Fantasia 2011: ‘The Dungeon Master’ is an affectionate spoof, a love letter to role playing

The Dungeon Master

Directed and written by Rider Strong and Shiloh Strong

2011, USA

Shane and his friends immerse themselves in a D&D spectacular, all in the hope of reliving the geeky fun they had back in their younger days, but things go terribly wrong once the dungeon master shows up dressed in a cape. The Dungeon Master, which screened before the closing film at this year’s Fantasia Film Festival, was yet another surprise hit. What’s most striking about this short is that, while poking fun at D&D, which could be considered something of an easy target, the fun-making doesn’t really extend to the game itself. In fact one can argue that given the direction the narrative takes, The Dungeon Master is a fourteen minute fantasy for any kid who was ever bullied back in high school simply for being different. The Dungeon Master is an affectionate spoof, a love letter to role playing and an cheeky romp with knights, elves, half-links, swords, daggers and one badass stone giant. The end result of it all however is somewhat disappointing, only because it is so entertaining, it leaves you longing for more. Hopefully the Strong brothers can return with a work significantly longer film than this. Someone give these guys a bigger budget please.


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