'The Hunt for Vlad The Impaler'
(Cem Ušan, Erkan Petekkaya, Nur Fettahoglu, Yetkin Dikinciler, et al / DVD / NR / 2020 / 4Digital Media)
Overview: In the middle of the 15th century, in the depths of Turkey during the Ottoman Empire, the land is torn apart by horrendous atrocities against the terrified people by the cruel and blood-thirsty, Vlad the Impaler.
The ruler, Baba Sultan, orders a group of seven fearless warriors known as Deliler, to hunt down Vlad and end the persecution once and for all.
The seven heroes set out on their long journey, stopping at nothing until they find the inhumane Vlad and defeat him in what will be a battle to end all battles.
DVD Verdict: Sold as "Game of Thrones meets Vikings," this heavily romanticized take on Vlad The Impaler is one that manages to grab your attention from the off and never allow you to avert your gaze.
It is also, which is a refreshing occurrence, one of those films that keeps your gaze throughout, never allowing you the thought of checking your watch to see how long is left!
Featuring wonderful cinematography, both real and (obviously) CGI, it follows the path of a band of Turkish warriors known as the Deliler (which was this films original title ie: Calvary Troop) racing into the battle to end all battles.
Approached as a rather stylized, medieval comic book style, and chock full of OTT and highly melodramatic chase, pilfering, raiding and even battel scenes (ie: simple burning arrows set into flight that land in bails of straw and explode on impact!), the best thing about 'The Hunt for Vlad The Impaler' is that no matter what you expect to happen, it rarely does!
The final battle scenes are immense and acted out in a very meticulous, and well crafted manner, it should be said.
Ok, yes, some of the looks given by Vlad and his cohorts can be taken as being needlessly cheesy, adding to the whole soap opera melodrama of it all, but without any pixies, fairies, princesses, princes or even dragons, this film relies on its lead actors.
Hence, 'The Hunt for Vlad The Impaler' - which has an open ending that definitely allows for a sequel to ready itself - is a quite brilliant film, chock full of everything you would hope to find in such a presentation, and has just the right amount of cheese for it to be a tasty night of cinematic nourishment. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.