Mazes and Monsters
Reviewed by Joel Mathis
Rating: 8.5 Beans
ver the years, films have been used to warn us of the many unseen dangers in the world around us. Movies have been used to teach people the dangers of syphillus, marajuna, and more. However, Mazes and Monsters takes on one of the most insideous evils in the world today head on. Mazes and Monsters is about the often ignored dangers of role-playing games.
Role-playing games are those evil games where players pretend to be various other people, kill monsters, and cast spells. Obviously such a game leads to corruption of the innocent youths who are lured into playing it by purveyors of such rampant evil. Its a well documented fact that playing such games leads to greater evils like violent attacks and devil worship.
Mazes and Monsters is based on a book which is based on a true story [which the author later admitted was made up to sell copies]. In the movie, the innocent Robbie played by that nice Tom Hanks is led down the path of depravity by so-called friends Jay Jay (Chris Makepeace), Donnie (Dave Wallace), and Kate (Wendy Crewson). Robbie goes to a new college where he is quickly initiated into the cult of Mazes and Monsters players by charismatic cult leader Jay Jay. They use the usual line, "Just play once," to pressure him into their circle. While they did not show any animal sacrifice, that presumably took place off screen.
Before long the little thrills of playing around the table are not enough to satisfy their need for a high, and so Jay Jay developes a new method of getting thrills. He invents a new style of game where the participants role-play in live action. I can only prey that such evil never catches on with the already degenerate role-players for only one trip to the mysterious, forbidden Pequad Caverns while playing is enough to drive him insane. After that his mental state wanders further and further away while his friends try to hide their part in his hideous destruction.
It is true that the dialog and acting are very weak in Mazes and Monsters, but we must remember that the emphasis of the movie is on the warning. We cannot dismiss the message just because all the students contain more distilled preppiness than an army of stockbrokers. We cannot ignore the dangers of role-playing just because their dark god is depicted as speaking through a sewer pipe with a strobe light behind him.
I for one am grateful to the film makers for warning us of the terrible dangers that are lurking within role-playing games. I hope that no one I know will ever become afflicted with their terrible curse.
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