You young readers may not be aware of the 80s, but to those growing up in it recall it mostly consisted of fear of everything. Parents in the 80s were glued to talk shows and the like, trying to learn about the latest trend that would turn their precious little snowflake into a coke snorting, satan worshipping, goat rapist.
The satanic panic is one I remember with not so fond memories. Thanks to the journalists with a less than stellar moral code and the neurosis of many, those with children were frightened of harmless things such as heavy metal music and role playing games, one of which was the popular Dungeons and Dragons.
I only played Dungeons and Dragons once, but I ended up getting in a fist fight with the game master and that ended my role playing career. I did enjoy the game, but even as a kid I lost interest quick realizing how much of a money pit it was, and how I couldn't afford it as there was no way my folks would ever buy that stuff for me. They were told by their church and friends that D&D would lead to things such as pagan worship and suicide, and of course believed all of it, because Satan was lurking at every corner after their children.
A cautionary tale was made to warn parents of the dangers of role playing games in the format of a made for TV movie called "Mazes and Monsters." Starring a young Tom Hanks as Robbie, the film starts with three college students convincing Robbie to play a role playing game. Robbie at first relents as he just promised his folks he wouldn't, but of course there's an attractive woman in the group so he has to go.
Robbie then becomes obsessed with the game and his character. He abandons his love life and cares less about his studies. He starts dreaming of the game and a mysterious man who tells him how to live. Why this happens is anyone's guess, but it's assumed he's mentally ill. He leaves school and becomes a missing person as he wanders around New York looking for the "Great Hall" he's been dreaming about, and ends up stabbing a thug in the process. A man hunt ensues for Robbie by his three friends who are certain he may hurt himself as he can't distinguish reality from the game.
My god this movie is horrible. Not only is it satanic panic propaganda, but it's so horribly dated and incompetent that instead of warning viewers of the so called dangers of role playing it ended up being a laughable piece of work. Propaganda should be anything but dull, and this is a great cure for insomnia.
I've had this sitting in my queue for almost a year as WIGSF requested it a long time ago. Why it's even out on DVD is a mystery as there's no reason to watch this outside of a morbid curiosity. Put any interest aside as it sucks. I should add a rule that anyone who submits films this bad will be kicked in the crotch repeatedly.
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"Although intended as a cautionary tale, it's far more likely to inspire snickers than shudders." - James Sanford