Mazes and Monsters

Stu and Hambone did something stupid. They watched the 1982 made-for-TV movie Mazes and Monsters, based on the Rona Jaffe novel of the same name, which is based loosely and idiotically on the totally not related to Dungeons & Dragons disappearance of James Dallas Egbert III in 1979. It is notable for being Tom Hanks’ first major role, a shockingly poor understanding of RPGs, some atrocious one-liners and a decent lizard man suit. Some movies are so bad they’re a blast to watch. Mazes and Monsters isn’t one of them. Buckle up and get ready to feel our pain.

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Intro music by George Collazo.

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3 thoughts on “Mazes and Monsters

  1. I still watch this movie occasionally. I find that gamers tend to have very mixed feelings about this film. Personally, I had no knowledge of the Satanic panic until I was older and I know a few people who hate this movie because they did play D&D back during this time and it brings up a lot of negative memories for them.
    You’re not wrong about some of your critiques. The movie is that early 80’s, made for tv style film that is very slow in comparison to that we are currently used to.

  2. I watched the movie several years ago and created a drinking game (which I’ve never played) from it. It’s very simple, with only three rules:
    1. Every time somebody says or does something that makes it clear that nobody involved in making the movie, with any decision-making power, has ever so much as seen an RPG being played: drink. (e.g. there’s no chess board in RPGs, so drink.)
    2. Every time somebody says or does something that makes it clear that nobody involved in making the movie, with any decision-making power, has ever so much as set foot on a college campus since 1952: drink. (e.g. Nobody showed up to college with multiple hat boxes in the 80s, so drink.)
    3. Every time Chris Makepeace wears a new hat: drink. (What is it with this movie and hats?)

    If you want, you can add “4. drink constantly whenever Chris Makepeace is on screen wearing a Kaiser helmet.” No, really, don’t do that. You’ll pass out.

    Seriously, if you ask people who played RPGs in the 80s, they seem to either hate it for the damage it did or love it for the silliness, but either way, they’ll say that it was wildly out of touch with its own era, regardless of RPGs. It’d be like making a movie set in 2020 but everybody has numbers-only pagers instead of smart phones.

  3. Some of the RPG props were pretty cool. Robbie’s/Padru’s Two Towers map was totally bitchin. I remember pausing the VHS just so I could study it.

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