Sunday, March 02, 2014

Robin Hood Ghosts of Sherwood (2012).

The film begins with Marian being escorted through Sherwood Forest. An old woman warns the soldiers not to enter Sherwood at night because of the ghosts. They of course do not heed the warning and all are killed by bandits (not ghosts), leaving Marian unprotected. Enter Robin Hood, who offers Marian safe refuge in his camp overnight where she also meets Will and Friar Tuck. It transpires that Marian is the Sheriff of Nottingham’s cousin and, although she doesn’t approve of Robin being a thief, she dislikes the Sheriff even more for being a womanizer. There is a tiresome long debate about Robin’s personal brand of politics and philosophy (he’s something between a communist and a late 1960s hippy), as a result of which Marian decides to assist the Merry Men to steal the Sheriff’s gold. We know they’re merry because they are seen to merrily dance the night away. Before approaching the stone ruins which pass for Nottingham Castle they disguise themselves by taking the first of what will become a seemingly endless series of potions in order to change their appearance.

Cutting a long story mercifully short, whilst stealing the gold the three outlaws are captured and killed. However, in return for his eventual soul, Robin is saved from death by a witch in the woods, and he in turn uses her magic potion to restore Will and Tuck to life. All now return to Sherwood Forest in time for a pop musical interlude featuring romantic montages of Robin and Marian.

The movie resumes as Robin explains to Marian why he hasn’t long to live, after which she returns to the witch in the woods and strikes a bargain: Break the curse on Robin in exchange for gold to buy other souls with. The deal is done, but when they return to camp everyone is being slaughtered, and both Robin and Tuck are killed (again) in the ensuing fight.

Now enter Little John who, after more tedious discussion about prescribed doses and ethics, helps Marian administer the magic life restoring potion to the dead outlaws around them. (They’re unsure of the correct dosage because John chopped the witch’s head off before it had been established). So, yes you guessed it, where once were the merry men now stand the not so merry zombies of Sherwood.

A very low budget German / American co-production, “Robin Hood Ghosts of Sherwood” is probably the worst Robin Hood (or zombie) movie one might ever see. However, in an age of digital screenings and straight to DVD manufacturing, it merits a review here. The cast are less capable than a poor amateur dramatic society, whilst the dubbed voices include a range of juxtaposing accents. (Marian being broad New York with a hint of oriental descent). It is not bereft of some interesting ideas, but none are explored with focus nor talent.

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