McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Civil War 25th Commemorative Edition DVD & Blu-ray Oct 13Aquarius: The Complete First Season DVD & Blu-ray Sep 15Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

American Music Awards 2015: Proximity to action matters...
Brad Pitt Says He's 'Angry' at the Finance Industry Aft...
Adele Speaks Exclusively on New Music:'The Most Poignan...
'The Walking Dead' reveals Glenn's fate ...
Adele Performs on Saturday Night Live: Video ...
Blacklisted: The Inside Story of Dalton Trumbo and the ...
Ryan Seacrest Confirms All American Idol Judges Will Re...
Fargo' Preview: 5 Reasons You Should Be Watching This S...
Bruce Willis makes Broadway debut...
Entertainment industry modifies plans after Paris trage...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Anchor Bay presents
Knightriders (1981)

"Camelot is a state of mind."
- Promotional tagline

Review By: Dan Lopez   
Published: July 12, 2000

Stars: Ed Harris, Tom Savini, Gary Lahti
Other Stars: Amy Ingersoll, Patricia Tallman, Brother Blue, Ken Foree, Christine Romero
Director: George Romero

Manufacturer: Grace & Wild Interactive Development
MPAA Rating: R
Run Time: 02h:25m:00s
Release Date: July 11, 2000
UPC: 013131099690
Genre: drama

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- A+A-B- B+

DVD Review

Most people I've met have a hard time believing me that director George "Night of the Living Dead" Romero once made a film about Renaissance fair performers. I assure them, however, he did. Knightriders is arguably Romero's most ignored film, probably for the reason that it's not a horror piece. However out-of-place the idea might seem amongst his other work, though, the movie is a triumphant success in many ways.

In Knightriders, King "Billy" William (Ed Harris) leads a group of medieval performers around the U.S. The twist to this entertainment fair, however, is that the knights use motorcycles instead of horses. They re-create the classic Arthurian court and perform competitions in front of drunk, jaded audiences for meager pay. Alan (Gary Lahti) is essentially the head of the King's knights, while Morgan (Tom Savini) is the head of the black knights who seek to take over William's throne. Although, on a certain level, it's all fake, at the same time an underlying code of behavior make it very real to the participants. The performers live by this code and they take the lifestyle far more seriously than perhaps any casual showgoer would notice. Unfortunately, King William is far more obsessed with the lifestyle than the others. His desperate need to defy established modern conventions begin to bother the other members of the troupe. Knightriders essentially tells the story of this close knit group and how they must deal with a leader who furiously resists change and other members who have stopped believing in the magic of their own profession.

The most noticeable thing about Knighriders is it's excellent cast. While Ed Harris is superb in one of his early, manic roles, he is also surrounded by an excellent variety of characters. From Tom Savini as the Black Knight Morgan to Brother Blue as the poetic Merlin, there are a myriad of memorable performances. Since George Romero packed the film with his own special crew of friends and family, there is an earnest feel to these people. This ends up helping the movie immensely since these people are not only supposed to be friends, but they must also go through hard times together. My only disappointment here was the extremely small role given to John Amplas who Romero had previously cast to great effect in Martin.

While the movie is pretty lengthy at 185 minutes, I felt the time was well used. The film seems to divide itself into sections, and the only way to truly tell the emotional story of these lives is to spend good time in each of these sections. The drama is truly enhanced by having to spend so much time with the characters so that you effectively know them. The film is also peppered with some good action sequences where the performers use their motorcycles to battle. Considering the relatively low budget of this film, the stuntwork and general presentation are very impressive.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Visually, Knightrider's presentation is way above my expectations for a film of this age. Despite a few negative glitches, the actual image is superb. It's extremely crisp and clear with no signs of artifacts or pixelization. The color is restored very well, getting rid of the slightly washed out look I remember from the past. There are no aliasing problems from the anamorphic enhancement either. Black level is also extremely accurate and sharp, providing the many night scenes with great reproduction.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: The mono soundtrack is a mixture of good and bad, though the good far outweighs the bad. Overall, the dialog and sound effects are extremely well balanced. At times, the soundtrack is so clear and vivid (like crickets chirping in the night scenes) that I found myself making sure it really was mono only. The bad portion is the significant amount of background, analog tape hum in many scenes. Understandably, this probably could not be improved upon much, but it is present.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 30 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
2 TV Spots/Teasers
1 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by George A. Romero, Tom Savini, John Amplas, Christine Romero, Chris Stavrakis
Packaging: Alpha
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual
Layers Switch: 01h:24m:40s

Extras Review: The centerpiece of the disc is the wonderful commentary track. George Romero is accompanied by his wife, Christine, actor/make-up effects person Tom Savini, actor John Amplas, and film historian Chris Stavrakis. While some people seem to have to trade off now and again to be heard (almost like a microphone being passed around), overall it's a wonderful track filled with humor and insight. You rarely see such incredibly large (3+ people) commentaries on films over 100 minutes. I really have to give a warm thanks to these individuals for participating. While I appreciate very detailed director commentaries that really get into the meat of the film, I also like informal ones too and this track is simply wonderful, especially for Romero fans.

The film is accompanied by 12 minutes of home video footage that was shot on-set. The footage is pretty good quality, and is obviously from an old 8mm, silent camera. Interestingly, though, the non-existent audio track decodes as 8 channel sound. (??)

The presentation is excellent. The keepcase is a golden color, the insert is a reproduction of the original poster with an essay by Martin Felsher, and the disc has a great shield logo on it. Also look for the slightly humorous trailer and TV spots.

Extras Grade: B+


Final Comments

Knightriders undoubtedly slipped into obscurity because of its lofty themes. People probably expected an all-out action movie or a motorcycle movie. Instead, the film seems to be more about people pursuing their dreams and trying to grasp personal freedom. In a lot of ways, Knightriders is the Easy Rider of the 80's. Many of the same themes are present, they're just wrapped into a different package. Regardless, the film is a triumph of storytelling and it really remains quite unique. I can't think of any films about renaissance fair performers, offhand, and certainly none with the creativity of this one. I found it a very inspiring film about staying true to your nature. Highly recommended.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


american music awards, talor swift, one direction, jennifer lopez, selena gomez, nicki minaj, justin bieber, movie, the big short, steve carell, ryan gosling, christian bale, michael lewis, brad pitt, music, adele, hello, 19, 21, 25, television, the walking dead, amc, davod alpert, glen, heads up, saturday night live, 25 album, skyfall, nrj awards, graham norton, herbert biberman, john howard lawson, lester cole, ring lardner jr., samuel ornitz, adrian scott, albert maltz, alvah bessie, edward dmytryk, dalton trumbo, reality, american idol, ryan seacrest, mariah carey, ellen degeneres, harry connick jr., keith urban, simon cowell, paula abdul, randy jackson, steven tyler, kara dioguardi, televison, fargo, fx, kirsten dunst, jesse plemons, jean smart, jeffrey donovan, bokeem woodbine, brad garrett, patrick wilson, celebrity, bruce willis, laurie metcalf, misery, broadway debut, paris tragedy, u2, foo fighters, steven spielberg, natalie portman, book, the diary of anne frank, otto frank, swiss foundation, daytime talk, 2000 shows, justin timberlake, jennifer aniston, sequel, animated, finding nemo, finding dory, disney-pixar, diane keaton, eugene levy, inventor, hedy lamarr, google doodle, ecstasy, samson and delilah, bbc music, angelina jolie pitt, by the sea, troubled marriage, mr. & mrs. smith, gwen stefani blake shelton, country music awards, the voice, miranda lambert, jon stewart, john oliver, hbo, wonder woman, nicole kidman, amazonian warrior, gal gadot, chris pine, nick lachey, 98 degrees, pot grower, ohio, nanette lepore, oscar robertson, frostee rucker, the red bulletin, james bond, daniel craig, naomi harris, bond girl, a. o. scott, 1977, star wars, elvis, beatles, sesame street, j.k. rowling, israel, palestine, culture for coexistence, harry potter and the deathly hallows, ricky gergais, 2016 golden globes, hollywood foreign press association, jessica biel, 2015 fashion group international night of stars gala, flip phone, the power of love, huey lewis, michael j. fox, back to the future, carrie, bipolar disorder, quinn, saul, jonas, comedy, lupus, chemotherapy, estrogen, lupus foundation of america

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store