The Dragons of Camelot (2014)

Morgan Le Fay uses dragons to control Camelot in this very low budget adventure from Mark L Lester. Kaleidoscope UK R0 DVD.

The Film

King Arthur lies on his deathbed, Morgan Le Fay puts a spell on a dragon high in the mountains and send her one its young to help seize control of the castle. Arthur names Sir Galahad as his successor, but he is forced to flee as Le Fay's men aided by the fire breathing dragon take control and capture Guinevere. Meeting a group of exiled knights, Galahad sets out to find his father Lancelot to help reclaim the kingdom but they have to contend with attacks from the flying creature...

Co-written by DTV creature feature regular Rafael Jordan (Jurassic Attack (2013)), Dragons of Camelot is small part half-hearted creature feature and big part unambitious sword and sorcery film. Set after the death of Arthur, the script uses a selection of well known characters from the legends which allows for quick and easy characterisation. The dialogue is rather perfunctory, plot is pretty sparse and nothing much really happens, but the pacing is at least even over the short (sub-80 minute) runtime and it works better than the padding sub-plots in most DTV creature features. The dragons play a key part in the storyline and even though they only make a few appearances, they keep things interesting.

Director Mark L. Lester is actually a veteran of some well known Hollywood productions including Firestarter (1984) and Commando (1985) but he has moved in more recent years to SyFy Channel fare like Poseidon Rex (2013). While Dragons of Camelot is clearly made by someone with a little experience and avoids the usual low budget traits of gratuitously shaky camerawork and choppy editing, it certainly belies the director's experience and looks more like an amateur project. The North Wales locations do look good and effective use is made of real castle locations which look much better than the cardboard sets of other genre entires, but modern features do creep in too often to maintain the authenticity and the tiny casts of extras make the "battle" scenes, particularly the climax, more comic than tense. Fortunately the dragons are a real highlight, a lot of effort has gone into their design and animation and they are the highlight of the film.

Acting is definately on the poor side, although given the trite dialogue and limited script, no-one would have a chance to shine. British actor Mark Griffin as Lancelot is probably the best member of the cast.

Despite boasting an experienced Hollywood action director, Dragons of Camelot feels a lot more like a micro-budgeted independent film with the unambitious storyline and underwhelming acting to suit - fortunately the decent dragon effects and real Welsh locations at least make it endurable. Unfortunately there is simply no reason to recommend this and it is not cheesily bad enough to provide 'so bad its good' entertainment.

In Brief
Anyone famous in it? No-one well known.
Directed by anyone interesting? Mark L. Lester - an American director whose career highpoint came in the late 1980s with films like Commando (1985) more recently his work has been DTV and TV films including Poseidon Rex (2013)
Any gore or violence ? Several CGI bloody deaths, no real gore.
Any sex or nudity? None.
Who is it for? Only of interest to dedicated sword and sorcery collectors.

Visuals Original Aspect Ratio - 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Colour.
The clean digital print, no transfer issues.
Audio 2.0 and 5.1 English - sounds clear.
Subtitles None
Extras The disc includes:
  • Making of - a promo piece with lots of talking heads and only a few behind-the-scenes shots. Oddly mixed audio, unclear at times. (7 minutes)
  • Trailer
Region Region 0 (ALL) - PAL
Other regions? Released in the US on 7th April 2015.
Cuts? Believed to be fully uncut. Print language is English.



All text in this review written by Timothy Young - 27th January 2015.
Text from this review not to be used without authorization.

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