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Theatrical release poster
|Produced by||Charles Band|
|Distributed by||Empire Pictures|
The Dungeonmaster (originally Ragewar: The Challenges of Excalibrate and Digital Knights) is a 1984 American anthology horror-fantasy film produced by Charles Band, and is split up into seven distinct story segments, each written and directed by a different person: Dave Allen, Band, John Carl Buechler, Steven Ford, Peter Manoogian, Ted Nicolaou and Rosemarie Turko. The film's theme was influenced by the popularity of Disney's 1982 film Tron and the roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons.
Principal photography began in 1983 but the film was not completed until 1984. The film features an appearance by the heavy metal band W.A.S.P.. A sequel segment was planned for the anthology Pulse Pounders, but the unfinished film was never released due to the collapse of distributor Empire Pictures.
Paul Bradford (Jeffrey Byron) is a skilled computer programmer who lives with his girlfriend, Gwen (Leslie Wing), and "X-CaliBR8," a quasi-sentient personal computer that Paul programmed and which he interacts with via a neural interface. Gwen is jealous of Paul's unusually close relationship with X-CaliBR8, to whom Paul has given a female voice, and fears that their relationship will be destroyed by Paul's reliance on X-CaliBR8 for his various day-to-day activities.
One night, Paul and Gwen are both transported to a Hellish realm presided over by Mestema (Richard Moll), an ancient, demonic sorcerer who has spent millennia seeking a worthy opponent with whom to do battle. Having long defeated his enemies with magic, Mestema has become intrigued with technology, and wishes to pit his skills against Paul's, with the winner claiming Gwen. Arming Paul with a portable version of X-CaliBR8 (which takes the form of a computerized wrist band), Mestema begins transporting Paul into a variety of scenarios in which he must defeat various opponents. Most of the challenges involve Paul using his X-CaliBR8 wristband to shoot people, monsters, and objects with laser beams.
After Paul completes Mestema's various challenges, the two engage in a final battle, which takes the form of a fist fight in which Paul kills Mestema by throwing him into a pit of lava. After Mestema dies, Paul and Gwen are transported back to their house, where Gwen expresses her acceptance of X-CaliBR8 and suggests that she and Paul get married.
In popular culture
This was later referenced in "Sword Art Online Abridged" by Something Witty Entertainment. When Kirito uses the line in reference to MythBusters, it is mistaken by Heathcliff as a reference to The DungeonMaster.
This line is actually a rephrasing of dialogue spoken by actor Tom Baker in the 1976 Doctor Who serial The Deadly Assassin.
On October 29, 2013, Scream Factory released the film on DVD for the first time, along with Contamination 7, Catacombs and Cellar Dweller as part of the second volume of their Scream Factory All-Night Horror Marathon series.
A short film, "The Dungeonmaster II," was produced as an entry in the anthology horror film Pulse Pounders. Byron and Moll both reprised their roles. As of 2014, the film has only been exhibited once.[when?]