Dark Dungeons (2014 short)
Innocent students Debbie and Marcie arrive at college eager to save souls, but will they be able to save their own when they're seduced by the exotic and sinister world of role-playing games?
- Release Date: 2014
- Country/Language: US, English
- Genres/Technical: Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Comedy, short
- Runtime: 40 min
- Starring: Alyssa Kay, Anastasia Higham, Tracy Hyland
- Director: L. Gabriel Gonda
- Writer: Jack Chick (story), JR Ralls (screenplay) (as Ralls Jr.)
- Producer/Production Co: Rallsfilm, Zombie Orpheus Entertainment
- View Trailer: (link)
- Film Website: (link)
- View Tract: Chick Publications' Dark Dungeons
- View Essay: Should a Christian Play D&D ("...The Necronomicon and the Cthulhu mythos are quite real....")
- Film Website & Making-of Mockumentary: (link)
- TVTropes: (link)
- IMDB: (link)
- Rated: (not rated) (perhaps equivalent of a PG for very mild Violence and Adult Content)
A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:
- S____ (One Tentacle: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)
A "parody" (played amusingly dead-pan) of the charmingly over-the-top Jack Chick tracts and articles against role-playing games and Lovecraft's pulp fiction, which earnestly portray these subjects as if they were very real works of witchcraft and sorcery, and have become well-loved by role-players over the decades for their wild misconceptions, exaggerations and inaccuracies. A parody after-credits "stinger" makes a reference to a quote from an essay on the Jack Chick website that claims that the Necronomicon and Cthulhu Mythos are "real".
Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.
- (review needed)
Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)
Like most Role-Playing Game players, a girl gets involved in witchcraft through playing a fantasy role-playing game ("Dark Dungeons"), and descends through a string of increasingly sociopathic activities beginning with "Fighting the Zombie", through casting the "Mind Bondage" spell, to believing she actually IS her character, to at last causing her best friend's suicide; before things spiral any further out of control when her coven attempts to summon Cthulhu, she recants her life of role-playing and converts to Christianity.
Comments, Trivia, Dedication
- The film-makers obtained the rights to make the film from Jack Chick, and remained faithful to the tract's original subject matter; Jack Chick apparently realized the film would be played for gentle dead-pan humor, but hopes that the tract's content will reach the hearts of the audience.
Associated Mythos Elements
- religious tract: In Chick Publications' Dark Dungeons by Jack Chick
- film: compare to Mazes and Monsters (1982 film)
- tome: Call of Cthulhu (RPG) and other role-playing games are portrayed as actual tomes of magic
- deity: Cthulhu makes an appearance in the film in a scene inspired by an article on the Jack Chick website which claims that Cthulhu and the Necronomicon are real (link): "...There is now a whole line of materials based on the hellish H.P. Lovecraft Cthulhu mythos, a form of magic that we practiced in the darkest days of our satanic career - a system of magic prominently featured in THE SATANIC RITUALS by Anton LaVey! Contrary to the ramblings of D&D defenders... the Necronomicon and the Cthulhu mythos are quite real...."
- race: Human Cultists