Posted by Luisjo Gonzalez
Knight Chils 2001
Directed by: Katherine Hicks
Starring: Michael Rene Walton, DJ Perry, David Borowicz
Review by Luisjo González
Unfortunately guys and gals, I’m not much of a gamer. My first girlfriend and I completed most of the Survival Horror classics: Resident Evil 1-4, Overblood, Project Zero and Silent Hill etc. I also got through Blair Witch, Carrier, Nocturne, Deep Fear and more recently Dead Space, but aside from a bit of Football Manager, video games and I don’t match. Actually sitting and playing Dungeons and Dragons with boards, dice and figures, please drop me out. My scientific mind is so against bullsh*t that I haven’t even watched The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I know that they’re reportedly amazing features and Oscar winners, but I mean, Orcs, Goblins, Dragons and the rest is just too far fetched for my analytical brain. Same with Harry Potter and James Bond always surviving, whilst bad guys die EVERY SINGLE TIME. In real life that would never happen, so why should I believe it in a movie? I’m eminently hopeful that this attitude won’t prevent me from enjoying this particular entry, which is obviously about peeps playing an RPG.
I found Knight Chills on one of those 50 horror movies for $10 packs and I learned to never purchase one again. You see, you may think 50 for $10 is a pretty good bargain, but I realised that I would’ve wasted 49 x 85 minutes of my valuable time and I’ll never get those hours back. I decided to watch this one though, because a guy in armour murdering youngsters simply screams ‘SLASHER’. For a Slash above I had to buy the original NTSC DVD for a photo of the cover picture, but $3.99 from eBay and $7 postage is not going to leave me destitute. I love knights from the old medieval days and in my review of Terror Night, I mentioned the ‘knight In armour’ killing as a favourite. I’m surprised that there hasn’t been more slashers that have used that disguise, but maybe it’s just that the costume weighs too much to be practical? Well, in this movie, we get the real thing on a horse and that’s why I decided to give it a shot…
Knight Chills is a story about role players and the games that they’re enamoured with. This takes us down a dark path and let’s us see what happens when fantasy becomes reality and a medieval knight begins stalking and slaughtering the dice throwers.
So none of the other slasher websites have bothered with this one, which leads to the question, is it a Stalk and Slash movie? If you consider a masked killer murdering people with a blade slasher-esque, then you know that as usual, I’m correct. Another thing of interest is that not only does this have a typical antagonist, but it also includes the classic ‘revenge of the bullied nerd’ synopsis that we saw in Slaughter High, Tormented, Terror Train, Evil Night and many others. The only problem with KC is that in the previous entries I mentioned, the unfortunate prank that backfires happens in the first 10/15 minutes of screen time. Here we have to wait WELL over half an hour for it to start and getting to that point is a painstaking, arduos task. I had to watch this flick over four attempts, because I was unsuccessful in the battle to stay awake each previous time. Finally, I managed to watch the rest in the morning on a Saturday and I saw it to the end. Why was I so bored you ask? Well, as I said above, I’m not a gamer, so viewing bad actors discuss crystals, magic potions, warlocks and whatever else is not my idea of fun. Credit to the director because she spiced things up with suspense music (🤣), but maybe I can’t see tension in a group of mongrels sitting around a table rolling dice.
You know, I love female directors when they take the reins in our genre. A sub-category dominated by fellas certainly benefits from a feminine touch every once in a while, but this was Katherine Hicks first and last movie and it’s not hard to see why. Many organisers in the hot seat in low budget attempts have shown flair with their ideas, blocking, character placement and creative camera angles. Hicks literally points the camera and says action, and it’s best described as ‘pedestrian’. There are few things worse in the world of cinema than bad actors arguing. It happens here a couple of times and it’s totally wince inducing. Whilst this isn’t meant to be a comedy and it has the sense not to mix humour with horror like crap such as Slaughter Studios, Easter Sunday etcetera, I couldn’t help but giggle when one character told Laura (Laura Nixon) that two of her friends had been killed. I knew I was in for a giggle and my prediction was accurate, because I expected her to summon all of her minimal acting ability to look genuinely mortified and it was no less than hilarious 😂. It’s also pretty unbelievable that there would be two young girls playing board games. Now don’t misunderstand me WOKE readers, I’ve had my ass handed to me on Scrabble, Monopoly and Articulate countless times by the fairer sex, but Dungeons and Dragons? Really? In London and Andalucía, Role Players have the reputation of being spotty geeks that girls avoid. I obviously don’t have factual proof and I could be wrong of course, but it just seems unlikely to me that young women would spend their evenings rolling dice with nerds? If anyone knows, shout me please and I apologise if I’m incorrect.
So far, I’ve made this sound pretty sh*t yeah? Well, it does start pretty bad, but when the killer finally turns up, things drastically improve. There’s not even a millilitre of blood, but the killer looks awesome and he utilises one of my favourite slasher trademarks, a killer ‘calling card’. Each victim finds a red rose before being slashed and I certainly enjoyed the last twenty-minutes. I always hate it when producers put their kid in the movie and it especially sucks when the kid is THE WORST ACTOR EVAAAAAAAAA. Surprisingly though, I didn’t allow it to ruin the final scene. If I compare this film to Slaughter High or Terror Train, you’d have to mention that Marty Rantzen was horribly disfigured and Kenny Hampson ended up in an asylum after their school friends tormented them. John in this film got a few nasty words, a snowball thrown at him and that’s it! The entire ‘revenge of the bullied nerd’ plot-line must include a HORRENDOUS event to build up the vengeance. Here, I think the guys getting stalked got a pretty tough deal for literally NOTHING. If John (Michael Rene Walton) worked in my office, he would’ve killed us all on day two. We tear each other apart reguarly with personally targeted banter and we hold NOTHING back in our ambition to make someone feel awful.
So should you hunt out Knight Chills? Well, gamers would love it, but for the rest of us, it’s quite slow, poorly acted/directed with one of the most unattractive casts I’ve ever seen. I was thinking, if I had to compare it to another slasher, I’d go with Dead Above Ground. This is much better than DAG but the two have similar story elements and synopsises. I did really enjoy the killer guise and I certainly didn’t stab darts in my eyeballs as I did with Curse of Halloween. I’m aware I have a lot of slasher completists reading my blog, so even if it hasn’t got killer POVs, heavy breath etc, you collectors should get it. For my other readers? I guess it’s a matter of personal choice. I don’t recommend it, but I liked parts of it and I’m glad I saw it.