Robin Hood: Ghosts Of Sherwood (2012)
REVIEW: This film is so inept and idiotic that even its title is wrong - Robin Hood: Ghosts Of Sherwood has no ghosts whatsoever. This bit of easily avoidable stupidity is indicative of the sheer laziness of the production as a whole, and is the least dumb thing about the movie. Yes my friends, this movie is so damned awful that its inaccurate title isn’t even close to being in the top fifty list of the movie’s biggest sins.
Shall the torture begin?
The most glaring issue, besides everything else, is that it’s shot on shiteo; I have seen iPhone videos that have higher quality to them. Whatever camera was used to shoot this was not worth the money used to buy (or rent) it. Add to that the brazen incompetency of cinematographers Kamil Hertwig and Matthias Michel, neither of whom presumably had any contact with any sort of video recording device until Day One of production for “Robin Hood Fails At Everything”. Seriously, this is an ugly, garish, and simply displeasing flick to look at. I understand the low quality of the video is due to low budget and all that jazz, but the blocking of the actors’ that cut off half their heads from the shot and camera compositions with tree branches right in the line of sight of the main action are inexcusable, and both present throughout.
Martin Thon is the on-screen Robin Hood, and possesses the same screen presence as random tree moss - there, something to look at, and completely forgotten about in two seconds. Continually forgetting that the title character is in a scene is a bad sign! I specified on-screen, as he is very poorly dubbed over (in the English version. I do not know about in the native German) by Ben Bledsoe. Whilst Thon can barely register as existing in front of the camera, Bledsoe is the worse of the two. Each bit of dialogue is stated in a detached monotone, the very definition of just ‘reading lines’ as opposed to acting the emotional context for each line.
Maid Marian is portrayed by Ramona Kuen. She’s slightly better than Thon because she appears to be exerting some effort. It’s all for naught mind you, as her acting skills are abysmal, but some effort was put in, which might actually make her the best actress in the whole damned affair. Schaukje Konning has the albatross wearing feat of being the dubbed voice. Again, it’s painful. All her lines are stilted, as if forced out of her mouth while being gagged, after just learning how to say them phonetically.
The fun part with the dubbing is that just about everyone, excluding Tom freaking Savini (I have no clue why he’s slumming so damned low here), and their dub causes horrendous ear infections in the viewer - the dub is just that bad! It doesn’t even bother to make an attempt to sync with the actors’ mouths. This is worse than a bundle of cheap 1970s kaiju films!
Tom Savini is one of the most talented and impressive special effects make-up artists still working today. He did makeup on the original Dawn Of The Dead, Friday The 13th, and Two Evil Eyes, among many others. He has also built up a decent acting filmography, typically in supporting roles in such genre fare as The Dead Matter and Beyond The Wall Of Sleep. While never outstanding, he usually can hold his own and deliver something engaging. His performance here on the other hand, as with everything else in this god forsaken cinematic failure pile, is rubbish of the grimiest kind. Boorish is literally the only thing I can conjure up about the character. That’s right! The only thing of note about Savini’s Sheriff of Nottingham is the same characterization he has been given in every other adaptation of Robin Hood ever made. Not a good sign.
We start the movie with shots of random bodies strewn across the director’s backyard, accompanied by an off-screen dialogue exchange. This is a minute or two long, and is the worst conceivable way of starting this movie. Since we haven’t met anyone yet, and therefore have no context for where we are in the story during the opening shot, having two characters, whom we don’t know, exchange pleasantries over dead bodies and flashbacks leading up to the fight, which is when the dialogue ends. We are then left with terrible sound effects, metal swords sounding like a branch breaking off another branch, and footsteps falling on tile as oppose to the grassy knoll they are in. The sound mixing doesn’t match with when they should happen, trailing by about half a second.
Seeing a pattern yet?
The Merry Men’s village/ hideout is just a few bales of hay near a small brook. At this point, I am questioning if this movie even had a budget. Was this all just filmed in the producer’s backyard because he and his buddies were bored one weekend? Actually, more than a one-day production is giving the movie too much leeway. No one involved cared enough to work on this for more than a day. They don’t even store their loot near them, but in an unguarded cage a little ways down stream, so any old wanderer could stumble in there and take it. Every character is officially now the dumbest character in the movie. I don’t care if that doesn’t make sense! It’s too dumb for real logic!
With Marian’s help, Robin and his men decide to raid Nottingham’s castle, for a huge score to give back to the poor. The castle portion is so geographically confusing and poorly lit I am unable to describe what happened and how. All that matters is the end result- some men get captured and Robin goes back to save them. This attempted rescue is what allows the slumming Savini as the Sheriff of Nottingham to gravely injury Robin Hood.
Marian and Friar Tuck dragged Robin’s bleeding body to a witch, because those exist now - no setup needed. She gives him a potion, and he wakes up. After some gobbley gook about the misuse of magic and destiny, the witch gives Robin some potions to take and give to his fallen men. After giving the potion to them all, some bullshit I don’t understand causes them to fall down, die and resurrect as bloody hungry zombies.
I know I am making this movie sound like a quick ride, even when it’s full of stupid, but it feels endless. I am simply going over the main plot points, ignoring all the padding that is everywhere. Five minute dinner scene of the Sheriff oogling and being creepy toward Marian for no reason? Seeing Marian and Friar Tuck drag Robin Hood the entire way to the witch’s place? The pointless discussion of the treasure cave, which never comes back up? This movie is more padded than a sanitarium room made of moon bounces!
Every solitary part of this film is poorly executed. Every single actor/actress is the worst one on screen. Every action scene is painful and fails to elicit even the most basic of interest. Everything that happens makes no sense.
This is one of the worst films of all time.