Legends Are Born In Blood
Starring: Martin Thon, Ramona Kuen, Kai Borchardt, Dennis Zachmann, Anika Neubauer, Andrea Glowig, Rene Schneider, Dave Kaufmann, Tom Savini
Director: Oliver Krekel
2012 | 116 Minutes | Rated R
“That’s it? Bringing back the dead is easy work then.” – Little John
What happens when you combine one of folklore’s favorite heroes with the most played out genre in filmdom today? You get a Robin Hood zombie movie known as Robin Hood: The Ghost of Sherwood. And it’s bad. Really bad.
Robin Hood and his Merry Men are killed… twice. Maid Marian and Little John resurrect them, unwittingly unleashing a horde of the undead on Nottingham.
They say you only get one chance to make a first impression and Robin Hood: The Ghost of Sherwood makes a really bad first impression. Everything about it looks and sounds cheap. And unfortunately for me, and anyone else who happens to watch it, the movie fails to make good second, third and forth impressions. There is no redemption to be had.
“Take another step toward her and the next one kills you.” Famed archer, Robin Hood then wings an arrow off a tree several feet from his target and subsequently throws his bow and quiver into the dirt to fight with his fists. This is our introduction to Robin. Could this be some sort of weird mistake? Nope. The filmmakers have opted to make Robin Hood dependent on a potion he obtains later in the movie to gain his legendary archery skills. Since he soon turns into a zombie, he never really has a chance to showcase his newfound ability.
The movie feels some incessant need to retell the Robin Hood legend that has literally been told hundreds, maybe thousands, of times before in more creative and interesting ways. On top of that it gets one of the most important aspects of the Robin Hood legend wrong. Robin didn’t take from the rich simply because they were rich and could afford to be robbed. He took from the rich because they were a part of the corrupt system of laws and taxes that made him and others like him poor.
Then we get to the characters. They don’t even look right. The guy playing Friar Tuck actually looks pretty decent so I give him credit but the rest… not so much. Robin Hood should be handsome and debonair, not look like a scrubby wannabe rocker nerd. Will Scarlett is a chubby nerd with a chinstrap beard that doesn’t wear any red, not the crimson clad dandy he is intended to be. And I hate to infer that any woman is not attractive and the girl playing Marian isn’t ugly but she surely isn’t the level of beauty that Marian has been in the past. She’s just a bit plain and nerdy looking. I’m using the same word to describe a lot of these characterizations. Nerdy. It’s because I’m quite sure this is just a nerdy group of D&D players who decided to make a movie one day and somehow got Tom Savini to play along.
To top all of that off, the movie has some really, really bad acting. If you told me this was filmed at a local Renaissance Fair I wouldn’t be shocked one bit.
Oh, and the sound mix is way off. I was constantly turning the volume up to be able to hear mumbled dialogue and turning it back down to make sure the clanging of swords wouldn’t wake my wife in the other room. There’s also the weird matter of all of the dialogue having been re-voiced in studio, seemingly by different actors. It’s just bizarre.
I literally don’t think I could be pushed to find one good thing to say about Robin Hood: The Ghost of Sherwood. An argument could probably be made that the concept was slightly original but everything after that point fell flat on its face.