In the Lenterim – Dark Dungeons

Dark Dungeons (2014) – Every once in a while, Kickstarter brings us something worthwhile (shut up, Zach Braff, nobody likes you), and while I would never have thought of adapting Jack Chick’s deluded ramblings into a movie, I’m glad someone did.

I remember being promised that this was not a spoof, but a direct adaptation of the original story; after all, they had to get permission from the very earnest Jack Chick himself. This being a movie, however, and not a five-minute short (40 minutes, by AMPAAS standards, is just barely feature-length), some additional scenes and dialogue had to be written. Much of that additional material is obviously written by gamer nerds who have been to the internet within the last twenty years. There are many tongue-in-cheek references to insider nerd culture shuffled into the earnest and straight-faced story (a reference to the gazebo pops up, and the direct Satanic references are represented instead by Cthulu, who could not be a more tired reference at this point), but where the movie is at its best is when they are directly and literally reading Jack Chick’s own, original words or recreating panels from the comic, if even for a moment.

The fun of Chick Tracts is that they are completely out-of-touch and obviously misinformed, but absolutely deadly serious. The occasional breaks to throw the audience a wink and a nod are not helping.

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