Click here to return to the main site.

DVD Review

DVD cover

Knight of the Dead


Starring: Dylan Jones, Carl Greenwood, Lee Bennett and Vivien Vilela
Distributor: Signature Entertainment
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 01 July 2013

It is the time of the Black Death, in the Middle Ages, and there is disease and pestilence everywhere. A handful of Crusader knights accompany a priest charged with a mission to recover and safely return the Holy Grail, the cup from which Christ drank at the Last Supper. The group is set upon by an opposing force and is, after a fight, obliged to flee through a network of caves. They come across a woman they think dead, but she viscously attacks one of the men, tearing flesh from him. This is their first experience of the undead creatures which are roaming the valley though which they must pass. Possible salvation comes in the form of a woman they assume to be a witch. But has she got her own agenda...?

What is it about zombie movies that dictates they should be called something of the Dead? It’s as if it’s an unwritten rule, and produces a connection with the original classic, The Night of the Living Dead. I’m not certain it’s a wise decision, because it tempts you to make a comparison, causing the more recent film to fall over before any expectations are raised. Of my latest sack of review goodies, I’ve chosen to review this one first. One, because I’m not enamoured with zombie films and if it’s contemptible I can get it out of the way. Secondly, because the setting of knights in a Medieval landscape sounds intriguing. So has this team of writer/director Mark Atkins and company managed to inject some originality into this tired horror sub-genre?

Well, yes and no. The zombies are still slow, lumbering, moaning, flesh-eating stereotypes, only in older attire. There is no explanation for their existence, except the assumption they are a product of the Black Death. However, the Medieval setting does work well. The knights just treat the creatures as an obstacle to be opposed and rendered immobile, and that’s rather refreshing. Swords were tools of the trade in those days, so their use in this film doesn’t have the ridiculousness of chainsaws, blow-torches and armoured trucks utilised in most contemporary examples. The characters, aside from two perhaps, are canon fodder, and so you don’t really miss them when they are dispatched.

The priest’s clear English – almost London – accent takes some getting used to, but by far the best character is the axe-wielding knight, always ready for a fight and constantly seething with anger. He reminded me of Ray Winstone’s excellent portrayal of Wil Scarlet in the 1980s series Robin of Sherwood.

So, yes, the situations are different even if the adversaries are very much the same. Thankfully, there is no zombie overkill; they are simply dangerous enemies to get past. It’s not going to win any film awards, but at least there is no feeling of having wasted eighty minutes of my life – which is more than I can say for most zombie nonsense. No extras.


Ty Power

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.