DVD Review: The Dungeon Masters (Documentary, Dungeons and Dragons)

Dungeon Masters DVD Review: The Dungeon Masters (Documentary, Dungeons and Dragons)

The Dungeon Masters is a unique, often fascinating documentary about the lives of three hardcore Dungeons and Dragons fans. The doc walks the tightrope of becoming mockery, but never crosses that line. There is great empathy on display (if not outright compassion, its too unobtrusive for that) for the various lives of these people and the documentary is often funny and sad, and sometimes, just downright sad. The three people (Richard, Scott, and Elizabeth) live their lives to play Dungeons and Dragons and The Dungeon Masters follows them along to conventions and gives the viewers a glimpse of their daily lives away from the game they love.

The Dungeon Masters include Elizabeth, an angry, possibly unbalanced young woman who dresses as a sinister drow-elf. She may seem pathetic at the outset, but a glimpse at her personal life reveals a scarred and damaged woman and at one point, her trauma becomes very clear. Scott lives a kind of sad existence, arguing with his wife in their apartment and trying to write his great fantasy novel. He also hosts a cable-access program where he dresses up in costume that must be seen to be believed. The breakout star is the sassy Richard Meeks though, he’s a game master/nudist/military man. A jovial fellow who loves “killing players off”, he is a fascinating fellow, right out of a Chris Guest mockumentary. The extras include the trailer and some outtakes.

The Dungeon Masters is a must-see for Dungeons and Dragons fans, fanboys, and anyone who likes an entertaining documentary in general. Being unfamiliar with Dungeons and Dragons myself, I still found myself fascinated by The Dungeon Masters. Kevin McAlester’s sharp doc has more empathy than mockery (at least most of the time) and it’s a must-see that deserves a wide audience on DVD.

Grade: B+

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