Kröd Mändoon And The Flaming Sword Of Fire is one of those shows that you either get, or do not get. The recent DVD release of the first season has received mixed reviews in my family. While I think the show is very funny, my 18-year-old son thinks it is way too immature. The fact is, we are both right. It is both funny, and immature, the perfect combination.
The basic premise of Kröd Mändoon is a parody of such classic sword and sorcery programs as Highlander and Xena: Warrior Princess. It is a BBC production, and was filmed in Budapest, Hungary for the most part. Comedy Central aired edited versions of the five-episode series in 2009, to mediocre ratings. But the show is steadily gaining ground as a cult favorite, and with the unedited, original BBC episodes of the program now available on DVD, this trend should continue.
Kröd Mändoon (Sean Maguire) is the name of a reluctant Middle Ages warrior, who leads a ragtag group in a quest to overthrow the evil Chancellor Dongalor (Matt Lucas). His most able-bodied accomplice is Aneka (India de Beaufort), “a beautiful pagan warrioress whose weapon of choice is sex." There is also his ineffectual warlock, Zezelryck (Kevin Hart), a Shrek-like ogre called Loquasto (Steve Speirs), and a ridiculously camp, gay fellow-traveler named Bruce (Marques Ray).
Kröd (whose name is a reversal of the word dork) is constantly lecturing his group on matters of etiquette and appearance, as if he is on a movie set. Chancellor Dongalor often does the same thing. The British humor is very similar to that of Monty Python And The Holy Grail, which creator Peter Knight cites as his all-time favorite film.
Much of the controversy surrounding Kröd Mändoon has to do with the character of Bruce. It is pretty over the top, but so is everything else about the show. Pagan Aneka is depicted as a nymphomaniac, for example. And Chancellor Dongalor’s whims are just sadistic. After killing the father of Cute Girl (Remie Purtill-Clarke) in front of her, he makes a play for her affections. She thinks it over and decides that she would have an exciting life with him, only to die of The Plague moments later.
The BBC has always been noted for the high-quality of their productions, and Kröd Mändoon is no exception. The authentic settings and special effects are first rate. There is plenty of swordplay, as well as sorcery from the warlocks. The five episode story is also surprisingly strong, leading up to an unexpected conclusion.
The special features included in the DVD include a Behind The Scenes segment, interviews with the cast, and a myriad of outtakes.
Kröd Mändoon And The Flaming Sword Of Fire may have a limited appeal, but the fan base is growing. With the BBC ordering a second season, the momentum should continue. In any event, the first season of the program is very well done, and often hilarious in a low-brow way. It is certainly worth a look, especially in this unedited DVD version.