Krod Mandoon -
India de Beaufort
OTHER FANTASY SHOWS
Jason and the Argonauts
Mists of Avalon
Sword of Xanten
The land is oppressed under the rule of the cruel Emperor Zanus and Chancellor Dongalor is especially depraved. He has plans to take the throne himself using an ancient artefact, but there is a thorn in his side - freedom fighter Krod Mandoon. Mandoon and his motley band of fellow fighters break into the Chancellor's dungeons in order to free Krod's mentor, General Arcadius, but things don't quite go to plan.
Fantasy, with its silly names and character conventions has always been an easy target for spoofing (as Terry Pratchett who has made a career out of it), but THE PRINCESS BRIDE remains the only really successful effort on screen, either large or small. That might have changed with the arrival of KROD MANDOON AND THE FLAMING SWORD OF FIRE. All of the conventions are there to be mocked - the silly names and the stupid quests, but there is also a likeable hero, a band of admittedly familiar, but pleasantly so, supporting characters and a script that has more going for it than simply using silly names.
Sean Maguire's Krod, for example, could have been just a loser, but he actually has some skills, though he lacks the confidence and the focus to make things happen the way that a hero really should. The stunningly gorgeous India de Beaufort could have been a stock warrior woman, but her rampant paganism (for which translate as wanton sexuality) and fierce, but not overdone, independance blast away any sense of 'been there, seen that'. The incompetent wizard and stupid strong man do fall into that territory, but then Matt Lucas's Chancellor Dongalor is so willfully perverse that he distracts from that.
The script manages to be witty without being uproarious and the cast make the most of the gentle humour, playing on their natural comic timing.
KROD MANDOON AND THE FLAMING SWORD OF FIRE could develop into something a lot of fun.Top
After upsetting Aneka to the point where she goes back to her pagan people to complete the ceremony of the three hundred moons (which involves laying with three hundred men), Krod finds that he must give himself up to save a village, but a spectral figure comes to him and tells him of his destiny, to save the realm from oppression, as the Golden One.
This episode starts with the startling India de Beaufort doing an erotic dance routine for the 300 men she must be with. It's male audience secured (and how!) the show then moves onto a story that is hackneyed and dull (villages under threat, assassins' guilds etc), but which the likeable cast throw themselves into completely and which the script addsa a lot of fun to without ever managing to bring it fully to life. The whole shining figure scene is taken from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and is just lazy.
There's still enough charm to get by on, but the show is going to have to come up with something a bit more original if it is going to succeed. That said, the cast's comic timing is assured and they are a group of people that we are more than happy to spend time with.Top
Our Bounties Ourselves
A price is put on the heads of Krod and Aneka that sets the world against them. They take 'near death' potions in order to claim the money for themselves and to gain access to Dongalor's castle, but when the scheme is rumbled, the two heroes are too groggy to help themselves.
This third episode of KROD MANDOON AND THE FLAMING SWORD OF FIRE comes as a crushing blow. It's an almost completely laugh-free area. Matt Lucas's schtick as Dongalor has gotten old very quickly and there are no good lines for the rest of the cast to make anything with.
James Murray (Stephen Hart in PRIMEVAL shows up as the kind of hero that Krod wants to be and will almost certainly return and almost certainly prove not to be all he appears, but unless things get a lot better fast we really aren't going to care.Top
Oh Biclops Where Art Thou?
Krod is offered a place on the Elite Resistance Council, but first he must prove himself by recovering a giant diamond from the lair of the Cyclops. This Cyclops, though, swings both ways and likes nothing more than a quick soak in a hot tub, well nothing other than eating heroes that is.
There are couple of good lines in this week's offering, but a couple of good lines isn't enough. The set up is perfectly fine, but the plot has no time for the rest of Krod's team and barely enough for the hero and his girl to do. Add to that a very unconvincing Cyclops make up and an ultimately pointless subplot about Dongalor's girlfriend and it really is a poor showing from what was initially such a promising concept.Top
Succubi:The Dawn's Early Light
Dongalor's ultimate weapon is now complete, but it needs the tears of a full-blooded pagan woman to fuel it. Fortunately, it's a widely known fact that Pagan women do not cry. Whilst Dongalor tries to force them to do just that in his dungeons, Krod must go to the doomsday tower to light the rallying beacon for the resistance.
The plot behind KROD MANDOON AND THE FLAMING SWORD OF FIRE is turning out to be predictable, but fun. Unfortunately, the comedy is proving to be noticeable by its absence. This episode features an x-rated comic love scene that is very funny, but none of the rest of the show comes up to that standard at all. In fact outside of that one scene there's barely a single joke that works.
The succubi are nicely rendered with their forked tongue and death scenes, but this is little comfort.Top
Thrilla at the Villa
Krod realises that Grimshanks, the warlock of Ralph Longshaft, set a trap for him and infiltrates his love rival's villa. There, they find out who the real traitor is and only the man who wields the flaming sword of fire can stop Dongalor's dreams of destruction coming true.
If the idea of men transformed into dogs licking themselves because..hey they can strikes you as being very funny then you'll have a riot with this. The rest of us, however will merely cringe at the softcore doggy porn. At least at this point they're trying to amuse. The rest of the episode is sadly unfunny, wasting much of its talented cast and failing on almost every single level.
At the start we had such high hopes for KROD MANDOON AND THE FLAMING SWORD OF FIRE, which just makes this mess all the harder to endure. It is unlikely that we will see a second series. Or at least that's what we can hope.Top
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