C47Houston Flix Review:

"Dead of Knight"



A WW11 Ammo Crate locked up by chains is sold at an auction. When buyer 86 opens up the crate and hoping to find a treasure trove, he finds that it contains “snow globes” and one particular perfectly round crystal orb. Startled by his wife, he accidentally drops the crystal on the floor and it shatters - unleashing a “ruined” knight’s spirit in this feature thriller by Director Joe Grisaffi.

Written by Emilio Iasiello and Joe Grisaffi,  the story follows, Marla Lyon Mazzocco (played by Jerin Julia), a young college student who carries a medieval amulet, called the Amulet of Thorns, around her neck - A family heirloom given to her by her now deceased mother, Amelie Lyon (played by Celeste Roberts). While she wears this amulet, no harm can come to her, or so the legend goes.

In the meantime, a “ruined” Knight’s spirit by the name of Sir Gasparay, the Dark Knight (played by Wayne Stevens), once known for his compassion and a righteous Knight’s Templar, has been released from centuries in between worlds. (As the story goes the Knight’s Templar were advocates of the church, but over time, the Knight’s were betrayed by the Church and thus “ruined”.  The path, so the story goes, to redemption for a “ruined” Knight was fraught with suffering spending eternity seeking vengeance). His spirit trapped in a crystal orb was released when the orb was accidentally dropped and shattered. Searching for a suitable host this incorporeal spirit finds a body in a man working out at the gym "a strong man" (Wayne Stevens), the first of many qualities. Now on a quest to claim the virtues and qualities of people to gain his freedom from the evil Queen Sofia (played by Anne Quackenbush), Sir Gasparay must kill, claim his prizes and present them to the Queen.

As people start to die, Marla does her research and discovers that her family has a direct line to Sir Gasparay’s one and only love of his life, Isabel, which was taken from him by the Dark Queen.  Further research finds that the amulet was given to Marla’s family by a distant relative and Isabel’s ward and friend.

As detectives track down the killer they start to suspect Marla’s boyfriend, Jaxson (played by Brandon Hearnberger), who’s only interested is protecting Marla from danger. When Marla turns up missing the race is on to find the young woman. But, who is going to find her first and who else is going to be killed by the Dark Knight?

Our take of the story:  The story wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. I was hearing a lot of noise from people that have seen this movie and I do have to say that I found it was quite entertaining. The story moved easily from beginning, middle to the end. We didn’t really have a hard time understanding the premise or the plot for that matter. There were several story lines but we didn’t find it to be a complex story filled with twists and turns, by far, it was simple and easy to follow. The only area that was problematic was “why” this spirit was encased in this crystal orb in the first place and how it got there. We didn’t really know until later in the movie that this spirit was, in fact a Dark Knight. It was only through the narrative of Marla and the discovery of her mother’s documents that we find her true heritage. Also, we didn’t quite understand why the Dark Knight would even venture to a putt-putt golf course and to a waterfall to be able to talk with the evil Queen Sophia. Rack it up to suspension of believe but we didn’t’ get it. It was funny to think this spirit suspended in time for hundreds of years, would see the lady of the lake at a putt-putt gulf course.

Our take on the movie itself…the technical side of things: Going down the list of things to look for in a well constructed movie…Sound was consistent throughout the entirety of the movie. From beginning to the end, the sound was rich and deep and you could tell that great care was taken to remove or otherwise reduce ambient noise from one cut to another, preventing an amateur mistake. The score was relevant and provided atmosphere and tone to the movie. It wasn’t over-bearing or loud. The transitions were seamless and unremarkable. The editing was good, however, there were several instances where some of the scenes were a bit long and could have some tightening. There was one particular scene where Marla was looking for something in the closet and turned on the closet light…it was a transition that could have been tighter as well some other scenes that seem to linger on with no point except to extend the running time of the movie. Lighting was good throughout the movie, but right after the opening sequence, it was just a bit bland and flat. There wasn’t really a dimension to what we were looking at and this is something we see in a lot in low-to-no budget independent movies (even though the estimated budget for this movie, according to their IMDB page was estimated at $200k). And, in this motion picture lighting was better than some of the movies we have seen in the local area and across the state. The cinematographer, Joe Grisaffi, did a great job in keeping the camera focused. The camera work was consistent with a professional. He did a fantastic job in framing each shot and continuing the frame as the camera moved with the character. He added reaction shots and extraneous shots (you know from one person to the other) that helped in telling his story. There was one shot that was particularly odd where the Cynthia character was talking with Marla and there where this 4 second shot of Cynthia’s name badge to signify that she was either a volunteer charity worker or the establishment of her name, either way, it was odd.  Mr. Grisaffi was creative in using his camera and it shows in this movie.  Set design was a little shabby, at times, or non-existent, perhaps using “real” places for sets made the “look” of the movie a little cheap. Casting was effective in that the characters “matched” nicely with each other, that’s a good step in the right direction.

Overall, Mr. Grisaffi did a wonderful job with the technical side of this movie.

Our take on the acting: Acting was good, and some of the actors did an excellent job in delivering their lines and creating a believable character that an audience could empathize with and follow. Some of the line deliveries were forced and you could tell in their voices while other line deliveries just flowed out of the actors with ease, but overall, each of the characters did a great job in their performances.

Our take on the Directing: Mr. Grisaffi, the director of this movie, did an outstanding job. We watched this movie several times over the weekend and we found that he was able to move his actors the way he wanted, to get the best performances from his actors, to illicit some emotions from the actors, was able to tell the story according to his vision of what the movie ought to look like and set up some very visual cinematography. Yeah, he did a good job in putting this entertaining movie together.

Our overall opinion of this movie: We think “Dead of Knight” is an entertaining movie to watch. Again, at times, some of the scenes were a bit lingering, but overall the story and the movie moved nicely through the stages of storytelling. Technically, the movie had a lot of the filmmaking techniques attached to it and it is apparent that great strains were taken, in post, to ensure that a highly production valued movie is available to the public and the audience. The movie was easy to watch and it’s the type of movie that you will want to pop in a dvd or bluRay player on a rainy night or when nothing is on on a Saturday night. Don’t believe us and have a different opinion? Pick up the movie, or stream it from NetFlix, Amazon  or any other online formats and check it out for yourself. It campy, funny and entertaining.

C47Houston rated this movie using the TSIRS scale and gives it a strong 4.4 out of 5 stars.

Title: Dead of Knight

Production Company: Starship Films L.L.C.

Produced by: Joe Grisaffi

Co-produced by: Mary Jane Hancock and Stig Daniels

Associate Producers: Kelli Cooke and Ming Wang

Written by: Emilio Iasiello

Directed by: Joe Grisaffi

Cinematographer: Joe Grisaffi

Original Score by: Jeff Walton

Songs by: Toe Head

Additional Music by: Two Star Symphony

Edited by: Stig Daniels

The Amulet of Throns designed by: Sara Gaston

Medieval documents designed by: Susan Brown

Flute Player: Cathy Power

Firearms master Phil Oxley – The Impact Zone

Glassblower: Ricky Clark

Locations: Molly Vernon and Joe Grisaffi

Sound design by: Stacy Davidson

ADR recording by Ryan Murphy and Brandon Hearnsberger

Set photographer by Krisztina Pazmandi and Kerry Beyer

After effects by Stig Daniels

Medieval wardrobe by: Cat Woody, Sin Younger and Wayne Stevens

Special Effects by: Tom Martino, Matt Burks – DWN Productions

Additional MU Effects: Sara Gaston and Morgan McCarthy

Cast: Jerin Julia as Marla Lyon, Brandon Hearnberger as Jaxson, Christie Guidry Stryk as Cynthia, Dimitri Kouzas as Walker, Sara Gaston as Detective Waters, Dan Braverman as Detective Sutherland, Anne Quackenbush as Queen Sofia, Kyle Greer as Truman, Alan Hall as Professor Norman, Celeste Roberts as Amelie Lyon (Marla’s mom), Isabelle Malone as young Marla, Chelsea Aldrich as Heather, and Wayne Stevens as Gym Guy/Sir Gasparay – The Knight

Also featuring: George Manley, Scott Frank, Holly Thorson, Paul Colby, George Douglas Lee, Sonny Opiela, Elaine Edstrom, Tiffany Grant, Jesse Adams, Morgan McCarthy, Todd Jason Cook, Calla Doll, Marissa Viso, Rebecca Torrellas, Kelli Cooke, Robert Nelson, Renard Spivey, Norma Jean Lipertk, MyLien Le, Andrew Runk, Jessica Hazen, Wendi Vickery, Tarrick Burwell, Calla Doll, Joe Hughes, Koki Matsuo, Mark Jones and Scot Guillory.

Website: www.DeadOfKnght.com

IMDB: www.imdb.com/title/tt1367177/ 

F**ebook: www.facebook.com/deadofknight 

RoughCut Screening Pictures: http://tinyurl.com/oyqxr4k 

StarShip Films Website: www.facebook.com/starshipfilms 

Written by H.Luna / C47Houston News & Entertainment Magazine / C47Houston WEEKLY / ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 12-14-14




© 2008-2014 C47Houston News & Entertainment Magazine -  All Rights Reserved