Night of the Templar is a 2012 low budget (an estimated $3 million) British film and the best thing about it is David Carradine in his last performance. Officially this was his last film before being found dead aged 72 in Bangkok, Thailand apparently a victim of auto-erotic asphyxiation.
Written and directed by stuntman Paul Sampson, the film’s premise and its tag lines are, regrettably, the best thing about the film. Although, having said that, the cast list was damned impressive. In case you can’t be bothered to look up either the cast or the tag lines here they are, in reverse order.
|Cast list courtesy of IMDb:|
Benoit the Butler
If you want a plot run-down, don’t bother looking for it in Wikipedia. On IMDb it gets two lines. They read, “A Medieval Knight resurrects to fulfill his vow and bestow a blood-thirst vengeance upon the kindred spirits of those who betrayed him long ago. In the course of one night, identities will be revealed, destinies met, and a poetic justice of the macabre maniacally served.
I’ve discovered in my short time of writing “reviews” for films, that if a film is really bad, you will not find a recap on Wikipedia. Really, I could get by with not doing a review at all. But, despite the execrable editing, the horrible acting, except from Kier and Carradine, and the ramshackle plot, I liked it.
I did have some problems, apart from the above listed. My main issue had to do with Paul Sampson. Sure he fell into the bad acting category as well, but, my main problem with him was the way he spoke. His accent was all over the place, (like mine, I’ve been told, but I can assure you that is my “speaking voice” and not my “acting voice”) but besides that and the bad acting, he didn’t sound right.
Now before I get all kinds of complaints, let me explain that I do not suffer from Homo-phobia nor do I think there is anything wrong with same gender relationships.
But, every single time that Sampson opened his mouth as his “reincarnated” self, he sounded almost camp. As he was supposed to be a muscle bound actor who was the reincarnated soul of a Templar knight, he didn’t sound the part. It took me till halfway through the film to realise that it was his “Hollywood bridge” that was causing the problem.
A Hollywood bridge is a cosmetic dental device, very popular among the Toddlers and Tiara’s set, which clip over your real teeth and give you a perfect smile. Sampson’s changed the way he spoke. It was as though he was wearing someone else’s teeth. In the flash-back scenes he is very obviously not wearing the bridge so when he was playing the Templar he sounded just fine. His acting even appeared to improve.
But this last film of Carradine’s was doomed by so many problems. It is such a shame that Night of the Templar wasted two talented actors like the 72 year-old Carradine and the 68 year-old Udo Kerr .
Either the man has made some sort of Faustian pact or he has procured the services of the world’s best plastic surgeon as he looks eerily undaunted by time. It is as though he has stopped ageing. It is a little creepy. I keep trawling the internet to find pictures. like those featured of Keanu Reeves, Nick Cage, and John Travolta, and it appears to confirm, his aging process has been halted.
But Udo Kerr and his creepy non-aging thing aside, the film could have been great.
Towards the end of the film, the acting got better and the interaction by the surviving members of the cast was quite good. It gave a glimpse of what the film could and should have been.
It’s a shame that they didn’t figure that out before they started editing the thing.
One very odd moment in the film stuck out. And if you know what auto-erotic asphyxiation is it will actually give you a bit of a shiver.
One of the characters is getting some sexual oral ministrations from another character. While he is in the throes of passion he takes his belt and wraps it around his neck, tightening it.
The irony of that cinematic moment not only gave me the shivers, but I had to stop the film and have a think. As Night of the Templar was David Carradine in his last “official” performance, you have to ask the question, “Was he influenced by that scene?”
This is a 2 out of 5 star film, notable only for the presence of Kerr and Carradine. Worth a look if you want to see the Kung Fu actor and Kerr together.
- Night Of The Templar Fighting Evil on DVD (shockya.com)
- David Carradine, 1936-2009 (somecamerunning.typepad.com)
- Death Race 2000 (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Kill Bill [volume ONE] (Film Blog #3 by Andres Baca) (electricshadowsfilmblog.wordpress.com)
- Merton, Marilyn, and David Carradine (maverickphilosopher.typepad.com)