Filmed as THE DWARVES OF DEMREL this apparently had a CGI sequence of a dragon flying over a mountain range as a narrator set up the film’s plot added to the beginning of the film to justify the title DRAGON MOUNTAIN. And anyone lured in by the title, trailer or LORD OF THE RINGS style poster is going to be very disappointed.
Set in a time when humans with their mechanization are pushing out traditional Dwarven miners, DRAGON MOUNTAIN is the tale of Calcas (John Hutton), Odryd (Brent Bateman) and Brenn (Robert Morgan) three dwarven miners trapped by a cave-in. They must contend with their own suspicions as well as the threat of a creature in the darkness if they want to survive. One of them, however, knows a lot more than he’s telling.
Shot on location in the Adventure Mine in Greenland, Michigan, the film does have some intensely claustrophobic atmosphere going for it. Unfortunately, that’s about all its got. DRAGON MOUNTAIN raised over $70,000 on Kickstarter but first-time director Chris Raney, who co-wrote the script with Zachary Amundson puts almost nothing on the screen. Seriously, most of the film is three dwarves stumbling around in the dark mine arguing with each other and talking about how doomed they are.
A potentially interesting plot thread with Drusso (Serah Henesey), a human trapped with them, is quickly dropped after giving some expository information. Her character and situation could have provided some much-needed conflict but that’s wasted.
The creature is impressive when we finally get a good look at it. And it should, the production raised nearly $20,000 for it. But it’s barely seen and pretty much wasted. The same can be said for its steampunk elements. A couple of examples we see look nice, but they serve no real purpose and there’s not enough of them to really create a cohesive look. Also, some of the other examples of their technology look pretty dreadful, like 1950’s industrial gear with props from some old horror film glued on.
DRAGON MOUNTAIN might have had a chance to find some kind of an audience under its original title and with the original trailer. But those coming looking for the promised sword and sorcery type thrills are going to be turned off by the dull and rather grim film they get.
High Octane Films will release DRAGON MOUNTAIN August 7 on VOD and September 4 on DVD