryng to make a dungeaons and dragons movie and took advantage of some conservative group wanting to create an (anti)propaganda film.

    Anyway, as always, great review. Thank you so munch.

    • Cecil:

      Thanks!

      I still remember what drew me into D&D but I can’t for the life of me find it. A friend of mine in school played D&D. I remember at lunch one day seeing a second edition module in his school bag and liked the cover. He loaned to me and I read it but didn’t understand it at all. I just liked that there was this part where an evil priest is doing rituals and has a secret chamber he escapes to when the party comes looking for him. I’ve tried to years to find it but I have no idea what it was called. Also, the evil priest part was only a subplot so it is really hard to weed through the hundred of modules to find it.

  • Muthsarah:

    1. How come you don’t post your Radiodromes here? I just added the site to my rotation, seeing as that’s the only way I can keep apprised of the updates.

    2. I’m currently catching up on the backlog (see above), and I’m in the middle of the Italiansploitation. I-tation was something I knew NOTHING about until I discovered Brad and Spoony, and, a couple years later, Radiodrome, yet every one of you guys seems to know these things. Where do you (you and people who aren’t specifically “you”) hear about this stuff? I already know I missed a hell of a lot of stuff (I just went to the video store today, picking up, among others, Lethal Weapon and Ed Wood, because I’ve never seen ’em), but I was at least AWARE of them as a child. How do people grow up knowing about stuff like I-tation?

    3. I also picked up Fright Night, on your suggestion, though you and likely Josh and Alex, and Brad and company, and maybe Spoony, and Mike and Jay from Red Letter Media have all mentioned it before with lots of love. Like EVERY one of you knows about this, and I didn’t know it existed until the remake came out and you guys universally trashed it. I was born in ’86. Did I just miss the boat entirely? Was I born in an era of crappy films, and miss the really juicy, fun stuff?

    • Cecil:

      1 – because I keep forgetting. I need to these on my schedule

      2 – I don’t know really, I just kind of find these things or they find me. Honestly, it largely comes down to being a geek that just absorbed weird stuff. I didn’t know what it was called back then, I just knew they were out there. I actually go into how I found stuff like this in the foreward for the “So Bad it’s Good 2” book.

      3 – The 70s and 80s were great for exploitation and what not but the 90s was awesome for action and scifi. Right now we have this odd mix of inventive low budget stuff but most mainstream stuff is recycled garbage. Whereas back in the day we would get an experimental big budget film, now all the big budget stuff is focus tested to be as generic and mass pleasing as possible.

  • Jr.:

    Yes! This review combines two of my favorite research items: urban legends and the Satanic Panic.

    The story of Eggbert really is a sad story, but its disgusting how people decided to spin it into a tale of how D&D and other roleplaying games are evil. It really does highlight how we ignore the seriousness of mental illness in this country.

    The Satanic Panic makes for great late night reading, especially if you know the hype that surrounded the book Michelle Remembers. It boggles the mind how people took that book and other events in the 80s so seriously. The worst part about it is how we’re still dealing with these kinds of people today.

    The Chick Tracts…damn man, talk about funny or insanely offensive reading.

    Thanks, Cecil, great video, young Tom Hanks is awesome, and the subject matter just takes me back to high school and being incredibly bored during that time. Final thought: I think Pokemon was my generation’s D&D.

    • Cecil:

      It is amazing how a little misinformation goes a long way. So many parents thought their kids were worshipping the devil when really, they were just playing a game that made them think!

      Thanks!

  • ThoughtCriminal:

    Ah yes, if history has proven anything it’s that scare tactics + misinformation – critical thinking = always the most sound decisions.

    Hurray for atrocities being committed in the name of religion by the so-called pious!

    Still, it is a very lucrative business.

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