Lazy Luddite Log


Fantasy Sketches

Last time I was lazy but this time I'm busy. I have three writing projects on the go concurrently and none of them will give me a blog post right now. The solution? Yet more stuff written for a past MonUCS camp revue. Last month it was cinematic science fiction but this month I'm giving you my sketches describing another genre close to my heart...

Fantasy Revue Act

Narrator: At our last revue we presented a set of scenes showing how science fiction movies had changed over the decades. Tonight we return to do the same thing for the fantasy genre, but it’s a more difficult task. There have been fewer fantasy films overall, and the trends have changed more slowly. Here then, are fantasy films as experienced in childhood by three post-war generations…

* * * * *

Narrator: The Baby Boomers grew up on fantasy films that took fables and legends and then scrambled them together in the melting pot of Hollywood script-writing…

Jack: I am Jack The Giant Killer!

Sinbad: I am Sinbad The Sailor!

Both: And I’m on a quest to save Helen Of Troy from the Cyclops!

Jack: Hey listen buddy, I’m the slayer of giant-kin around here!

Sinbad: What do you mean, around here? Cornwall’s a long way away, buster!

Jack: Well, I like walking.

Sinbad: And?

Jack: And swimming…

Sinbad: Swimming? I hate swimming! That’s why I own this magnificent ship, The Nomad.

Jack: It’s a nice ship. Say, could I come with you on your voyage?

Sinbad: Sure thing, I can navigate us to our destination, and you can kill the giant…

Jack: Gee, swell!

Sinbad: [directly to audience] And while he fights the Cyclops I’ll get away with the gorgeous gal! *waggles eyebrows*

* * * * *

Narrator: Fantasy had diversified by the time Gen-Xers like me were devouring movies of magic and daring-do. Some were aimed at kids but had surprisingly mature content…

Sadie: I must take the Crystal Pacifier to the Golden Child at the centre of the Maddening Maze, while at the same time learn some important life lessons, but I’m thoroughly lost at this t-intersection!

Puppet 1: Only we can tell you which path you should take, but there are rules we must follow!

Sadie: What rules?

Puppet 1: You can ask us any question you wish but know this! One of us always tells the truth and the other one always lies!

Puppet 2: Now that is a lot of bull-dust right there!

Puppet 1: How can you say something like that?

Puppet 2: Coz she can do what she likes, within the limitations of this imaginary setting she finds herself in. She can play logic games with us if she wants, but she could also choose a more violent course and knock the answer out of us!

Puppet 1: Preposterous! How could she intimidate us?

Puppet 2: Well we are only socks.

Puppet 1: How dare you! I’m a Gremlick!

Puppet 2: Or, honey-child, if you wanted you could try to seduce the information from us. I for one would happily be worn by feet such as those…

Sadie: [to the audience] See what I mean about life lessons…

* * * * *

Narrator: On the other hand there were fantasy films aimed at adults that we clamoured to see because – well – they were pretty juvenile…

Horora: I, Honora The Heathen, travel the wilds seeking fortune and fun times. Look upon the toned muskles of my scantily-clad body! At the tavern wenches and swains alike dig me!

Wenches And Swains: [crowd around and clasp Honora’s limbs while saying…] Oh Honora The Heathen have your hunky way with us a while!

Honora: But you know there’s more to my adventures than just nubile bit-part actors and baby oil, for there is also blood and guts! [wenches and swains cower away]

The Rendathar: I the Rendathar come from the Abyss to destroy your body and absorb your soul! Even you Horora The Heathen cannot resist my power!

Honora: Fiend! None can resist a heroine born in freedom and come-of-age in the blood of combat! Raaagh! [charges with club raised]

The Rendathar: Ouch! That hurts!

* * * * *

Narrator: Finally we come to the fantasy served to Gen-Y youngsters. The computer generated images are superb, the location shots are impressive, the actors have rather nice British accents and experience in performing the works of the immortal Bard. Meet the adventurers Tensi and Koray...

Tesni: Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!

Koray: I have let the dogs loose… but… one of them is still cowering here at our feet…

Tesni: Out, out, damned Spot!

Koray: There he goes, with the others, to attack that massive Dracolisk!

Tensi: Dracolisk?

Koray: Yes, tis the love-child of a dragon and a basilisk. Quickly, put on these, they will protect us from its petrifying gaze.

Tensi: It looks so very realistic. Witness the way the torch-light reflects off its ruddy scales… Behold how convincingly its shadow falls onto those canine statues…

Koray: Um… looks like it turned the dogs of war to stone…

Tensi: Yes, but we’re safe, right?

Koray: You speak to soon, for see, it closes its eyes! Quickly! We must don our Cloaks of Fire Repulsion!

Tensi: Okay, but why does it close its eyes?

Koray: It closes its eyes so that it will not accidentally petrify its own belching flames. But we are safe now, both from petrifying gaze and flaming breath.

Tensi: Yes. The only thing that could harm us now is if it turned its own flames into a storm of fine stony fragments, but I assume the eye-closing is a reflex action.

Koray: Ah… it’s actually a learned behaviour, and I think it heard you!

Tensi: Run!

Koray: Can we go back to fighting clay-mation giants?

Once more the Alex and Ben played key spoken roles with verve and aplomb. Next month I promise something more freshly written (but possibly also more sober).

Dungeon Crawl



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