King knight

King knight
Running time:78 minutes
Director:Richard Bates Jr
Release date:Not communicated
Thorn and Willow are a high priest and priestess of a coven in a small California community. When Willow uncovers a secret from Thorn's past, their lives are turned upside down.

Mulder's Review

"Our story begins in the land of broken dreams, not so long ago.

Covering a festival often means discovering films that we might not have seen in theaters or that would have gone unnoticed on streaming platforms that allow independent cinema to have more global exposure. The fifth film of the director and writer Richard Bates, Jr (Excision (2012), Suburban gothic (2014), Trash fire (2016), Tone Deaf (2019)) King knight was certainly one of the pleasant surprises of this edition if not the best film discovered. In the same way it is interesting to see that the period of the Middle Ages with its witches, its knights continue to inspire directors of the American cinema to bring their own treatment and original ideas see striking as in this film.

King Knight seems to follow the same treatment as the cult trilogy of Bill & Ted, that is to say to oppose different periods and see what the contrast of two different times can cause. In this case, Thorn (Matthew Gray Gubler) is a high priest of a modern-day coven based in Califormia. When his girlfriend Willow (Angela Sarafyan) discovers his secret on the night of their Beltane celebrations, Thorn is forced to embark on a great introspective journey that will reconnect him with his hometown. 

Richard Bates, Jr's new film definitely bears his signature and is as irreverent as it is completely confusing. As a result, we find ourselves with a completely crazy film in which we wonder how this one managed to come to life. Yet it is its originality that makes its first quality. You only have to see the first minutes of this film which starts with the discovery of an animated book worthy of fairy tale movies which will introduce to the spectators the framework of the story which will not take place in an ancient time but in an idealized California in which witches are part of the society and try to live normally by selling witchcraft objects or by giving advice. The result is a comedy far from being as romantic and fantastic as it could have been with characters as original as the image of this crazy film.

Certainly the direction and the narration of this film can surprise and at times appear as a catch-all for a director who manages to deliver a caricature of today's society and especially to hold our attention despite a budget that we feel restricted. In the same way, the great care given to the dialogues does not prevent the director and screenwriter from delivering some accounts. However with hindsight we wonder if the film despite its short duration would not have gained to be even shorter to avoid the time of certain scenes certain lengths. Still, King Knight is a pleasure to watch and changes from those films conceived in an identical mold. As this film shows, with few means we can not only benefit from an interesting cast but also propose different and interesting stories that mock the current American society.

King Knight
Written and directed by Richard Bates Jr.
Produced by Rob Higginbotham, Colin Tanner 
Starring  Barbara Crampton, Matthew Gray Gubler, Andy Milonakis, Johnny Pemberton, Angela Sarafyan, Ray Wise, Kate Comer, Emily Chang, Josh Fadem, Swati Kapila, Shane Brady
Music by Steve Damstra II
Cinematography : Shaheen Seth
Edited by Brit DeLillo 
Release date : August 8, 2021 (Fantasia)
Running time : 78 minutes

Seen on August 10, 2021 (Fantasia Festival)

Mulder's Mark: