Film Corner: Orcs!

Alright, get in, we're doing another Amazon Prime movie. (There's SO MANY.) This one is called KNIGHT GAMES. "A beautiful princess is held prisoner by two fierce dragons, and her cries for help attract heroic knights from all over the kingdom. But who is really helping whom?" Tiny hint of possible agency? Can it be??"

Wait, is this animated?

Oh gosh, one of the dragons is a baby.

The animation is so bad, it's like an episode of Reboot but coated in Vaseline to make everything blurry.

Oh, it's not even a movie; it's an animated short. It was silly and pointless and fuzzy. TL;DR: the princess screams so knights will come get killed, and she enjoys this arrangement. The end. How does that shitty 6 minute short have 55 reviews; I'd kill a dragon for 55 reviews on my books.

Let's try something from 2017: ORCS! The exclamation point is part of the title; I didn't add that in. "When marauding orcs invade a US National Park, our collective fates lie in the hands of Ranger Cal Robertson and his side-kick Volunteer Cadet Hobie, who must stop the wave of destruction before the whole world is overrun." Look, if orcs had invaded in 2017, I can't promise I wouldn't have welcomed being overrun.

@NAJohnson. "A breath of fresh air in our polarized political climate." -scrawled in blood on the wall of sacked and pillaged NYT offices.

It stars Adam Johnson, aka That Guy Who Is In ALL These Movies. Mythica, Dudes & Dragons, Dragonfyre, all of them. I'm think I'm falling in love with him through a sort of adjacent Stockholm syndrome. Amazon Prime Movie Syndrome. Also, IMDB says this movie came out in 2011, so Amazon will have to fight it out with them.

The movie opens with a real quote from 1928 about how great park rangers are, and I... I'm really just here for the orcs? The title of the movie is ORCS!, exclamation point, not RANGERS! In 1909, a miner breaks through to an orc kingdom (I guess?) and is eaten, but a stick of TNT goes off (why??) and the entrance to Orcland is lost in the rubble. I demand an alternate history written in the style of @gaileyfrey in which 1909 orcs invaded Wyoming.

In an interesting change of type, Adam is a goofy dork rather than an established competent fighter. A lady named Marge runs the park with an iron fist and I ADORE HER. The volunteer ranger is the Blond Brother (DUDES & DRAGONS) / Nice Redneck (DRAGONFYRE). Y'all, I'm face blind and I'm still starting to recognize these folks. That's amazing to me. I want a career doing all the B-tier fantasy movies, dammit.

Oh my god, Claire is in this too. Claire is in ALL THE MOVIES. She's playing a camping teenager who is definitely not doing anything illegal in the park with her friends (who will all definitely die). Ranger Adam has convinced the cadet that he (Adam) has to smoke one of the teenagers' joints in order to determine it's Real Marijuana. Unlike every other time I've seen marijuana in a movie, Ranger Adam is just slightly more relaxed and kinda hungry, rather than giggling his head off.

DRAMA! A ranger is missing and two boaters are full of arrows. (The two boaters were, amusingly, the parents from DUDES & DRAGONS.) THERE'S A DEAD BODY IN THE CAMP TOILETS. It's the missing ranger!

@liminalfruitbat. This is like British TV in the seventies.

(Editor's Note: The above comment is in reference to the recurring actors. Not to dead bodies in toilets. In Britain, that would be dead bodies in loos.)

Cadet is obsessed with Bigfoot, lolsob. NIGHTFALL. Cadet crashes with Ranger Adam. Teenagers die messily.

The teenager campsite is bloody but devoid of bodies, so Ranger Adam believes a bear attacked and the kids ran off. They need to find bear and kids. Oh god. They find the orcs, think they're the teens, chew them out, THEN notice Claire's head on a spike and VERY SENSIBLY high tail it out of there at full speed while screaming.

"Attention park patrons. Please remain calm, but there is a horde of bloodthirsty murderers heading this way." I'M SCREAMING, this is the best B movie ever, this heartily deserves the exclamation point in the title.
They cleared out everyone except the golf course. This is gonna be good.

I'M CRYING OMG. Cadet is doing the Aragorn thing of "a golfer lay here...and another...they crawled this way" and Ranger Adam is not having ANY of this. "Hobie. Buddy. Please tell me you're not LARPing?" I love how seriously they're taking this!! It's none of that "oh uhh the golf cart is bloody because one of them had a bloody nose" bullshit you see in other movies.


Marge oh no no no no n no no n no!!

"It's an orc!" "Those don't exist!"

RANGER ADAM'S ENVIRONMENTALIST EX-GIRLFRIEND SAVED THEM WITH ARROWS AND DYNAMITE. She's an eco-terrorist omg omg omg omg omg and she uses sarcasm. Oh my god, they're doing an exact replica of the Frodo "get off the road!!" scene from Fellowship. These movies are such dorkfests and I love them.

They've split the party, this is not a drill. They've split the party.

PHEW, ok, they're back together and we're having the gun porn now. "God bless those NRA libertarians" so I assume this is all confiscated from park visitors. Amazingly, the orc armor actually makes them difficult to kill. Bullets aren't plowing through them like butter as in the last movie, DRAGONFYRE.

Aww aww oh my heart, my heart.

Ho shit, the orcs are smart enough to figure out the dynamite she keeps firing at them.

Holy shit, I'm actually very tense about whether everyone will make it.

"Hooray!! Everyone I cared about lived!!

Then they all moved to Hawaii (they had an ongoing colonialist fantasy about moving there, heads up) and the fact that there's another orc portal in the Hawaii park should not alarm anyone!!

That was surprisingly not-awful? The third act battle-siege went on a little longer than I would've liked, but there was character stuff going on top so it wouldn't get totally monotonous. I mean, it's still a B movie don't get me wrong, but I actually got invested in the characters way more than usual.

All of us should DEFINITELY fire our guidance counselors for not informing us there's a career to be had in fantasy B movies.


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