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DVD Review

DVD cover

Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire


Starring: Sean Maguire, Matt Lucas, India de Beaufort and John Rhys-Davies
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 23 November 2009

In the darkest days of the cruel Meconian Empire, the evil Chancellor Dongalor loomed on the brink of activating The Eye of Gulga Grymna, the deadliest weapon of the ancient world, when a glimmer of hope arrived - the son of a blacksmith and a stay-at-home mum, a freedom fighter of unquestionable bravery, unwavering determination and untameable hair: Kröd Mändoon. Assisting Kröd in his noble struggle are: Aneka, a beautiful Pagan warrioress whose weapon of choice is sex, Loquasto, a pig-like creature called a grobble, Zezelryck, a young warlock whose greatest magical gift is spinning a line and Bruce, the bereaved jailhouse lover of Kröd's late mentor. Together, they must overcome a myriad of obstacles in their quest to save the world including insensitive assassins, Succubi with ticking biological clocks, and an amorous, cannibalistic bisexual cyclops, or biclops for short...

Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire is a British/American co-production comedy series which began broadcasting in the UK on 11 June 2009. Based on the sword and sorcery genre, this production is, overall, pretty weak.

By far the best aspect is the set and props department, which really produce elements fit for a motion picture of a much higher budget. Sadly the cinematography uses the same lighting that is so common for this style of show. On the whole everything looks flat and a little too false.

Another positive is the acting. With the exception of Sean Maguire's Kröd Mändoon (and this is only down to the poor dialogue he has to deliver) all of the main characters put in good performances. Matt Lucas is wonderfully over the top as Chancellor Dongalor (although he does have a tendency to camp it up a little too much like a pantomime villain). India de Beaufort is impressive as Aneka - delivering just the right amount of tongue-in-check performance. But it's Kevin Hart, as Zezelryck the warlock, who steals the show with his inability to cast even the most simple of spells and always being the first to chicken out when danger is close.

One of the biggest issues I had with this show is that it "borrows" a little too much from the far superior Maid Marian and Her Merry Men. In addition it has scripts that are so terrible that they could be used on a writing course to illustrate how not to write comedy... There are just a few too many visual gags that you can see coming a mile off. And every plot twist has been done to death (and better) elsewhere.

The only episode I actually enjoyed was O Biclops, Where Art Thou? Here our heroes have to enter the lair of a murdering cyclops and steal a priceless jewel. However, when they get to the Cyclops's lair they find his son, who is a lonely and sad figure who just wants to party. While the twist is obvious, it's the execution and performances that really help sell this episode.

Extras include Behind the Scenes with Kevin Hart (4 min, 36 sec); Cast Interviews (10 min, 46 sec); Outtakes (7 min, 25 sec); Alternate Opening Sequence (2 min, 22 sec); Deleted Scenes (3 min, 54 sec); Extended Scenes (8 min, 26 sec); and Hunt the Hungarian (couldn't work out what that was all about as there was nothing about it on the press release and it didn't really do anything when selected. Maybe I missed a hilarious in joke).

If lowbrow, obvious comedies that pander to the lowest of the low are your thing... then this is the perfect series for you. Otherwise... well, I'd avoid like the plague!


Darren Rea

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