Regretting That Afternoon Nap

Now I’m wide awake and watching the SciFi Channel’s miniseries,
‘Knights of Bloodsteel’

The four-hour, two-part movie tells the tale of Mirabilis, a mythical land chock full of humans, elves and goblins in which the only thing of value, apparently, is a magical metal called bloodsteel. What little remains is controlled by the awful and horrible Dragon Eye (Mark Gibbon), a monster so ridiculously hideous he looks like he was drafted from a later episode of “The Power Rangers.”

There is, as luck would have it, a magic crucible that produces vast quantities of bloodsteel. To ensure that Dragon Eye doesn’t find it first, elven elder Tesselink (Lloyd) teams two humans, an elf and a goblin to seek and possibly destroy the crucible.

All of which sounds much more interesting than it actually is. Sam Egan’s script is trite and sophomoric, the acting beyond dismal — David James Elliott, late of “JAG,” plays John Serragoth but insists on employing an accent that moves from Irish to Welsh to Brooklyn, often within the same sentence — and so many visuals are lifted from “Lord of the Rings” that director Philip Spink should be ashamed of himself.

The bad guys are nothing but Orc rip-offs and speak in those deep electronically modified tones so beloved of cartoons. And as the “hot” elf Perfidia, Natassia Malthe (“BloodRayne II: Deliverance”) is strangely graceless; every time she pulls out her two swords, you’re fairly certain she will cut off her own head. Forget the bloodsteel, Perfidia; a little WD-40 works wonders.

Yeah, David James Elliott in a hero mullet. Anachronistic technology that makes this “Mirabilis” look like a Second Life fantasy sim with steampunk bolt-ons. Also DJE is a bit of a perv: he peeked at his elven female companion in the shower. Which shouldn’t exist, except that this is that kind of “fantasy” world.

As a Highlander fan, I always like to see the swords come out, but I’m also spoiled and jaded. If the fight choreography’s pretty good, if the actors don’t chew the scenery too much and are decorative, I’m pretty happy. But I also like the writing, editing, and directing to be competent, and bonus points for costuming and effects.

I’ll watch for a while, maybe record the rest for later. Christopher Lloyd’s wig is pretty scary in itself. I seem to have tuned in just in time for the “band to get together” scene, which was a total ripoff of the “Council of Elrond” scene in LOTR:FOTR. Previously, there was a dive-bombing dragon, which had some steampunkery crap on it that David James Elliott cut off with some big gaff thing. He seemed pretty pleased with himself at the time.

It seems this entire picture is one big gaffe. But I’ll watch for a while, if I can stand it.

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