Welcome to the first installment of the Critical Hits Gift Guide. We’ll be doing these every week
until xmas, covering a different area of gaming related products scattered throughout the internet. Today, Gaming DVDs.
It was only a few short years ago that gaming movies were considered things like Labyrinth and Mazes & Monsters. Sure, there was a D&D cartoon show, but other than it had a Dungeon Master and Tiamat, it didn’t bear much resemblance to the game. Then came a Dexter’s Laboratory episode called D&DD that spawned many a great reference among our group. Then came the actual Dungeons & Dragons movie… umm, yeah. The less said about that the better.
But now, thanks to the internet and technology advancements making it easier to make films, there are a host of D&D based films on DVD for us to enjoy.
THE GAMERS by Dead Gentlemen Productions
My top pick, and one of only two on the list I own. Aside from being totally hilarious to gamers and non-gamers alike, The Gamers feature a good story and a surprising twist ending. A sequel was screened at GenCon Indy this year, but the movie has yet to make it to DVD. It’ll probably be out by Origins next year. Meanwhile, they’ve released a Special Edition (come on, what nerd movie would be complete without a Special Edition) that you can purchase through their store. Highly, highly recommended.
Yep, a popular title for the subject matter. From their website:
“For the last 23 years, a group of friends have lived life to the fullest…in the fantasy world. Obsessed with a role playing game called Demons, Nymphs and Dragons these Gamers are the subject of this hilarious comedy which chronicles their journey to make it through their horrendous lives while attempting to break the world record for role playing over 74,558 hours.” And wait, what’s this? Actual recognizable actors! You can check out trailers, cast character sheets, and purchase the movie through their site.
Not a narrative movie like the others, but a documentary about gaming. From their site: “Über Goober focuses on the often-misunderstood, sometimes-controversial, and always-kind-of-geeky world of Gamers. Metze examines several different groups including historical miniature gamers, role-players, and those known simply as “LARPers” (Live Action Role Players). The film also explores opposition from religious groups, negative media portrayals ranging from sit-coms to post-Columbine news coverage, and some of the meanest ‘man-on-the-street’ interviews ever committed to video. Meet the Gamers, learn their exotic language, see their bizarre rituals, gasp at their semi-authentic costumes, and thrill to the painting techniques on their miniatures!” I totally buy in to the exotic language and bizarre rituals, but no way I am thrilling to miniature painting. Available from their store.
GEEKIN’: LOVE, JEALOUSY, AND TWENTY-SIDED DICE by DigitTribe Productions
From their own synopsis: “Geekin’ is an original film about friends united in their common passion: role-playing games. As often as they can, these social misfits whisk away to the mythical land of Tir Sidaj, where they take personas as warriors, wizards, healing witches, and one mighty gnome. But a new arrival threatens to tear it all apart. The ultimate geek weakness — an attractive girl.
After a lengthy online courtship, Morgan (Justin Morgan) and Meredith (Alexa Anderson) finally meet for the first time. But when Morgan introduces Meredith to his gamer friends, sparks fly between her and Morgan.s best friend Brown (Kermit Holden), leaving Morgan on the outside looking in. This sets off a chain of events that pits geek against geek, with their friendships, their happiness and (*gulp*) their game hanging in the balance.”
Yes, finally, a movie that features a mighty gnome! Though the whole “nerds don’t know what to do with an attractive girl” is a little cliche, it sounds like a pretty fun movie. Available from the DigiTribe shop.
DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS 2: WRATH OF THE DRAGON GOD
Well, when the best thing you can say about a movie is that it’s nowhere as bad as the first one, you know it’s not going to be a cinematic tour de force. My favorite part of this movie was when
I was watching it when it aired on the Scifi Channel, and the commercials were put on by WotC. During one of the commercial breaks the commercial said “D&D Survival Tip: Protect the Cleric.” After the break, the movie came back on, and the cleric died. Ha ha. At least they stayed a lot more true to the source material, but it certainly didn’t make a compelling story. Still, you can purchase it (and the original) from Amazon or nearly anywhere else. Also, I should note that you don’t need to have seen the original to understand the sequel, and only one actor returns (though he’s probably the worst actor in both movies.)
DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS: THE SCOURGE OF WORLDS
The other one I own from this list. It’s choose your own adventure, in DVD form, with some of the iconic characters from the PHB. It’ll give you a few hours of enjoyment, and does have some neat CG sequences, but overall doesn’t have a whole lot of replay value. Another you can get from Amazon.
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: THE ANIMATED SERIES
The complete collection in a classic S-Series modules box will be released on December 5th. The series, for those of you who don’t know, follows a bunch of kids who are tossed into a fantasy world by a rollercoaster ride called Dungeons & Dragons. They get some magic items, which pretty much define everything they do. They are tormented by a bad guy with one horn whose name sounds like the villain from Star Trek I. There’s also a Dungeon Master who pretty much acts like Yoda. Perhaps those of you who with fond memories from childhood will pick this up, but me personally, I’d rather get something like Thundercats.
THE DORK OF THE RINGS by RP Studios
A parody of Lord of the Rings, so not gaming per se, but definitely of interest. A parody that sounds right out of the old IOU adventure “One Card to Rule Them All.” Trailers, reviews, and more available from their site. Right now they’re running a holiday deal on the DVD, so now’s the time to buy.
RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS
A documentary about Lord of the Rings fans, who I’m sure have considerable overlap with D&D fans. It’s on my netflix queue, so I’m hoping to watch it before laying down the money. You can get this one on Amazon as well.
LORD OF THE G-STRINGS: FELLOWSHIP OF THE STRING
What list of DVDs would be complete without some softcore porn? I’ll admit that I saw this in college, and, well, it’s like the stuff on Cinemax with some parody names. SPOILER ALERT: The funniest part is when they deliver the evil g-string to its destination, and it turns out to be some stage hand. He takes it, they ask “Is that it?” and he says “Yep.” Then there was some fake sex or something. Anyway, maybe important for a completest? Who knows. It’s available through the shops on Amazon if for whatever reason you want to own it, but I rented it from a Blockbuster and so there should be options to see it without buying.
Anything that I missed? Let me know in the comments. Enjoy!
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