An amazing review of Night of the Templar. Way to go Sampson!
Originally posted on Stigmatophilia's gore splattered corner of insanity.:
The story begins back in The Crusades, with head of the ancient Order of the Knights Templar, Lord Gregoire played by writer, and director Paul Sampson, (who incidentally bears a shocking resemblance to Machine Head Front man Rob Flynn when he appears as the Lord ) being betrayed by his men for a stash of gold they have uncovered. Gregoire swears as he breathes his last breath he will take revenge and promises his betrayers he will return for them after they have had their ’10 lifetimes of excess’.
Fast forward and we are back in the present day, with Sampson again playing Jake McCallister an actor who desperate for work has been contracted as an events co-ordinator at an ominous looking castle. The viewers are not given much of an idea as to what he is actually supposed to co-ordinate, but he does not seem to have much of a clue either. As the guests arrive, a strange book containing the legend of the much lamented Lord Gregoire has been left on the coffee table for some light reading, with the guests dipping in and out of the legend contained therein as the story develops. Jake starts having some strange flashbacks, which he initially fights off and the guests all seem a bit confused as to why they have been invited. But there is more to it, as the legend would suggest, and slowly but surely the guests start to get picked off one by one, being killed in various gruesome ways by a strange figure clad in knight’s clothing. Throughout the film we are taken back to the original legend in flashback form to unravel the tale of betrayal and revenge, which is apparently having echoes into the present day, and this lends an extra depth to the story, which I found particularly interesting.
In terms of cast despite the relatively modest budget ($3.2 million which is practically blockbuster standard given most of the content we review at The Gore Splattered Corner), we have some seasoned pros on board to help ease things along. David Carradine as The Shopkeeper plays his part, as expected, with ease. Every line uttered seems to be loaded with some sly sort of in-joke he is having with himself, and it was a pleasure to see him here in one of his later roles. Paul Sampson as the star makes a capable lead, giving it that air of brooding hero type of guy, who very much like Carradine seems loaded up with his own set of deep dark humour. Although the film is tagged as a comedy, the jokes, if you can call them that are a far world apart from the usual splatstick approach you would expect from a slash and hack affair, leaning more on the side of dry witticisms, which works perfectly with the tone of the movie overall. Perhaps my favourite member of the cast was genre mainstay Udo Kier, I don’t know what it is, and I mean this out of the greatest respect, but there is just something deliciously sinister about Udo’s face. Here he plays a priest, and for me he really made the picture, for some of his ending dialogue and the camp and sleazy way he delivers it. Billy Drago appears rather strangely as a drag queen who works at the castle, just the appearance of him gave the piece an extra element of bizarre and Max Perlich as the equally weirdly clad Benoit the Butler plays a good counterpart to Drago’s more obvious comedic role. There is also a pre Walking Dead part for Norman Reedus, who has since found fame with the aforementioned successful Zombie series, who ramps it up as an oversexed guest. He puts in a solid performance coming off as extremely unlikeable, and somewhat sleazy, as are most of the guests. For the supporting cast of younger players, they do a great job despite lacking the experience of the more veteran cast.