The Dungeonmaster (1985)

Nomination Year: 2003
SYNOPSIS:  In the early 80's, a nerdy computer geek has an AI computer model XCAL-BR8 ("Cal"). So of course Satan takes an interest in him. Seems "Mestema" (played by Night Court's Richard "Bull" Moll) is bored and wants to challenge an avatar of "the new magic": computers. He's devised seven "challenges." You see, the whole movie is an anthology: a series of short vignettes having little/nothing to do with one another aside from the basic theme of "Paul Goes In, Paul Gets Attacked, Paul Zaps Laser From Wrist-Thingy and Saves Day." Different writers for each of the seven mini-movies. The REAL premise is that they threw this thing together and called it Dungeonmaster to entice gullible young gamers (like myself) into the theaters by capitalizing on the height of D&D's popularity.

Most Ludicrous Premise

Magic v2.0
In the early 80's, a nerdy computer geek has an AI computer model XCAL-BR8 ("Cal"). So of course Satan (Mestema) takes an interest in him. He and his girfriend get zapped into Mestema's realm, and he must pass seven "challenges" in order to rescue her. Viva the Excalibrate!

"Wanna Run That By Me Again?"

Awhoozah? Awhatzah?
Mestema (supposedly Satan, right?) waxes nostalgic about his "boyhood" and finding "a cat in an alley" with a lovely graphic description of torturing it. As you're trying to figure out how the Devil can have boyhoods and alleys, Paul suddenly breaks the maudlin mood by loudly and incongruously saying, "Ahimzah!" Then they have an incomprehenisble discussion about God and stuff, neither one really holding the same conversation with the other. But I was still trying to work out the "Ahimzah" part.

Worst Special Effect

Battlin' Sky Graphics
Even they don't buy it. Mestema and Paul have a battle using CGA computer graphics in the sky. I think the song's appropriately called "Tormentor."

Worst Picture

Nice bad special effects, some bad acting, a stupid act (challenging Satan to one-on-one combat), and some more bad FX topped off with a Crummy Ending. I'm thinking Worst Picture here.

Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame
Jeffrey Byron You'd think that with Anna Lee for a mother, novelist Robert Nathan for a stepfather, and director John Ford for a godfather, he could have done better than this... 
Leslie Wing "Queen Karis" on Hercules and Xena 
Richard Moll Best known as "Bull" from Night Court; stands 6'8" 
Phil Fondacaro first role was in Under the Rainbow ... stands three feet six inches from head to heel 
Felix Silla best known as "Cousin Itt" in The Addams Family or "Twiki" in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century 
Director Claim to Fame
Dave Allen Did Puppetmaster II and The Dungeonmaster 
Charles Band Produced nearly every crappy thing that Roger Corman didn't, and directed quite a bit of it 
John Carl Buechler Did FX, mostly, but stopped long enough to direct some real feces...and when you say his last name, horses rear 
Steven Ford  
Peter Manoogian AD or 2nd unit director on such Smithee "classics" as Fear City, Metalstorm: the Destruction of Jared Syn, Parasite, and Galaxy of Terror 
Ted Nicolaou Directed the Subspecies fiascoes...except the first ... also writes and edites 
Rosemarie Turko  

Bryan Cassidy

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