The Crown and the Dragon Blu-ray Review
In ancient times there was a prophecy that dealt with royalty and dragons, blah, blah, blah. So we are told (in very quiet tones) at the beginning of THE CROWN AND THE DRAGON.
We are introduced to Helen (or, depending on whose pronouncing her name, heLEN) who overhears her aunt talking about a sacred relic she is in possession of called, depending on who pronounces it, either the “Falipeler” or the “Valeliker.” You may have well have called it the “velociraptor” for as much sense as it makes. The two sneak out of their dwelling under cover of darkness (which, for this film, may have been twelve noon, considering how dark it is) and come across a group of prisoners being taken to trial. One thing leads to another and the prisoners are free, but not before dear aunty takes an arrow in the chest. Lucky her.
Filmed, I’m assuming, during a local renaissance festival, THE CROWN AND THE DRAGON is probably one of the worse films, in any genre’, that I’ve ever seen. Convenient plot twists show up just too forward the story, yet the more the story advances the less interesting it becomes. Helen ends up traveling with the two criminals she helped free but, after an attempted rape, she finds herself with the one named Aidan. They face off against various people, always coming out on top. In one scene, while fleeing from the bad guys, Helen runs and throws herself off of a cliff, plunging into the rough waters below. Aidan, tired of fighting, THROWS DOWN HIS SWORD and follows her over the cliff. Next day, after somehow finding a cave full of wine and clothes that ONLY fit Aidan, they head out, THE SWORD NEATLY SWINGING BY HIS SIDE! The two find their journey constantly interrupted by a dark creature that assembles itself by bringing together a bunch of black birds. Every now and then, someone puts a piece of plywood above their heads to simulate a dragon up above. Said dragon, which looks more like a very ornate kite, shows up every now and then to roar and blast a little fire at things.
The acting is cheesy, with everyone in the cast using whatever accent sounded right in their head. One guy sounds like a cross between John Hurt in THE ELEPHANT MAN and Tom Noonan in MANHUNTER. Very moist in his pronunciation. The production design is equally horrible. I’ve actually seen better scenery at my local Ren Fest, so I may be giving the filmmakers location choice more credit than it deserves. I did like the “birds into bad buy” effect, to paraphrase the 70’s group The Honey Cone, “one monkey don’t stop no show!” This film stopped itself during the (very dark) opening credits. The film comes with the subtitle THE PALADIN CYCLE. I pray to the dragon kite above that there isn’t another film like this on the way.
THE CROWN AND THE DRAGON BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: Presented in its original 1:78.1 aspect ratio, the transfer is dark. Very dark. Like to give the effect that they only had candles in this time period so they only used candles to light the set. Be prepared to crank up that brightness.
Audio: Presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, the film is, for some reason, especially quiet. Even the dragon seems to be whispering.
Thankfully, there are no extras