Knight of the Living Dead
is a 2005 Icelandic cult movie
about a knight
and a Viking
who get resurrected
and continue their gruesome battle in the year 2005
It's notable for the memorable characters that have nothing to do with the main story (Guitar Playing Dan, GasMask Man, The Shemale Mexican Mother), the battles between the Knight and Viking and the comedic overtunes to the gruesome death scenes.
It was written and directed by Bjarni Gautur in the summer of 2005, and features appearances by Lloyd Kaufman, Trent Haaga, Justin Channell, Morbid Chid, Zane Crosby, Siggi Jökull & Corey Hawk.
The songs in the movie were composed by Siggi Jökull, but the movie also featured many songs from various independent death metal bands around the world, including Ultra Vomit, Changer and DogHorse.
During the opening credits of the film, we are introduced to two warriors fighting, the two warriors hurt each other in various ways (The ‘Knight’ as introduced in the film, cuts open the crotch of the Viking leaving in pulpy blood to leave his groin area, followed by a powerful kick in the back). Even though both are matched in fighting skills, they are both struck down by red lightning bolts and both fall down dead. A Witch then arrives and while speaking in Icelandic, it is translated to say that she puts a curse on them to see who is worthy of her love. The curse will be activated the next time someone walks next to the corpses of the Knight and Viking, so their soul can re-activate their bodies. As the witch leaves to get a body, she is also struck by lightning.
After a quick shot of the name of the film, we are cut to the present day where Clark sits down with his girlfriend, she breaks up with him rather quickly, much to his surprise. Following that is a Montage of them being happy together and Clark crying overwhelmingly much, and then thinking of suicide, right before being stopped by his She male Mexican Mother, who goes on to tell him to ‘go take a piss’ as that always makes her/him feel better. Clark continues to do so at his giant public bathroom (which his friend Dean, although drunk, envies him about), where he is crudely molested by his father. During this time, the She Male Mexican Mother asks the father “Do you want some nachos with that?” as she/he is apparently turned on as well. The scene ends with sound of Clark and his father’s voices being heard off-screen as well as police sirens before cutting off to Dean who is reading a Tales of the TMNT Comic book before the phone rings. The caller is Dean and Clark’s friend Justin who asks Dean of taking Clark to a drinking binge to cheer him up about the loss of his girlfriend. Justin asks this as he will be way too busy having sex with Clark’s ex-girlfriend and his brother. Dean accepts. As Dean walks home to Clark’s place, he meets up with Guitar Playing Dan, a friend who can only talk by playing the guitar. He decides to tag along, before they walk any further, Dean and Guitar Playing Dan are stopped by Steven who had just put an unknown individual to sleep with a rant, who then, takes a bottle of alcohol from Dean and starts to drink with him, accepting to come along without being asked. While walking home to Clark, Guitar Playing Dan is robbed of his guitar and beaten and in a later cut, returns to beat the Stealer of his guitar and then runs of without taking his guitar or talking to Dean or Steven who seem not to notice him disappearing from the group. When they meet up with Clark, they go buy some weed followed by a build up chapter in a death metal song which then plays while Dean, Steven and Clark break walls, bottles and punch each other in the face. While finishing the last drops of alcohol, they climb a fence and fall over the other way and the screen fades out….
The character introduced wake up to find themselves in Iceland, at the house of an Icelandic guy named Jónas (played by Andri Kjartan, who also plays the Viking). Dean and Steven tell Clark what happened after the blackout, and how they got more of their friends and decided to go fishing in Iceland (not realizing they could do so in Tromaville). Charlie (one of the friends that weren't previously introduced) tell the heroes that, he alongside Thomas (played by Höddi Björnsen, who also plays the Knight) and Jerry found two rotting corpses in the woods like looking for a pond, they bring a sword so the other people know that this is true. They all decide to go check them out (except for Clark, who only goes after his Shemale Mexican Mother shows up to molest him again). On their way to the forest, they meet Derek, a 'douchebag' character who becomes sort of a teen movie nemesis to the heroes and a Crazy Icelander who tells them of a curse in the forest, which they refuse to believe. While all wandering their own separate ways in the forest, Jónas and Thomas find the bodies, due to the Witche's curse, Jónas' soul gets transferred out of his body into the Knight and Viking, slaying him emidiately. The Knight then impails Thomas through his chin, and during their battle with each other, they slaughter Clark, The Crazy Icelander, a Drug Dealer and Jerry.
The Final Battle(s)
When Dean and Charlie notice that all of their friends are dying (and the many people inhabiting the woods), Dean thinks that he and the rest were sent to Iceland by God to stop this menace (yet God points out that he's wrong). Yet, the only time they actually manage to fight instead of simply running away, they accidentally kill Derek dressed up as Leatherface (yet Charlie thinks Dean did it on purpose for no reason whatsoever). GasMask Man, a hermit living in the woods (who previously tried to help Steven in a Yoda-teaching sort of way, right before he died), tells Charlie and Dean (as well as Gary, a friend of theirs who is in Iceland touring with his death metal band) the story of the Knight and Viking. As the body count continues to rise, Charlie makes the final stand as he pulls up a gun to shoot the Viking, however, while arguing with Dean how he managed to get the gun (and how long he has had it), his hands are cut of and the Viking's sword is jammed into his mouth, as Dean tries to run away, the Knight rams his head into a wall (as they have reached away from the forest as the movie continues), as the Knight and Viking have killed off every character in the forest except themselves, they decide to continue their duel, but during the middle of the battle, they both get electrocuted and fall back down dead. The Shemale Mexican Mother (the only surviving character in the entire movie) emerges from the shadows saying the Joe Fleishaker based line from Tales From the Crapper; "That's what I call disco!".
Due to the scheduling conflicts and to hurry up the process of the movie, every day after filming, Director Bjarni Gautur would go to his home and edit the footage right away. According to Bjarni, many problems showed up during filming, as no one had rehearsed their lines and they had to re-read every line in the script before filming of that scene. Also, due to some actors being too busy in the summer, the script had to be re-written several times to let most lead characters die more quickly in the film then they were suppose too. Originally, the first 60 minutes would have had only two deaths, this was changed to have five. Main characters Höddi Björnsen and Andri Kjartan would also often not stick to the script, and even though Bjarni and the rest of the crew found this funny, most of the jokes didn’t fit into the continuity of the movie, such as the Witch (who was Icelandic) being the sister of the Knight (who was British) and the Viking being disgusted by the incest relationship.
Before Knight of the Living Dead was ever finished, there were talks about multiple sequels being made. The names would all be after the Romero
series, trying to sound as much like the other films. The most talked about sequel is Dan of the Dead
, which follows what happened to Guitar Playing Dan and why he's in Iceland. The movie is both a prequel and a sequel to Knight and shows the Knight and Viking resurrecting due to some mobsters trying to get them off their lawn (the original title was Lawn of the Dead
, and before that, it was simply Guitar Playing Dan
). Dean was also rumoured to return, as well as Clark, both with massive injures, yet alive. The other sequels are Gay of the Dead
(the official synopsis is that the Knight and Viking yet again resurrect during the Icelandic Gay Pride) and Band of the Dead
(following a band resurrecting the Knight and Viking). Even though all the original cast and crew are ready to make the sequels, Bjarni has said that the IBS crew will rather be moving forward. They are currently filming and producing the new film 'The Breeding', yet they have expressed interest in at least making Don of the Dead, but they are now leaving it up to the distributor of Knight (NecroScopic Unlimited) and waiting to see the fan re-action before deciding on a sequel.