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The Bastard Sword

UK 2018
produced by
Alex Willis, Eveshka Ghost for Rusalka Pictures
directed by Eveshka Ghost
starring Xander Phillips, Seth Easterbrook, Martyn Eade, Chris Wilson, Danielle Thorpe, Gemma Comber, Chris Comber, James McClusky, Myra Hanlon (voice)
written and music by Eveshka Ghost

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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A possibly enchanted forest, somewhen in the Middle Ages: Tias (Xander Phillips) wakes up to a bump on is head and total memory loss - but still enough fight in him to ward off a gang of thieves. He then walks through the woods aimlessly until he reaches the humble hut of a hermit, Ulysses (Seth Easterbrook), who grants him abode and treats his wound. And gradually Tias starts to remember, he wanted to find the mythical Bastard Sword, which was to cure his friend (Gemma Comber) from grief after she has lost her lover (Chris Comber).

Eventually, thief Mars (Martyn Eade) breaks into Ulysses' hut to steal whatever he can get his hands on, but Tias is able to overcome him. Ulysses forbids Tias to kill Mars though and instead treats the wounds Mars suffered in his struggle with Tias. And Ulysses tells both Tias and Mars he can find the Bastard Sword, which is to have the power of mind control, but only he, Ulysses, knows how to use it. And if Tias and Mars want to somehow participate in the sword's power, they have to agree to a truce - a truce that's shakey at best, but the three men find the sword - and both Tias and Mars are disappointed when they find it's not as easy to wield the power of the sword as they thought it would. All amounts in Mars eventually taking the sword onto him and trying to make a getaway, not because he knows what to do with it, just out of principle. This eventually leads to a duel between him and Tias where Tias kills Mars - upon which, weirdly enough, Ulysses does't want to have anything more to do with Tias. And this is when Tias starts to suspect foul play, and he pretty much forces Ulysses to tell him the whole truth. Thing is, it's a truth that Tias, finally finding out who he really is, doesn't like one bit ...

 

Now I will say that, at three hours and a bit, The Bastard Sword is a bit on the long side, and could have done with an hour taken off - but that said, this is still anything but a bad film, if anything it's proof that with a good story, even a fantasy epic can be done on a budget and without endless CGI effects and mass scenes just to visually overwhelm the audience (and hide a formulaic plot behind the noise more likely than not). Instead the film takes its time to tell a down-to-earth tale in a down-to-earth manner with a certain folks talke feel to it. And the direction does its best to give the story and cast space to breathe rather than over-stylize things, while the ensemble cast embody their roles believably and relatably, all resulting in a fantasy flick that seems slightly out of time, but is a worthy watch nevertheless.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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