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Knightriders [Blu-ray]

Ed Harris , Tom Savini , George A. Romero    R (Restricted)   Blu-ray
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 19.99
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Knightriders [Blu-ray] + The Fog: Collector's Edition [Blu-ray] + The Incredible Melting Man [Blu-ray]
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Product Description

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After years of dominating the midnight circuit with the likes of Night of the Living Dead, Martin, and Dawn of the Dead, George A. Romero took a departure from bona fide horror films to make this naturalistic tale of a traveling troupe of motorcycle-riding jousters. (Think Hell's Angels on Wheels goes to the Renaissance Faire.) While this may sound ludicrous on the surface, the film emerges as a powerful character study. When the success of their jousting tournaments--in which armor-clad bikers go at each other with real lances for the entertainment of county fair crowds--attracts the attention of bigtime promoters, creeping commercialism threatens to spoil their delicately constructed Camelot. The troupe is a mirror of King Arthur's court, complete with its King (Ed Harris), Merlin (Brother Blue), and Morgan le Fay (Tom Savini). Only they ride motorcycles, and try to knock each other off with maces. Ed Harris turns in a topnotch performance as Billy, the focus of the film, who goes progressively nuts as it becomes apparent he's losing his grip on the troupe (unconsciously playing out the final days of Camelot). Knightriders is thoroughly engrossing during the jousting tournaments and whenever Ed Harris is onscreen, but is less successful in-between, when toeing the line of the Arthurian Legend makes the film too mannered. And at 145 minutes, the film could have been trimmed a bit. But why cavil when presented with the spectacle of Ed Harris spinning slowly out of control? Watch for a cameo by Stephen King himself, playing a spectator debunking the jousting tournaments as "all fake," through ample mouthfuls of his hoagie. --Jim Gay

Product Description

A company of entertainers perform at country fairs in jousting tournaments, wearing armor, riding on motorcycles and using maces to knock each other off the choppers. The troupe parallel the knights of the court of Camelot in many ways, and their leader, Billy, is their King Arthur. When their act gains the attention of big promoters, it looks like commercialism will change the team they have created, and Billy becomes undone at the idea of losing his "Camelot."

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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Camelot is a State of Mind April 10 2004
Format:DVD
A film that incorporates Arthurian legend within a modern day Renaissance Faire that has knights doing battle on motorcycles? Directed by famed horror director George A. Romero? It may seem like a silly concept, but you know what? It worked, for this viewer, at least.
Knightriders (1981) stars Ed Harris, Gary Lahti, Tom Savini, and Amy Ingersoll. Harris is Billy, the king and inspiration behind the Faire, believing and living the noble ideals of a time long since past. Problem is, these ideals often conflict with the present, and especially when it comes to paying the bills.
This epic tale (it runs almost 2  hours) details the relationships within this seemingly tight knit group, the conflicts that develop as commercialism tries to creep in by means of a sleazy promoter wanting to take the 'act', as he calls it, to bigger, more theatrical venues, which threatens to spoil the noble ideals Harris tries to put forth and live on a daily basis. Things start to fall apart as the conflict between the members grows worse, and outside pressures force decisions to be made.
In a really gutsy move that I don't think paid off in terms of financial success at the time of the films' release, Romero breaks out of his the genre he's become known and respected for, delivering a lavish tale, one that I found interesting, although a tad drawn out, at times. The character Harris plays seems like a kook, but you may begin to understand his beliefs, what he's trying to put forth, creating a community of not just entertainers, but a family of different peoples who believe in themselves and what they do. The action is quite thrilling as the knights ride around on motorcycles instead of horses, doing battle using jousting poles, broadswords, battle-axes, and maces.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Romero's Take on the King Arthur Legend Dec 4 2003
Format:DVD
After huge success with "Dawn of the Dead," independent filmmaker George A. Romero signed a 3-picture deal with United Film Distribtuion Company, the studio that put "Dawn" in theatres. Instead of playing safe with another horror film, Romero jumped genres to the adventure/drama "Knightriders" concerning a traveling fair that live by the code of King Arthur, Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table. Basically think "Easy Rider" meets "Excalibur."
Life is great for this large family until the outside world steps in with promises of fame and fortune. King Billy (a fantastic Ed Harris!) wants to live a simple life free from money and greed. However, others led by the black knight Morgan (special effects artist Tom Savini in an equally good performance) simply want to survive. Soon, this family unit splits in half with those devoted to Billy and others to Morgan.
Writer/director Romero has said in the past that "Knightriders" is his favorite of his films. It shows when watching the film. This is Romero's epic filled with great scenery, scope and performances. The film's premise is a bit odd, but it's best strength is it's ability to come off as believeable. Also worth noting are the well-filmed scenes involving the knights jousting.
However, one can't help but complain towards the film's length. At 145 minutes, it's just too long. Sure it's an epic, but you can only have so much in one film. A good 20-25 minutes could have been dropped and would have made "Knightriders" a better film. Despite the argument for the length (and a few too many B-plots), "Knightriders" remains one of Romero's best films.
The DVD is a nice presentation with an anamorphic widescreen transfer showcasing the lush cinematography of D.P. Michael Gornick.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of Romero`s Best Work as a Director. Jan. 15 2002
Format:DVD
When a Troupe of Motorcyclists, who are members of a Traveling Renaissance Faire. They move Town to Town with Great Audiences Each Time from Oridinary People. They used Amor, Wielding Lances, Battle-Axes, Maces and Boardwoods. They are the Perfect Medieval Jousting Tournament Group. The rule of the Game, if Someone of the another Gang lead by Arthur (Tom Savini), if they win, He will become the new King of Camelot, if he doesn`t win. Billy (Ed Harris) will always stay King of Camelot. But Billy almost believes too real about the real world of today society of Camelot is being Renewed. While they get national attention much to the dismay of the Current King of This Camelot and the Crew asked themselves, Why they are There doing, What they Loved in the First Place.
Written and Directed by:George A. Romero (Creepshow, Monkey Shines, The Dark Half) shows a unique style and flair to this Ambitious Unusual Film. It was a flop in Theaters but the Movie gained a Cult Following on Video. Ed Harris (The Right Stuff, Apollo 13, Pollack) gives a Strong Performance in his first lead role. DVD`s has an fine anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) transfer and An clear Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono Sound. DVD`s Extras are:An running commentary track by Director:George A. Romero, Make-Up Artist and Actor:Tom Savini, Film Historian:Chris Stavrakis, Brief Commentary by Christine Romero (Monkey Shines) and Even Briefer one by Actor:John Amplas (George A. Romero`s Martin) and more Extras. While this film is not for all tastes but is Still a Stunning Film. Great Score by Donald Rubinstein. Watch for Stephen King and His Wife:Tabitha King in Cameos. Grade:A-.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Never heard of George Romero!
I never heard of George Romero, and vaguely know of his day or dawn of dead series.
I loved this movie because it was a great movie... Read more
Published on Nov. 2 2003 by Kamala Battle Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars What can I say? It's Romero at his finest
This is a fantastic film! Where "Dawn of the Dead" was about consumerism, "Knightriders" is about greed. Read more
Published on Nov. 10 2001 by Echo
4.0 out of 5 stars What can I say? It's Romero at his finest
This is a fantastic film! Where "Dawn of the Dead" was about consumerism, "Knightriders" is about greed. Read more
Published on Nov. 10 2001 by Echo
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for anyone into Arthurian or Celtic Mythology!
"Knightriders" is the best attempt by any filmmaker to get the spirit and flavor of Arthurian chivalry on the screen! Read more
Published on April 1 2001 by Leelan P Lampkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Great B-Movie with a fine performance by a young Ed Harris
I discovered this film during the early days of HBO, when the mix was blockbusters and movies the networks did not want. George A. Read more
Published on Sept. 22 2000 by Lawrance M. Bernabo
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm not exaggerating a word of this...
I think something happened to George Romero at some unspecified point after he made the original Night of the Living Dead; that first film was a masterpiece, but pretty much... Read more
Published on Sept. 18 2000 by Josh Leman
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything old is new again!!!
I have been hooked on Arthurian and Celtic legend since I first began to read! I have boxes and shelves stuffed with fiction, criticism, history and art. I know the genre. Read more
Published on Sept. 16 2000 by Leelan P Lampkins
1.0 out of 5 stars How did Romero end up with so many loyal fans?
George Romero was in my mind one of the most fantastic horror developers of all time. Night of the Living Dead was delightfully horrific, great plots, developments, not too many... Read more
Published on Aug. 26 2000 by John Wolter
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, somewhat disappointing extras
I'll start with a simple admission: I have this movie on VHS and I love it. When I saw that it was coming on DVD along with some extras, I jumped at the chance to buy it. Read more
Published on Aug. 17 2000 by S. Donohue
5.0 out of 5 stars One hell of a ride!
This is one of those "lesser-known" George A. Romero films that I found to be one of the finest character studies to be put to film in a long time. Read more
Published on April 10 2000 by Jacques Cattell
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